Wedding Stuff

I totally found the place where the wedding is to be. It's a bit out of town, and a little on the smaller side but those are minor flaws. The woman who runs the place is a genius, she's very theatrical and her designs and decor are out of this world.

Eh, I'm rambling, let me begin again.

The venue is called "A Frog Prince" or and it's about 30 miles outside of Kansas City. It's basically a B&B/Restaurant that does weddings. The woman in charge of the place is also the resident artist. She has crafted this house and grounds into a kinda Renfesty atmosphere. There's an outdoor area with a lovely arbor to get married under, a lovely little pond, and beautifully landscaped nooks and crannies. Inside, the bridal prep room is one the the most gorgeously decorated rooms I have ever seen, it's full of light, done in grass green with pewter accents and is absolutely sumptuous. I'll probably take the wedding pictures there. The rest of the place is done in a sort of deluxe 1940's style---everything black and white an silver. It's easy to see that she really prefers these colors, but she seems very flexible. She said that she has a large stock of flowers and drape in all different colors. The place where the reception will be is an outbuilding. What I found most appealing is that it's basically a shed. It has a concrete floor and walls, there's a bar and tables and stuff, but---and this is very important, when she showed it to me it was halfway dressed for a wedding in a few days. I could see what the shed looked like, and what it was going to look like when finished. It was incredible. She drapes and swags all the walls and designs the centerpieces and it's completely customizable and looks so lovely. As a theatre professional I absolutely appreciated going from a bare stage to something that looks completely finished and gorgeous especially under the right lighting, and I can't think of a better venue for two stage hands. Another great thing about the venue is its affordability. She does the food, cake, china, silverware, linens, centerpieces, decorations, wedding and reception for one price. The minister is included. There's even a decent sound system.

I am very excited to finally nail down a date!

July 20th 2009.
  • Current Mood
    over the moon

The Great Western Tour 2008

Well, we leave on Sunday.

We're going to drive up to South Dakota, camp there and spend a day at the badlands and Devil's Tower. Then we'll drive to Montana and spend two days with the Swanniks--some of Greg's oldest and dearest friends. They live near Missoula. Another day of driving will take us to Oregon where we'll spend five days paddling and visiting with friends both his and mine. Around August 7th we'll drive down the California coast communing with the redwood trees, stop in San Francisco for some good chinese food. The next day we cut east to Nevada and spend two days with my folks. After that, it's over the Rockies, through Kansas and back home.

Two more days and I feel healthy as a horse. I have been running, trying to get in decent shape to keep up with greg mountain biking.

I am really looking forward to this trip being everything I wanted the Tahoe trip to be. Fresh air, sunshine, hiking, paddling and biking.

Let it be, let it be.
  • Current Mood
    grateful grateful


Trying to update more. I did MySpace, and I don't mind, because it makes it easy to find the bands I like in town and see who's playing where on any given evening, tried Facebook and got caught up in the shiny interface and cute little apps, but I think at the end of the day, I'm a LiveJournal person. I like being tucked away here, hard to find by the people I see and work with everyday, typing out my thoughts semi-anonymously.

One thing I have been considering is making a different livejournal for some of my thoughts. Less a day to day/theatre review/travel blog like this one, and more of a, "here is an interesting thought I had, what does the world think of it". I would make it a different livejournal because some of the things I want to write about are contrversial, and I am not interested in getting negative messages here on my real journal.

Of course it might not go well. Generally I think up brilliant and witty thoughts when I am at work with no one to share them with, and dry up when I get home in front of a keyboard, but perhaps with practice, that won't happen so much.

Taken from my MySpace Blog

Current mood: determined

Not much to say. June is going to be very busy. I'm designing a show and cramming it into a full schedule at the Folly. I don't expect to be hanging out or having much fun in the month of June.

July though, July is another matter.
July 1st through the 8th my nephew is coming to visit. I have such plans!! We are going to take a train to St. Louis to see the arch and City Museum. City Museum is just about the coolest place in the United States in my opinion. We will be going to Oceans of Fun, taking a tour through the Kansas City Star's printing presses, going to the College Basketball Experience, seeing the Bodies exhibit, mountain biking, and of course, blowing up fireworks on the 4th of July. I am really looking forward to it.

Then in late July Greg and I are taking off. We're driving to Oregon by way of the badlands, Mt. Rushmore, and Devils Tower. We are stopping in Montana to visit friends. We will paddle a few days in Oregon, visit more friends, then drive down the coast of Northern California. We will brave the backroads of Nevada, stop and visit my parents, then come up over the Rockies, through Kansas and back home again.

I'm very excited.

02 Jun 2008

Update to the Update
Current mood: blissful

City Museum is having sleepover night on July third!!!! We get to spend the whole night!! I am SO buying tickets for me, Greg, and Jake.

26 May 2008

The suspense is over
Current mood: accomplished

For those of you waiting in suspense to know what my Christmas tree design is this year, I finally have it

(trumpet flourish)

The Santa Tree.
Every ornament on this tree will be a Santa figurine.

That is all. But before I go, let me take a moment to fondly remember other Christmas tree triumphs of the past.

The edible tree
The origami tree
The ribbon tree
The chandelier tree
The dried flower tree
and, most famously,
The wedding tree.

Next year, I promise, the electronic components tree. I just need a coupla years to collect stuff.

19 May 2008
Sound effects

Went to a very big Civil War Reenactment yesterday with the 722. Impersonated a press person, got escorted off the battlefield---normal for one of my sound gathering expeditions.

(To get the sounds I want I use an off-the-cuff combination of really nice airhead, and better-to-beg-forgiveness. If I think asking someone will get me closer to the sounds I want, I ask. If not, I just go after the sounds and if I get caught I play dumb and really nice.)

Highlights include a really irritated horse from about two feet away. A brigade marching by, and some decent artillery.

One thing I don't understand. I did the medieval recreation thing for some years and the whole point was to sort of lose yourself in the time. I guess that must not be a priority for the Civil War guys. They ran bus service 10 past the battlefield all day long. Not to mention to water trucks, motorized golf carts. . . . it was incredibly noisy. OTOH I suppose they do more of the other stuff after hours.

In other SFX news. I recently got some good recordings of ballet classes and pointe shoes on marley.

MySpace is sneaking up on me

I know I haven't posted here for a while. Apparently I only have so much posting goodness inside of me, and when it is used up it is all gone. I have been posting on MySpace, and alas, not here. I think I will begin copying over the stuff from there so I can have witty and entertaining stuff over here too.

I have been pretty busy living life. I can't even begin to describe what it feels like to me. It's summer and for the first summer In three years, I am not sick with some mysterious debilitating virus that effectively turns me into an invalid. I can be out! I can mountain bike and learn to kayak and go on hikes! I can take extra projects and do things with Greg! It's warm and sunny and I feel light and free.

So. . . . .yeah. Just happy to have a good life.

Too much

I am growing rapidly alarmed at both the amount of books I have moved to Greg's house, and the amount of books yet to be moved to Greg's house. The built-in bookshelves in the office really did me in. Although I have moved 10 bookshelves to Greg's house, I really can't pry the built-in's from the wall and take them with me now, can I?
  • Current Mood


Whew! It was quite a vacation! We arrived in Mesquite on the 30th, and spent the evening resting, relaxing, and playing with my nephew Jake, who was visiting my parents.

On the 31st Greg, me and Jake drove to Valley of Fire National Monument and hiked for four hours. I tried my hand at identifying desert flora for Greg (Mohave desert is quite a bit drier with less diversity than Sonoran desert). We looked at petroglyphs, played hot lava with Jake, made believe we were walking on Mars and hiked deep into one rugged canyon just in time to see the sun set and light up the red and yellow sandstone.

We went out to dinner and a movie that night.

The next day, New Year's, we drove to Hoover Dam and took the tour. We actually got to go down into the dam and look out the side of it. We got to see the generators in the powerplant and we were innundated with facts and figures. For example: Lake Mead is the largest man-made lake in the country. It is capable of holding 28 million acre feet of water. The generators in the dam produce more than four billion kilowatt hours a year. However, the docents took great pains to explain that although the sale of electricity since 1936 has more than paid for the cost of the dam, generation of power is ancillary to the reservoir and flood control functions of the dam. Simply put, electricity is a mere by-product. On the day we visited, only four of the 17 generators were running because they were only releasing a minimal amout of water.
We got to see models of how the generators work, and walk in one of the four original diversionary tunnels, left over from when they built the dam. I also got the answer to a question that has been bothering me for years, "What happens to the fish"? It turns out that the intakes for the turbines are located 250 feet under water, and the fish in Lake Mead only swin to a depth of about a hundred feet, generally.

Anyway, it was a fun trip.

On the 2nd Greg and I got up and drove to Brian Head in Utah to ski. I have limited knowlege of ski resorts as I have only skiied one other time, and that was last winter at Snow Creek here in Missouri (an eeny weeny hill). Forging ahead through my ignorance, I dare to say, that Brian Head is a really cool place to ski. There are two mountains linked by lifts. One is almost entirely easy and intermediate, and the other is intermediate/expert. Since it was not the weekend, the place was uncrowded, rates were reasonable, lines were short, and I got a lot of practice.

Poor Greg was very patient with me. I took a turn or two down the lower slopes and then demanded we go all the way up. When we got to the edge and looked down, I froze. He had to talk me down the mountain. It took half an hour. One thing that really helped, other than Greg's tireless paitience and understanding, was watching the three and four-year-olds who were taking lessons. They skiied all the way down, fearlessly, no poles. I kept telling myself I could do better than a four-year-old and eventually I got going. The next trip down was a little slow, but by the third time, I was whizzing along. Towards the end of the day, Greg and I split up. I wanted him to have a chance to have some fun without babysitting me. So he went off to the intermediate slopes, and I kept practicing, up and down the mountain. I fell once or twice, nothing serious, until the last run. Those damned kids did me in. So there I was hurtling down the mountain, and I wanted to drop some speed. Unfortunately, I couldn't make any wide sweeping turns because there were six or eight kids spaced out along this steep part all along the edges and I didn't want to hit them. So my turns were pretty narrow and I wasn't killing speed. Finally, I decided to just brake as hard as I could and right at that instant my ski caught on something and I went bouncing and cartwheeling down the mountain. I know I was very entertaining for the people on the chairlift right above me because when I finally slid to a stop on my back they told me so, with cheers and applause.

At that point there were about ten minutes until the lift closed. I finished going on down, but decided that was my last trip for the day.

I really enjoyed skiing, and can't wait to go again! Some things Greg and I learned: Brian Head is about 2 hours from my parent's house. We played it safe and rented a room in Cedar City which was a good deal because the motel offered a decent ski package. However, on future trips, we decided we can just drive, ski, and drive home and save that money. We did love our motel which is the Crystal Inn, Cedar City. They had a lot of amenities, free internet terminals in the lobby, hot tub, snack store, friendly staff, excellent hot breakfast free, etc.

One thing we really enjoyed was the restaurant attached to the motel, called the Bard something or other. Cedar City, Utah is home of the Utah Shakespearean Festival, which does some really good theatre. It's winter now, and they are between seasons, but as a result of the town's exploitation of all things Bard related, our motel has a British food, Shakespeare-themed restaurant attached to it.

As a rule, despite both heritage and upbringing (my mother is British, I was born in England, and spent considerable time there as a child), I cannot stand British cuisine. Living in Germany for nine years gave me a taste for an undending diet of pork, onion, and potato, probably helped alot by my paternal genes, but the British food just didn't take. I watched in horror as Greg worked his way through a huge plate of bangers and mash, but I chose the American and very tasty, pasta dish.

Looking over the menu, the food for the most part seemd very authentic; there were pastys and shepards pie, trifle and bread pudding. I did order the scones for dessert and enjoyed them tremendously, despite the lack of cream. They were big lumps of dough with jam and butter, and seemd authentic enough. I swiped a menu for my mother in case she ever goes to Cedar City.

The next morning we drove to Zion National Park one of the most beautiful parks in the country. I have camped there before and dream of doing so again. Now that my parents live so close, I will be packing my tent when I come to visit. In summer the main drive is closed to vehicles. Shuttles only ferry people through the park. In winter the road is open so we drove the main sceninc drive of Zion. We hiked the Emerald Pools trail, some three miles each way, I think.

The trail takes you by the lower, middle, and upper pools, and is a sort of a loop. The first trail took us to the lower pool, after which the trail was closed because to continue further would be to walk under a frozen waterfall that was dropping pieces of ice as big as my head. We hiked back to the parking lot and started the trail again, this time going left instead or right. That trail enabled us to see all three levels, and I am very glad it did. Three miles later and several hundreds of feet up, we came to the upper pool where the water initially seeps out of the rock. It was all frozen; the water hanging in huge icicles four to six feet in length about a hundred and fifty feet above us. Because of the warmth of the day, the icicles were melting and breaking. About every two or three minues, one would snap off and plumment to the ground below. The crash bang echoed off of the rocks around. It was very riveting. We spent at least half an hour sitting and watching. In all that time we had the little box canyon all to ourselves. It was perfect.

That evening we spent with my folks. Dad, and Greg, Jake and I went to the movies, while mom stayed at home. This whole trip, the scheduling was working out really nice. My dad has been working nights, so Greg and I do our little day trips and get home right about the time Dad is waking up. We spend the evening with him and Mom for about five hours, and then he goes to work and we go to bed.

But now we were embarking on a bit of a road trip. The morning of the fourth we get in the car and drove to Flagstaff, a five hour drive. Mom and Jake drove to Phoenix, a six hour drive. Once in Flag, we got a room and I got to see my best friend from high school, Amy. We spent the afternoon with her before my mom arrived from Phoenix with Jake and Patricia. We all went out for dinner together, then hit the sack. In the morning, mom headed back to Mesquite whilst Patricia, Jake, Greg, and I go play in the snow. We drove out of Flag in the middle of a snowstorm to one of the area's snowplay places. The kids sledded, and we all got in a snowball fight, then we headed back into town to the Lowell Observatory to take the tour. Greg and I had hoped to go the evening before when they opened their 24 inch telescope to the public for viewing, but the storm was already moving in by that point and it was too cloudy to observe. It's a small hill from downtown to Lowell observatory, but it was not plowed and Greg and I both had opportunities to nearly go off the road!

After the tour we drove to Phoenix with Jake and Patriciato drop them off and visit my sister. Debi had to work late that night unfortunately, but I cooked dinner (schnitzel) and invited Matt and his girlfriend over. We made a merry evening. My sis got home around nine and we spent some time together before bed.

So up the next morning and back to Mesquite. Nothing of note there except between Kingman and Hoover dam on 93, Greg and I left the freeway searching for a ghost town. We didn't find it, but after some hiking we ame across an abandoned mine and expored a bit.

On the 7th we rested. We meant to go to St. George and rent mountain bikes, but all the driving caught up with us. Instead we explored the desert behind my parent's house. My parents live on the Nevada-Arizona borderand the fence of their backyard is the state line. That part of Arizona is BLM land, so as soon as that line is crossed it goes from town immediatly to desert for miles. We hiked around for an hour or two. That night my parents took Greg and I out to dinner to celebrate our engagement. The restaurant was a very swanky steakhouse. Dinner was amazing. I had tempanade bruschetta for the appetizer, and filet mignon for the main meal. The chef even cooked it enough for a change! Dad chose the wine and it was excellent. Dessert was chocolate mousse with whipped cream and a chambord sauce.

God I love food.

The next day we got on a plane and came home.

The End.

The Best Christmas Ever

The best Christmas ever started almost a week ago, although I didn't know it at the time.
It was a typical day, nothing out of the ordinary except a little surprise Greg concocted. He hustled me out of the living room with orders not to return until he called for me. A few minutes later, I returned to find that he had purchased four stockings, two regular-sized red and white ones, labeled "Greg" and "Donna" in gold paint and two mini red and green stockings labeled "Squeaky" and "Cricket", and hung them up. I thought that he was being so cute! We rushed out to buy stocking stuffers for the cats.

A day or two later, I placed some Christmas goodies in his stockings and called him up to tell him not to poke or look at his stocking as the goodies weren't wrapped. He pointed out that my stocking had also grown a suspicious looking bulge and then the conversation devolved into a silly discussion about the parameters of how I could look at my stocking, which made us both giggle ("You can touch the stocking, but only with two fingers, open palm, no squeezing or lifting") but would probably bore you, dear reader. I touched, no, I fondled the stocking, concluded it was big, warm, fuzzy socks and moved on.

So we get to Christmas Eve. We both work all day, get home, shower; I make a nice Christmas Eve dinner. (Glazed Ham, Potatoes au Gratin, new peas, cucumber salad, wine, and a medley of berries swimming in eggnog), and we wine and dine. I spent a week teasing him into letting me open one present on Christmas Eve, while he was pushing for opening the stockings, but I wasn't interested in those because I knew he got me socks, and I got him pastries and candy. So we open a present each, and after the paper tearing, cats playing, oohing and aahing and appropriate thanks I ask him if he wants to go ahead and do the stockings. Cool as a cucumber(exclamation points in retrospect!!!!!!!) he says "nah, we can wait until morning", but he eventually changes his mind and we get the stockings down off the hooks. His is barely in his hands when I pull out the socks, prepared to admire (I love socks). But wait, what is this lump in my socks? I'm feeling the lump not even noticing him manuvuering me around so that the chair is behind me, and right about the time I pull out a little box he pushes me into the chair, gets down on his knees and proposes.

So after a blissful evening, (during which time his stocking eventually gets opened) we awake bright and early Christmas morning to do presents. I think it's funny that Greg and I both have the same habit of writing down who gave us exactly what so that we can remember months and years later who to be grateful to for each gift. For Christmas Greg bought for me:

An iPod Classic
An iPod docking station/clock radio
a scarf
a fleece neck warmer
waterproof ski pants
dress socks
cabin socks (we are planning on going skiing next week).

I got Greg:

A new DVD player (his broke)
3 pairs of pants
a cyclocross DVD called "Pure Sweet Hell'
A book of cyclocross tips and techniques
a DVD called "Sing Faster". It's a documentary of the San Francisco Opera doing the Ring Cycle, shot from the stagehand's point of view.
an astronomy handbook to keep in the car with star and galaxy charts.

There's more. For Christmas we drove down to Lake of The Ozarks to visit Greg's father. We wee able to give him the happy news. For Christmas Greg got him a TV DVD combo, and I brought along a six pack of DVD musicals, which he really seemed to enjoy. We spent the night down there and got back to day. On the 30th we leave for Nevada, my family, and skiing.


how did I get so lucky?
  • Current Mood
    ecstatic ecstatic