Wednesday, March 24, 2010

10 things to be happy about today! (And a bonus SOTD!)

1. The sun is shining in Seattle and the forecast says it's going to be in the 70's by the afternoon. Picnic, anyone??

2. One of my favorite people in the world, Miss Laura Macfie, turns 24 today!! Happy birthday, Macfie!! If I was in DC, I'd definitely be raising my glass of firefly & lemonade to you!

3. Speaking of birthdays, my friends Liz and Kim are celebrating theirs this weekend with a Havana-themed celebration. And I'm making this cake. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

4. Mom is coming to visit in 15 days! I can't wait to hug my momma!

5. Speaking of mommas, I'm about to book a flight to go visit my sweet nephew Oliver and his momma, Chelsea. Seriously can't wait.

6. My bracket still has its national championship picks in place. Hang in there Kentucky & Kansas State! I need this money to pay next month's rent.

7. My tickets just came for the Conan OBrien "Legally Prohibited from Being Funny on Television Tour." So excited to see CoCo!

8. I just got an internship for the summer at Seattle Children's Theatre! Three months making plays with kids? Yes, please!

9. I'm going to one of my favorite Seattle favorite restaurants, Toulouse for happy hour tonight to celebrate yet another birthday (July 1985 was a busy month, apparently). Happy Birthday, Norah! Can't wait to eat fried chicken gumbo in your honor!

10. She & Him's new album Volume 2 is streaming for free this month on NPR's First Listen. And I'm going to be seeing them on Memorial Day at Sasquatch. Which brings me to today's Song of the Day (and my new favorite music video): "In the Sun," by She and Him. Oh Zooey Deschanel, you are adorable.

She & Him - In The Sun from Merge Records on Vimeo.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Great is thy faithfulness.

I've been trying to control my life in a big way lately, but to no avail. The harder I work to keep things together, the more things fall apart.

Monday was my breaking point. The carpet in my apartment was covered in a mountain of dirty laundry, junk mail, and all the other things I haven't had time to sort in months, and my brain was equally scattered. I was supposed to have my lines memorized for that night's rehearsal and every page was a blur. And then my Mom called. Naturally, I burst into tears. And collapsed on the nearest pile of clothes. And wailed for two hours. And like he's done over and over again in my life, God met me there. On the floor of my bedroom. Using a dirty t-shirt to sop up my snot.

But the amazing thing about God is this: though he brings us to the edge sometimes (and I do believe that the edge is where we have to be to really meet him), he never just leaves us there. Time and time again, he picks us up off the floor, wipes the snot off our face, and wraps us in his loving arms. And every time his embrace feels a little stronger.

Through all this, I'm learning that at the root of my control-freak-ness is this mistaken belief that God doesn't know better than I do. That the things he wants for me are not as good as the things I can get for myself.

But the truth is, God is not out to get me. He's out to bless me. And his blessings, though they're never what I expect, are richer, better than anything I could have ever come up with on my own.

I'm living on 200 dollars a week right now. Plus food stamps. And in two months, I start yet another internship (only for the summer, though--then I swear I'm kicking the habit!) where I'll be making even less. To the naked eye, my life doesn't look very blessed. But "I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." (Phil. 4:13)

And he is strengthening me.

In so many ways.

I came west to grow, to find how far God's arms could stretch. And almost a year after making the decision, I find myself floored by the height and depth of his love for me.

"I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God."

Ephesians 3:16-19

Friday, March 5, 2010

Fist Pump

Usually I like it when I see my alma mater getting some press. But from Perez Hilton?? Lord have mercy. I think my degree just got downgraded.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Oh, Canada

So.. if you didn't get it from my photos last post, I guess I'll go ahead and spell it out for you. Bright and early on Sunday morning, four of my fellow Seattle Reptiles (that's employees of Seattle Repertory Theatre, for those of you not down with the lingo!) and I piled into my car and drove two and a half hours to Vancouver, BC for the final day of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games.

The trip was a pretty last minute idea. I'd been watching bits and pieces of the Olympics and wishing I'd made plans to go up, but I figured that since all of the hotels were completely booked (and I'm too poor to afford a hotel stay anyway), I'd missed the boat. But then it occurred to me: given Seattle's close proximity to Canada, I could totally make a day trip of it!

So I e-mailed a few friends and we all dragged our butts out of bed at dawn to get on the road by 6:30 (note the sunrise in the foreground of the picture below).

After a pit-stop at McDonalds (where they no longer serve southern style chicken biscuits apparently!! RACISTS!) we crossed the border and landed in the 'couve by 9:30.

For those of you who weren't following the Olympics this year, you should know that Sunday was the day of the USA vs. Canada gold medal hockey game. And since hockey is pretty much Canada's national sport, people were already lined up outside of every bar in town, staking out a spot to watch the game. We picked a line on Granville street (the major nightlife thoroughfare) and hoped for the best.

At around 11, the bouncer at the Olympia Bar and Grill (how suitable, eh?) started letting people through his velvet rope. Unfortunately, we were not in the chosen few and were stuck standing wistfully at the patio railing.

Which brings me to the most ridiculous/amazing moment of the whole trip. On the drive in, while blaring some Party in the USA, we'd made a nice little sign to hold in the window...

My friend Antoinette had pinned the sign to her bag and was showing it off/using it to heckle a table of Canadians (all in good fun, of course..) when all of a sudden a (very attractive) Canadian man runs out of the bar, steals the sign, runs back into the haven of the bar patio (where we are not allowed to follow) and proceeds to LIGHT OUR SIGN ON FIRE.

In the meantime, someone (wink wink) was busy smooth talking the bouncer, and managed to score us three coveted seats in the patio. So the five of us rotated in and out of the bar for the duration of the game, taking turns drinking beer and avoiding fire code violations.

I'll be honest and say that I've never been much of a hockey fan. But the game and the spirit that surrounded it were both pretty amazing. And when the U.S. scored that second goal with 25 seconds left on the clock, my heart was racing (though that could be because of the fact that I was starting to imagine myself being ripped limb from limb by a mob of bloodthirsty Canadians). When Canada won, the whole city erupted.

After a chorus of Oh, Canada (note the slightly embarrassed, slightly amused, and slightly tipsy expression on my face in the above video), the victors took to the streets and Vancouver became a sea of red.

Honestly, I was happy that Canada won the game. The US definitely didn't just give the win away, so we could still walk around with some pride, but if we had won, the atmosphere in the city would not have been this exciting (and I may not have made it out alive).

The rest of the day was full of so many random adventures and hilarious moments that it would take way too long to run through them all, but I'll at least give you a top 10:

1. The company. I could not have picked a better group of girls to travel with.

2. A Bobsled Photo Op. Feel the rhythm, feel the rhyme...

3. The Olympic Cauldron! (and the gorgeous mountain range behind it):

4. Canadian flags EVERYWHERE!

5. The most delicious (and expensive) crepe I've ever had in my life. (9 dollars for a skinny pancake! Seriously, Canada?? If I weren't so addicted to Nutella, I might put up a fight on that)

6. Canadian Beer. Yes, please.

7. Canadian Men.

8. This Sign.

9. The closing ceremony fireworks --LIVE. Please ignore the fact that when I get excited I end up talking with a lisp.

10. The best (and most frightening??) souvenir i have ever purchased in my life .
Yep, those are moose. As mittens. Jealous?

All in all, it was the trip of a lifetime. Hooray for spontaneity.

Monday, March 1, 2010

You'll never guess where I was today.

Ok, I'll give you a few clues...

And now I am out like a light. Details to come very soon though--I promise!