Friday, April 29, 2005

Bowling for teenagers

The Bradley trio had a grand ole’ time last night despite being overrun with prepubescent punk rockers. Let me just say that I will never get the fun in standing in the middle of a large crowd and running and banging into your friends and strangers. I guess this would be considered moshing. I call it just plain inconsiderate. Laura and I were both ready to throw punches at the first idiot guy (because of course no women were stupid enough to be involved in this) who ran into us, and I came pretty close to shoving someone before the three of us were able to move to the other side of the crowd. Here we were able to stand in the back of the crowd with the older contingency and enjoy the tongue-in-cheek quips from the Texas-bred Bowling for Soup. The lead singer had this insanely high-pitched tenor voice that was a combination of Crusty the Clown and a munchkin, but it cut through the loud guitar quite clearly. The songs were catchy, the melodies easy to pick up, and the lyrics hysterical. One song was about a guy vandalizing his ex-girlfriend’s car, and that was pretty funny. These kids will be back in the Ville this summer sometime, so if anyone’s looking for some fairly cheap entertainment (and I don’t mean me) then I definitely recommend checking them out at your local neighborhood venue.

Also worth note would be the moment when American High-Fi (the opening band- you’ll know them from their sing-along ditty, Flavor of the Week) would be when the lead singer asked the audience to pretend it was 1987 and pull out your bic-lighters and pretend you’re at a Bon Jovi concert. This was quite the stretch of the imagination because one, most of the audience was not even born in 1987. And two, almost no one had a bic lighter because they were taken at the door and everyone was wanded with a metal detector before we could get in. So what did our hi-tech, resourceful teens do? They whipped out the cell phones for the obligatory swaying, waving light in the air during the power ballad.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

a date with dad

In about an hour I will be gearing up for a fun evening out with 2 of my most favorite people in the world: my dad, and my sister. Laura and I are treating Dad to a night out on the town, which translates into dinner and a Bowling for Soup concert. Yes, you read that correctly. My dad is a fan of the pop rock group most famous for their little “1985” ditty. This is a belated birthday present and should make for an enjoyable evening. Being in the music industry, dad has always been hip to the latest music and styles. While I find it endearing and fascinating now, I wasn’t so keen on it in the early 90s when he tried to wear the Grunge look. You older kids especially will remember what I am talking about. T-shirts untucked. Open button- down shirts… oh, the horror. It was also around this time that my friend Emily from middle school played me a tape (there’s a clue for you right there of how long ago this was!) of a band that her brother had. The tape was Pearl Jam’s “Ten,” and while I recall thinking it was just a lot of screaming and loud guitar, I thought it was the coolest thing ever since I happened to also have a crush on her older brother. :o)

I must get my impeccable sense of style from my father, and musical premonitions on what’s going to be popular, because less than a year ago I was looking for hot pink bath accessories to decorate the Penthouse bathroom and they were nowhere to be found. Now hot pink everything is everywhere! I also was into the Spice Girls way before they hit mainstream when a friend and I were up late one night talking on the phone. And no, I am not ashamed to admit that I worshipped the Spice Girls for about the entirety of my senior year. Me and 4 of my friends even dressed up like the British lasses for our school-wide Lip Sync competition- (we were robbed by the way! 3rd place my butt!) I’ll give you 3 guesses as to which Spice I impersonated!

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Fantastic start to a fantastic day

Hump Day indeed. And the sun is shining, and I have a cute outfit on. I’m also having lunch with Holt at Mexicali at noon- It’s going to be a fantastic day.

As of late, fantastic has become one of my new favorite words. A self-proclaimed Lexophiliac, I often find these random words in the English language and get suddenly attached. "Fabulous" use to be it- but now I think I’ve replaced that with "fantastic." Isn’t that fantastic?

Laura always says that people never use the word "delicious" enough, and I’d have to agree. "How is the veal?" One would ask. To which I might reply, "it’s awful," because I tried lamb about a month ago and I wasn't a fan. But if you were to ask, say, "how are the chicken tenders?" Well, I’d say "they’re delicious." Or fantastic. Whichever pops out first.

I think the fantastic thing came from Ron Burgundy- yes, yet another Anchor Man reference. But it’s not my fault I pick up words and phrases so easily! Especially at work. When you sit in a big open room full of cubicles, you can’t help but overhear others' conversations- or at least one side of them when they’re on the phone, so in the past week or two I noticed when I’m about to hang up the phone with a customer I say “all-righty.” Where the heck did I pick That up from?? And yesterday was the worst to date. The words "Okey-dokey" flew out of my mouth. Could I BE more annoying? I blame the "okey-dokey" one fully on Marvin, my fatherly team leader who sits directly across from me, and who probably wonders why I haven’t yet made any phone calls this morning. Well, it’s because I have to type this out and publish it on the blog! I know where my priorities lie. And I’m not lying. :o)

Monday, April 25, 2005

free at last!!!

My first free weekend from Pirates in My Pants (thank you for that Ann) and of course I had every second crammed with activities.

My Friday afternoon started by meeting the roomies downtown at Logan's for Happy Hour- I always feel so grown up when i do that (and by always, I mean the 3 times in my life that I have had drinks after work). Also joining us for drinks was cutie patootie Rick who works as a student worker in Emmy Sue's office. She called me from work that afternoon and said Amanda, I'm bringing you a hot foreign boy to Logan's. My heart leapt. Don't I have the most wonderful roommates? Well anyways, Rick had a previous engagement that he had to run to after not staying so long at Logan's, but at any rate, he was pretty to look at! :o) (Can I get a Rickmo? Someone? Anyone?)

After Logan's, Rhonda, myself, Emily, Ashley (a co-worker of E's) and her husband Kurt went to Vandy to see if we could hear or see any of the bands playing in Rites of Spring (the outdoor music festival at VU). Unfortunately, we couldn't get to a porch where we could see the bands playing, so we went into the conference room in Emily's office, opened the window and listened to the music faintly playing in the distance, while the 5 of us took advantage of the big marker board and played an impromptu game of pictionary. (Em- the next time I visit your office there'd better be a picture of me up somewhere!) After that, a dinner with the girls at the OC, I met Liz, Dion, and Ari at Corky's, they convinced me to go out that night (even though I had to be at the Collesium at 8 am the next morning), and the four UK grads headed to 2nd Avenue. The nightlife on 2nd was pretty much a bust, but at least we all got to hang out some.

Saturday morning came early, and the 3 Pets headed down to the Collesium for Spring Clean. We were broken up into teams where we then went to various houses and helped elderly and disabled people with some yardwork and outdoor chores. This would have been fantastically fun if the weather had been like it was LAST weekend- unfortunately, it was about 50 degrees, windy, and cloudy. My favorite quote from the weekend, aside from the woman with 5 dogs and 3 cats telling Cal about the "colored fellow" she used to have help her in her yard, was when I announced that I was standing by Adam "to break the wind." As soon as the words came out of my mouth I realized how it probably sounded, and the boys were quick to jump in with a laugh and a jeer in my direction. (Thank you, middle school humor)

Sat night we drove to BFE (aka Spring Hill) for Angela's housewarming/birthday party and had a jolly good time laughing, drinking Tooters (blue koolaide/windex/rubbing alcohol), and playing Scene It. This game is awesome! I had been wanting to play it for a long time- and it was well worth the wait. And what did learn playing this game? That cheaters Really do not ever win. Honestly. Dion moved our team's game piece forward a few spaces when no one was looking and we Still didn't win! It made the game mroe entertaining for us though. :o)

Sunday Mike preached about fasting. I've never fasted from food before, but I am wondering if my self-imposed band on buying clothes, shoes, and purses counts as a fast. Probably not. But at least every time I think about buying something like that I am reminded of how much I have, and how blessed I am as an American. It hasn't lead me to a deeper prayer life so far, so I guess I can't just decide that this counts as a fast as an afterthought. If I can work up my nerve I am going to fast from the internet for 24 hours. That will be hard for me, as I have a habit of checking websites periodically throughout my day. My mind just tends to wander during lulls in the day, and the internet is such an easy vice to take up. What if every time your mind wandered during your work day though, it landed and settled on God? It seems like an impossible task to accomplish, but a tangible way to involve God more in my humdrum work day. Every time I need a mental break I'm going to talk to God and read a few verses of scripture, so we'll see how that goes.

Till then, hope you are having a fantastic day. Stay classy Nashville, and thanks for stopping by.

Friday, April 22, 2005

What IS it with people and their pets?

I’m an animal lover. I break for birds (and even got a ticket one time from this evil police officer even though I was sobbing after a bird had hit my windshield on the BG Parkway). I teared up on a hayride my freshman year in college because I had never been that close to a cow and I thought they were so cute. I gravitate towards greeting cards with animals on them, and I love to cuddle with fury (friendly) critters. But even I can see the ridiculousness of people who spend as much on their pets as they would a child.

Flipping channels one day I happened to see everyone’s favorite newlywed couple on MTV with their little fluffy frou-frou dog. Jessica took the dog to Louie Vitton to buy a larger carrying case for the canine, and wound up with a matching collar and leash to boot. Nick made the comment that “it’s sad when the cheapest thing in the equation is the dog.”

And today at work, on a much lesser scale of outlandish spending on pets, a girl brought her 7-week-old Chihuahua in (named Oliver Sanchez) with a necklace on that she had bought at the trendy Village boutique Pangea! For one, it’s a boy dog! (True, it was a blue beaded necklace) But two, Pangea, are you kidding me? Does anyone else besides me think it’s pretentious to buy jewelry for your pet from one of the trendiest stores in Nashville? I’ll admit, Oliver (Clothesoff) does look mighty cute trotting around the office in his little accessory, but I wouldn’t be surprised if one day we discover that Mr. Sanchez is a flaming metrosexual.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Just the facts, Ma'am

Well, as several of you pointed out, I was so focused on getting my information for the new pope correct that I failed to take the time to find out exactly who the president was at my time of birth (Now think for a minute if it Were Lyndon Johnson though! If he had been president since 1963 and was just now keeling over- can you imagine the shape this country would be in?). I figured I must need a little refresher history course and would humor the rest of you with my findings. I wanted to research my confused P’s of the US of A’s and find out first and foremost, When they were in office, and secondly, What they did while they were in office. Most of what follows is paraphrased and quoted from the Grolier’s online dictionary.

First, Lyndon Baines Johnson.

LBJ became the 36th president of the United States on the assassination of John F. Kennedy on Nov. 22, 1963. A skilled promoter of liberal domestic legislation, he was also a staunch believer in the use of military force to help achieve the country's foreign policy objectives. His escalation of American involvement in the Vietnam War eroded his popular standing by deflecting attention from domestic concerns, resulting in sharp inflation, and prompting rising criticism, especially among young, draft-aged people. Escalation also failed to win the war. All of this led to his decision not to run for reelection to the presidency in 1968.

Some important highlights of Johnson’s presidency:

*Civil Rights Act in 1964
*Medicare program
*The Voting Rights Act of 1965
*Vietnam war escalation

Richard M. Nixon followed LBJ at the next president in office, and we all know what happened There- no confusing old Tricky Nicky!

And now moving forward twenty years, James Earl Carter served from 1977 to 1981 as the 39th president of the United States.

Jimmy Carter was a renowned southern Baptist, and a deeply and openly religious man. He had focused his campaign on government failures rather than on programs and policies, stressing a commitment to human rights and an open foreign policy, discussing issues usually reserved for private diplomatic sessions. Many applauded the change, but his openness sometimes created diplomatic problems abroad. The main source of difficulty for the Carter administration was the economy. Unemployment decreased during the first half of Carter's term, but inflation rose sharply and was a serious political liability during his second two years. The Republican nominee, Ronald Reagan, successfully built inflation and the fear of U.S. military weakness into the major campaign issues, and he easily defeated Carter in the Nov. 4, 1980, presidential election. In the last month of Carter's administration negotiations with Iran, through Algerian intermediaries, finally produced freedom for the hostages in Tehran. They were released on Jan. 20, 1981, as Reagan was inaugurated.

Some important highlights of Carter’s presidency:

*U.S. boycott of the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow
*Iranian hostage crisis
*Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan, so an embargo was placed on SU

All right, well now that we have that cleared up, there is one more mystery. Anonymous poster who goes by the alias letter E, show yourself! Could it be one Knoxville resident who shall be known forever more in the wedding scrapbook of Heather and Jacob as Tulle-Pac?

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Habemus papam

or … We have a pope.

Being that I’m half-catholic, I have been following this process and find it highly interesting. Today the cardinals, or Princes of the church, have ended their conclave in the Vatican and have chosen the next pope. The new pontiff is a German man by the name of Joseph Ratzinger; his new papal name is Benedict XVI. For many of us, we have never known another pope besides JPII. Think of it like this- what if Linden B Johnson (who was president when I was born) had been president all this time (Lord help us), and had just now become deceased, therefore vacating his position as president of the United States? That’s the closest way I can think of comparing it. For Catholics this must be even weirder to have a new Pope, but I am fascinated by the entire process.

Ratzinger is an older man, already 78. From the things I have read, it has been tradition to follow the lengthy reign of one pope with a shorter reign of another. For example, JPII followed a pope (Pius 23rd?) that was only pope for 2 weeks before he died. So what do we know about Ratzinger?

*He is an accomplished pianist who loves Mozart in particular

*He speaks several languages, including English, Italian, & of course, German

*Ratzinger chose the name Benedict, which comes from the Latin for “blessing”

And a quote from the pope, before he was elected, which defines his standpoint in the church:
“Having a clear faith, based on the creed of the church, is often labeled today as a fundamentalism, whereas relativism, which is letting oneself be tossed and ’swept along by every wind of teaching,’ looks like the only attitude acceptable to today’s standards…we are moving toward a dictatorship of relativism which does not recognize anything as for certain and which has as its highest goal one’s own ego and one’s own desires,” he warned.

Following is the text of Pope Benedict XVI’s first address to the world after being elected as pontiff on Tuesday. The new pope, the former Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger of Germany, delivered the address in Italian from the central balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica:

Dear brothers and sisters,
After the Great Pope John Paul II, the cardinals have elected me, a simple, humble worker in the Lord’s vineyard.
I am comforted by the fact that the Lord knows how to work and act even with insufficient instruments. And above all, I entrust myself to your prayers.
With the joy of the risen Lord and confidence in his constant help, we will go forward. The Lord will help us and Mary his most holy mother will be alongside us.
Thank you.

Catholic or not, this is a major world event; one that could shape the views of Christianity in this new millenium.

“Viva il Papa!” or “Long live the pope!”

hip-hop remixes disguised as complicated music theory lessons

Only you music people out there will appreciate this, but yesterday as I leave work, I’m in a great mood. It’s 5 o’clock (somewhere), the sun is shining, the windows are down, and I’m flipping channels on the radio to find some good drive-time music. Eventually the radio dial lands on 101.1 (the Beat Jams) and the DJ Butterfly mix. Well I don’t know what homegirl Butterfly thought she was doing, but she had somehow remixed the Destiny’s Child song “Naughty Girl” with a beat from another song that was in a completely different and, might I add, non-complimentary key. “It’s bi-tonal,” I thought, the music nerd coming out in me. But then the more I listened, the more horrified I became. Who decided this sounds good, I thought? Immediately I reached for the phone and speed-dialed Ariana, who was also in her car on her afternoon commute. “Turn on 101.1 right now,” I said. “I’m on it!” She exclaimed. “Dude, it’s in 2 different keys.” “It’s bi-tonal!” I exclaimed gleefully, happy that my expensive out-of-state-tuition education was coming in handy in life (if one considers applying music theory concepts to everyday life handy, which I do).

Ari and I talk animatedly over the terrible remix, wondering who in their right mind decided this debauchery of Beyonce was ear-pleasing, especially to the average Joe who’s not going to know or care about the bitonality. I was amused nonetheless. Who says rap and hip-hop aren’t viable genres of music? I mean, in all fairness, the complexity of this Destiny’s Child remix puts Hanson’s 3-chord Mmm-Bop to shame any day.

And have you heard? Backstreet’s back. As if they weren’t bad enough when they were young and cute, now they’re older and have matured as “musicians.” Riiiight.

Monday, April 18, 2005

ho-hum

I'm bored at work. I made my sales goal well before lunch and so have been slacking this afternoon because of it. I wish I were able to post pictures on here from work, but sadly that is not possible. The show is over, I am relieved to have some free time. Germany is a no-go, and tonight I'll be spending some time with the roommates watching either Wimbledon or Friday Night Lights...or BOTH- we just may be That crazy- who knows! The blog has been a little sporatic and dreary lately, so sorry about that. Maybe if I thought people were enjoying it and commenting more there'd be more of an incentive to write... but maybe if there were more interesting topics on here, more people would read and comment! ooohhh- now There's a Catch 22 if I ever heard one. Or read one I guess, if we're being technical. And we always are.

I still have yet to blog about the fantastic book I read, Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller. It is a great read, directed towards younger folks, but had so much great insight that I read it with a pen and bookmark in-hand so I could underline things as I went along. I started this book in January, put it down, and came back to it a few weeks ago and couldn't wait to read it and finish it. To anyone who is seeking examples of what it means to truly live out a life for Christ, this book puts things into perspective. One thing I will share is that the author told a story about one of his girl friends. This friend felt convicted about how much unnecessary clothing she bought, so she went an entire year without buying a single piece of new clothing to show herself- and others I suppose- how needlessly we as Americans spend our money. An entire year without buying clothes I thought. That would be an almost impossible thing for me to do- especially if one counts shoes and purses as clothing- but I decided to challenge myself and just see how long I could actually go without giving in or forgetting and buying clothes that I honestly don't need. It's been a few weeks so far, and so far so good. An interesting concept, so I'm intrigued to see what happens. How long will it take me before I feel like I HAVE to have a new pair of shoes? Or how long before I simply forget and purchase a new shirt? Those of you whom I live and work with can hold me accountable, okay?

Alrighty kids- happy Monday... it's almost time to bust out and get a healthy dose of sunshine! yippeee

Friday, April 15, 2005

out with the old, in with the new

Thank goodness for Fridays, and sunshine, and spring weather. My sparkle-meter is running low on fuel, but the angry masses are complaining that there was no blog yesterday (the angry masses of course, being my father). So here goes nothin’. There are 2 shows left of Pirates. On one hand I am so totally excited that my life will be returning to some semblance of normalcy. I will have more than one free night during the week. I will be able to focus more on my small group. I will be able to get outside and do athletic things, and heck, even just be outside when it is still light outside.

However, the end of a show is always sad. For 4 months now I have seen this group of people, my fellow cast members and crew, almost every day, and now after Saturday there are many of them that I may never see or work with on a show again! You form all these theater bonds and friendships, and suddenly just when you start to feel close, the performance run is over.

Case in point. There is one pirate who I thought was flamboyantly obnoxious at first, and thought to myself, what a drama queen- there is no way that he and I will be friends. And now, he is still flamboyant, but he does my hair every night, and we bonded the night he told me of his (honest-to-God) miraculous healing from spinal meningitis.

Another girl, my pal Ann, was introduced to me by our mutual friend Tadd. One day I had a costume emergency and the props lady said, “Amanda, who is your best friend in the cast?” because we needed another girl to aid in the fixing of the blue dress (“Where’s my blue dress? Where’s my blue dress? It’s not here, it’s not here!” “I told you to lay off the cheesy poufs.”) “Ann,” I said, without hesitation. “Awww, I’m your best friend in the show?” she said. That was our bonding moment.

Anywho- and by the way- I think that word is completely obnoxious, but it fits the mood I’m in this morning- for 4 months I have become a character, rearranged my life to fit around this character, and suddenly it’s all about to end. I hate saying goodbyes, and I hate change. I realize it’s inevitable, and that change is often a good thing, but it still doesn’t make the actual transition of changing any easier. I wish time could just fast-forward through all of that icky-transitional garbage, and suddenly, you are in your new phase of life- your new job, your new house, your new relationship, without actually having to experience the loss of one thing to gain another. A thought though- without experiencing loss, you could never experience the giddiness and excitement of starting something new either. True, the times in our lives that are upheaveled by change are the exciting times. Everything else is humdrum, routine, and boring. (Ann, that’s my deep thought for the day) So I will do my best to finish the show Saturday night sans-tears, but no promises there.

The moral of the story is that yes, change sucks. We are creatures of habit. But that it is the change that makes up appreciate the newness in life, and forces us to see what we gain by giving up the old.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

weird, wild stuff

We had a girls lunch today to celebrate a coworker’s birthday and went to Maniac’s (“She’s a Maaaaaniac- Maaaaaaaniac on the floor…”). There were 6 of us at the table and Ari was the only one who had a lid on her drink. I had actually looked for lids when mixing my superb 3-to-2 ratio blend of unsweet, sweet tea, and lemon, but didn’t see them at the drink station, so I went without. Once we realize Ari is in fact the only one with a lid for her cup, she says it’s because she’s clumsy and all the rest of us are Big girls who don’t spill their drinks. “Watch,” she says, “now one of you is going to spill yours now that I’ve said that.” And I’ll be darned if not halfway through lunch I tipped over my cup and lost my perfect blend of tea! I can’t tell you the last time I spilled something. Generally it’s not a common occurrence among adults. So did I spill it because we talked about it before hand, or would I have spilled it anyways, even if I had had a lid on my cup? Oooohhhhh, spoookkkyyyyy!! (and if a tree fell in the woods and no one was around to hear it, did it still make a sound?)

Happy Birthday Daddy B

One Sunday morning, April 13, 1952, Michael Len Bradley was born in Hickman, KY. The youngest of 3 children, Little Mikey and his family moved all over the state of Kentucky along the Ohio River where his father worked first as a barge pilot and then on the WPA-produced Ohio River dam projects (Thank you FDR for those We Piddle Around projects). Mike was a mischevious young boy who often found his way into trouble with cousin Dennis, but mostly Mike played along the river (blowing up rats with firecrackers) and played baseball where he grew to be a mean southpaw (that's a left-handed pitcher for those not in-the-know). The Bradley family finally settled in Cannelton, IN when Mike was in the 7th grade, and he stayed here until he finished out high school. Mike was a talented trumpet player in the high school marching band, played guitar in a band called the Front Cover, participated in varsity basketball, football, track, and baseball. He was voted Most attractive his senior year, and as captain of the (winless) football team was forced to kiss the homecoming queen during halftime with girlfriend Susi Huber standing by with a stopwatch to time the kiss.

He and Susi began dating right before Mike's freshman year in highschool when Susi approached him to ask him how to play a certain chord in the song by the Animals, "House of the Rising Sun." (Really, this was a ploy as Susi was a forward girl and really this was her way of meeting Mike and getting him to ask her out. The ploy must have worked. We women are so smart- making it seem like it is the guy's idea, when really we are planting those little ideas into their heads... but I digress).

Mike graduated high school and went on to Murray State University where he majored in communications and pledged the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity. Mike had the distinct honor of receiving the Chicken Sh*t Active award for being the worst hazer out of all the actives. However, hazing back then is not what it is today. Mike made the Pike pledges do fun things like clean his apartment floor with a toothbrush and memorize facts about country music singer Tom T. Hall. Girlfriend Susi followed Mike to Murray State where she "helped" him through school, and he eventually received his Bachelor's degree. Mike and Susi married in 1973 and then moved to Nashville where Mike sucessfully pursued his lifelong dream of becoming a recording engineer.

He was named Music Row Magazine's Engineer of the year 4 years in a row, and currently manages and co-owns Soundshop Recording Studios right off Music Row in dowtown Nashville.

Mike, or Dad as we call him, is a great father, always going out of his way to make his family comfortable, was a softball coach for Laura, helped construct a larger-than-life paper mache' Alligator for my 2nd grade class, and camped with us in the backyard when we were little. Now he and I talk about music and spiritual subjects, and watch Kentucky football and basketball together. Favorites include the Rolling Stones, homemade vanilla ice cream, and his 1982 Heritage Softtail model Harley Davidson.

Happy 53rd Birthday, Dad! Here's to 53 more!

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Waiting for Guffman: the reality series

It was a beautiful and sunny Tennessee Saturday, when Iain, my director, called me around 2 in the afternoon. “Ricky isn’t going to be able to sing tonight- even his speaking voice is completely gone, so I’m going to be filling in for him tonight. Just wanted to prepare you.”

Exqueeze me, What? I’m sorry Iain, I must have misunderstood you. It sounded like you said that you, in all your 60 year old, fluffy white haired glory, would be playing the part of 21 year old Fredrick tonight.

Oh yes. It actually happened. Twice. And what followed between Ann and myself were a series of Waiting for Guffman quotes backstage. (This movie is a must see for anyone who has done theater before, particularly community theater.)

All I could hear was Parker Posey saying, “Y’all, it is the day of the show,” in the part of the movie where the cast finds out that Johnny Savage cannot perform that night in “Red, White, and Blaine.” Only this time, we were doing "Pirates of Penzance," and instead of Corky St. Clair, we were stuck with Iain. There is a scene where Corky is trying to fit into Johnny’s costume, and of course it doesn’t fit (“I’m trying,” Corky says, “I’m shoving everything to the left.”). Iain luckily found a different costume to wear. There’s also a Guffman scene with Parker Posey and Corky St. Clair in their song-and- dance love scene “A Penny for your thoughts” which scarily resembled the Pirates “Stay Fredrick Stay/Oh here is love” duet in the second act between Mabel and Frederick.

I was literally living out this mockumentary and was a cheap laugh for the audience at my expense. Sunday’s performance was even worse, because not only was the audience not as forgiving and understanding, but Iain turned into a letch onstage, making goofy faces at me, trying to get me to break character, and ultimately gnawing playfully (ie. Disgustingly) at my neck at the end of the Act 1 finale, prompting me to tell him to “please be professional” in front of the entire cast backstage during intermission. He completely grossed me out. I tried my hardest to stay in character, but the entire situation was just laughable, and a DIVA can only take so much.

I know this: I will never look at "Waiting for Guffman" the same again.

Stay tuned for more stories from the Port of Penzance, as Ricky is still sick, and Iain has an understudy coming in for tomorrow night’s performance.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Happy Birthday Momma B

On April 9, 1953 in a little town on the Ohio River known as Cannelton Indiana, Susan Lee Huber was born into the world. Susan, or Susi, as she was known by family and friends, was the 3rd of 7 children. She made her theater debut in the Emperor's New Clothes at a community theater in nearby Tell City, IN, later going on to perform in her high school's production of Lil Abner. Susi was a girl scout, participated in the high school marching band, majorettes, and was a varsity cheerleader. She was suspended once in high school for her then-boyfriend Mike Bradley picking her up in the hall. Overall though, she was a good kid and rarely gave her parents any trouble. (When she did get in trouble, you can bet Mike Bradley was behind it however.) Susi always said she wanted to be a secretary and a mom when she grew up. She went on to Murray State University where she did not pledge a sorority, but was a Pi Kappa Alpha groupie known as a Pikette. (Pike Little Sis's were sluts she claims, while the Pikettes were legitimately cool girls) Susi got her associates degree, married beloved husband Mike Bradley, and moved to Nashville,TN where she lived until 1995. In '95 Susan uprooted her family and moved them across town to the snooty Bubble, aka Brentwood, TN.

Susan, or Mom as I fondly refer to her as, now works as the athletics secretary and guidance assistant at Ravenwood High School. She wears red almost as much as I wear pink, and loves Mel Gibson, JFK, Bobby Knight, Simon & Garfunkel, and that sorry excuse for a movie, Phantom of the Opera. She loves to shop at Steinmart and spend time with her girls.

She is a wonderful mother because of her willingness to sacrifice her time and energy for her daughters, and has become a terrific friend to both Laura and I. She and dad bond by going to high school sporting events together and doing yard work.

Let's give a big round of applause for Momma B who turned 52 today!!

Friday, April 08, 2005

Lover of all things pink Except...

The Pink Eye.

So I walked into the theater last night and Iain, my Scottish director pulled me aside very seriously and said, Ricky’s sick. Much to my chagrin, he told me that Ricky has strep throat (!) and pink eye (double !). Iain bought alcohol swabs and hand sanitizer, and told Ricky not to come to the theater until close to 7 that night (The show starts at 7:30, but call for the rest of us is 5:30). Not to belittle the seriousness of strep throat because I definitely don’t want that, but I am horrified and disgusted by Conjunctivitis, otherwise known to the layperson as pink eye. I contracted this dreadful taboo disease my senior year in high school from a guy I was dating at the time. The focker gave me pink eye after hanging out for the first time and eventually skipped out on my birthday party a few weeks later- the relationship fizzled shortly thereafter, but I did manage to keep his copy of Barber’s Adagio for Strings and it is the best recording of it I have ever heard. I consider it the spoils of the relationship. He gives me pink eye, I keep his limited edition Sony Classics Royal edition of a Bernstein recording.

Next to lice and worms, both of which I have been fortunate enough to never have, pink eye is third on my list of diseases that completely gross me out. I think I missed school for 3 or 4 days with pink eye my senior year because of the contagiousness of this wonky-eye-causing plague. Plus your eye gets all pink (imagine that), swollen, and cruddy. It’s absolutely nasty, and I refuse to be seen in public with it. Call me vain or considerate, but either way, you won’t see me out and about if I do end up catching this from Ricky.

Trust me, hands were washed excessively, I held my breath at every opportunity when on stage with him (but how hard this is when one is singing!), and wore my lace gloves the entire show as a protective shield. Not sure how effective any of that will be, but we’re popping vitamin c and Echinacea like it’s our job. And speaking of jobs, I must get back to mine.

Have a good weekend. Live long and prosper.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Ho_y Mo_ey!!

On my way to lunch today I told Ariana and Angela, I’m in a giddy mood. I feel like laughing. I hope we laugh a lot at lunch today.

We got on the subject of accents because I had a lady from California tell me on the phone today that I have one. "Where are you from," she said, "because you have an accent." She didn’t say it in an accusatory manner, but at the same time, I got defensive when I mentioned this customer’s comment to Joel and Ari. You DO have an accent Joel said. Come on, the guy’s from Texas. (Tex-@ss!) Your’re telling me that people from Texas don’t have accents? So a group of us are at lunch at Mexicali Grill (mmmmmm) and still talking about accents, when Ari and I tell everyone about a girl we went to school with at UK (yeah thanks I’m fine).

Michelle Napier was Miss Belle County Kentucky, a shady Pi (sorry Mary Anna!), gorgeous, but she knew it unfortunately, and had one of the thickest accents I have Ever heard. (Belle County is eastern Kentucky for your own point of reference; these are the mountain people.)

I had the pleasure of having several music classes with Michelle (prounounced Mee-Shay-ale)(and I’m not kidding), one of which was Vocal Diction. In diction we as singers learned the international phonetic alphabet (IPA for short), which is a bunch of symbols and letters for each vowel and consonant sound. The idea is if you know all the IPA symbols, you can read and pronounce words in English and any other language, even if you don’t necessarily speak the language. It sounds way more complicated than it is, I promise.

One day while working on English diction, we were IPA-ing the word “walk.” This word gave Michelle some trouble because the way she pronounces that word, she puts a Giant L in the middle of it. ie. Wa-LL-k. I explained to the lunch table today that of course the L was silent, and so for Michelle English diction in general was a real nightmare due to her thick southern accent. Joel promptly pointed out that I too have a southern accent (I still don’t see it, but whatever). "Yes," I say, "but mine’s not that bad."

What transpired next was everyone at the table laughing at the preposterous idea of a silent L. "He__o, _aura. You’re the Coo__est!" I was laughing so hard tears were welling up in my eyes, but I still maintained that there is such a thing as the Silent L! Meanwhi_e everyone e_se had a fie_d day saying Joe_ and Ange_a, and go to he__.

However, not too _ong after _unch I received this emai_ from Joe_ titled Ho_y Mo_ey:

FULL CREDIT, Amanda! Look at that pronunciation!

-J

walk (wôlk, wôk)
v. walked, walk·ing, walks
v. intr.
1. To move over a surface by taking steps with the feet at a pace slower than a run: a baby learning to walk; a horse walking around a riding ring.
2.
a. To go or travel on foot: walked to the store.
b. To go on foot for pleasure or exercise; stroll: walked along the beach looking for shells.
c. To move in a manner suggestive of walking: saw a woodpecker walking up the tree trunk.
3. To conduct oneself or behave in a particular manner; live: walks in majesty and pride.
4. To appear as a supernatural being: The specter of famine walks through the land.
5. Slang.
a. To go out on strike.
b. To resign from one's job abruptly; quit.
c. To be acquitted: The alleged killer walked.
6.
a. Baseball. To go to first base after the pitcher has thrown four pitches ruled as balls.
b. Basketball. To move illegally while holding the ball; travel.
7. Obsolete. To be in constant motion.

Good to know. Now we can stop sending e-mai_s to one another.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

A funny thing happened on the way to the stage…

Pirates is in full-blown swing right now… only 7 more performances to go! It sounds like a ton, but I am loving the opportunity I’ve been given to be on stage again. Mostly I’ve had good shows. I’ve felt good about my performances with a few small exceptions.

I missed an entrance cue on opening night, trying play it off once I came onstage, but trust me, it hasn’t happened again. One night last weekend I blanked out on my words and started singing Ricky’s lyrics before getting back on track with my own. Really nobody but Ricky and I would know the difference though there, so not a total crisis. And Praise the Lord, I have not fallen down the stairs yet- (and that is a Big Yet!)- so that’s a blessing. I tell you, it’s tough to carry a parasol, hold up a dress, and sing while walking down rickety stairs. (The things we put ourselves through as actors- oh, the horrible injustice!) Speaking of parasols though, I did have a slight scare with that on Friday night I think it was. At the end of “Poor Wandering One” I put the parasol back up for the end of the song, and my lace glove got caught in the metal clasp-thingie at the top, so I panicked momentarily, then finished the song with one hand holding the parasol at the bottom, and the other at the top where it was caught. Luckily, after the song was through I was able to pry my glove out without too much trouble!

And finally, topping our list of funny/panicked moments during the Pirates of Penzance (or Pissants, as my boss Joel would say): yesterday I resisted all of the snacks that people had brought to munch on backstage. Any Diva knows that eating candy and chips before going onstage is a no-no. For one, it makes your breath stink, and two, you get all that garbage stuck in your teeth and coating your throat before you have to sing. Well by the end of the afternoon I was hungry and the willpower just wasn’t there. I had been eyeing this bag of cheesy-poufs for a while, and the bright orange bag began to stare at me. Fine, I said! I’ll just have one. It was almost the end of the last act, and all of my by singing stuff was through for the most part. So I hastily grabbed the bag and allowed the crunchy cheesy goodness to melt in my mouth. Immediately I was reminded why I do not ever buy them: you can’t eat just one. Suddenly it became my mission to finish the 10 cheese poufs that were left in the ginormous bag. Unfortunately though, the Major-General’s solo was already going on, and it was just about time to make our final entrance. Horrified, I realized I was going to have to go onstage with cheese poufs stuck in my teeth! I quickly swished with water and luckily saw that there were no visible remnants of my guilty pleasure, but back in my molars there was definitely some there. No big deal I thought- by the time I have to sing my Poor Wandering One reprise I’ll have the gunk out. This meant that while I was onstage I had to slowly and cautiously maneuver my tongue to get the crud out of the crevices. It’s a big crowd scene- no one will notice. WRONG! It was the first thing my mom and my friend Jenni said to me after the show! “Did you eat something right before you went onstage??” I’d been Caught orange-handed. (No literally- those things turn your fingers orange.) So much for being sly.

PS- I know I got some complaints yesterday for not having blogged in several days (you know who you are.) but let me just say that it was not my fault- the blogger website was down and would not let me post a new blog yesterday. Time permitting, I'll post another one later today. If not, deal with it, because unlike my former job, I don't get paid unless I work at this job! :o)