Monday, October 31, 2011

Stick This In Your Nose

I've been battling something lately. I'm not sure if it's allergies, a cold, or a virus...but it's kicking my hiney at any given moment of any given day, and has been doing so for three weeks or so. After a few random sick days, I finally went to the doctor, only to be told that they're not sure what to do for me (they gave me a new allergy medicine which has done squat; I usually take Zyrtec, and still do), but to let them know if it finally turns into a sinus infection. No fever, no green boogers (sorry), deal with it. They were more pleasant than that, but she was truly stumped. I'm starting to get annoyed.

So, on the way home from rehearsal last night, I finally picked up one of these guys...

There was much debate between the store brand (which advertised itself as all-natural) and this Arm & Hammer version (which includes, what else, baking soda in with the saline solution). I finally threw my hands up and went with the hubby's idea - this version said there'd be less stinging. I'm not sure if the "all natural" one would have stung, but I figured this wouldn't hurt to try. Pun intended.

I asked Dave to take some video of me using it, but he politely declined. He WAS, however, quite excited to see it work. I'll bet he was. Oh, and he was quite disappointed to hear that we'll need to buy a separate one for him when he gets sick - can't share those germies.

In case you've never heard of a Neti Pot, you put warm water in, along with some saline powder, then tilt your head over a sink (yes, this gets gross) and pour half of the contents into one nostril while it pours out your other nostril. Repeat with other side.

It. Feels. Weird. Not painful, just weird. I'd do it again. It was just such a surreal feeling. Some of the phrases I uttered:"eeeeeeewwwww!!! Ew. Ew. Ew." and "my brain is drowning!" and "that's all that went through?" It was interesting to find out that I could talk while pouring.

Unfortunately, my nose was pretty clear when I tried it out. It's supposed to help clear allergens, yuckiness, and sinus issues, so I'll keep working on it. I WANT THIS TO WORK SO BADLY I CAN TASTE IT. It'd be awesome to turn to this when I'm feeling under the weather rather than filling myself with corn syrup cough remedies and drowsy pills. So, I'll give you a report after using it when I feel crappier. :-)

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Sunday Supper: Butternut Quinoa

We were supposed to have a double rehearsal for "Arsenic and Old Lace" this afternoon (running through the show twice), but luckily it went so well the first time, we got to go home. Woohoo! Score. It's like going to class and having the professor not show up for >10 minutes.

I'm not sure what I would've made for dinner if we were getting out later, but it was nice to have some time to research a few recipes and make something healthy. Let's just say I'm not sure what dinner will look like this week; not McDonald's, at least, but I'm not sure WHAT.

So, what'd I make? This:

Butternut and Quinoa Pilaf

  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 14-ounce can reduced-sodium chicken broth, or vegetable broth
  • 1 3/4 cups water
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups cubed peeled butternut squash, (3/4-inch cubes) (see Tip)
  • 1/3 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring often, until softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add broth, water, barley and squash; bring to a simmer, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until the barley and squash are tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed, about 45 minutes. Add parsley, lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper; mix gently.

It came out surprisingly well! Plus, it was borderline vegetarian (except for that darn chicken, organic, and low sodium, though). The recipe originated here (which also happens to be a magazine that I received as a Christmas gift and really like), but I switched out the barley for some quinoa. It upped the protein quotient...besides, I didn't have any barley around. Dave really liked it, saying that he thought it was filling but light at the same time. I was pleased that the squash didn't turn out to taste If you know what I mean. You'd think something with a name like "butternut" would taste sexy and smooth, but not s'much. In this case, however, it worked!

Now, what to do with my acorn squash....

Oh, and here's a little irrelevant lovefest I thought I'd share. It's rare for Beardslee to use the couch when we're on it (plus, moments earlier he was kneading Dave's belly...hasn't done that in a long time). Awww, my boys.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Passion for Programs

On one hand, I do lots at the theater. On the other hand, I do nothing compared to several very dedicated folks. But I thought I'd give you a glimpse into what I DO do there because, well, I'm the only one on the board with a blog...or at least a blog that indicates any relation whatsoever to our crazy "little theater".

Just as an example, I give you this evening, less than one week prior to our latest show's opening. My husband and I are both glued to our laptops. He's working on work stuff (a house exploded, scary stuff). I'm working on the program. (More often than not, though, Dave's working on theater stuff since he's the president; I'm merely the secretary. We both agree that the role of treasurer is, arguably, the most work-intensive and thankless of all duties...I said arguably.) Here's a glimpse:

"Programs" isn't something that the secretary is necessarily "supposed" to do. (Yes, we have by-laws, although they don't necessarily lay out everything that we each have to do. It's just kind of "known". Things tend to evolve that way when you've been going strong for nearly 90 years.) But, being the sick person that I am, I enjoy design and fonts and a general consistency, so at some point I had a lapse in sanity and offered to do programs for every show of the season. It's okay, though, generally. After the first show of the season I can generally just plug in the new show info and players, keeping all of the ads (which Dave and I solicit) in place. The first one of the year is kind of a pain, though, and this just happens to be that kind. Joy!

I think I may be a control freak. The programs used to be quite different from one show to the next, and oftentimes included photocopied ads. While I sometimes get the occasional pixelation (I think I made a word), having everything as a computer file is so much simpler and easier to work with than the "old way". Plus, audiences can expect consistency from one program to the next...if they even care....

We're finally learning how to cut back on expenses and order only what we need for the first weekend; if we need more, I order them the Monday before the final weekend performance. Oh, another thing this reminds me about! We get them through Staples now. Sounds basic, right? We do the same for membership cards, newsletters, and a million other things. The best thing about doing the Staples thing, though? Stapling. Collating. Folding. We used to do all, all, ALL of that at the theater. I can't count how many times I'd arrive with my hair in curlers only to pitch in in the lobby sorting and stapling pages of the program. Yeah, this really is a special sort of place. :-)

I do get a strange enjoyment out of using to download fun fonts (duh...hence the name) to give an appropriate feel to the program, such as with the title of "Arsenic and Old Lace" above. Frilly, appropriately creepy - it just sets the mood. Here's another way that I like to sneak a little Meg personalization...

Can you make it out? "Help us go green and cut costs"? Yep, that's all me. I experienced it at a stage in (where else) Ithaca, NY and had to implement it. It's probably one of the only green things about the place (aside from our new furnace and A/C, which is Energy Star rated), but I try. ;-)

So that's one thing other than maintaining minutes, doing correspondence, creating newsletters (wow, there's really SO much more than is in our job descriptions!), and acting that I do at the theater. Like I said, lots of people do lots more - where do you think the toilet paper and comes from? And who gets called when we have an attempted break-in or vandalism? Yep.

If you're ever in the Mohawk Valley, double-check our web site and see if there's a show going on. It'll definitely make for an entertaining night, and no visitor to our little theater ever forgets the experience. Now I'm off to enjoy some mindless magazine-reading. Dave and I agree that any heavy reading (y'know...the kind that makes you learn or gives you suggestions on how to live a better life) has to wait until a show's over. Those lines don't allow room for much else in the ol' noggin.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Blog Cliches

With all the blogs I waste hours of my life reading read, it's hard not to pick up some of the language that the ladies use. (Seriously, 99% of the blogs I read are written by chicks. It is what it is.) While I do my best to maintain my own language, it's only natural to be influenced. And, honestly, I'm pretty darn good at mimicry. If I was actually a good actress, I'd be better than darn good, but I do what I can. ;-)

So, let's see some of these oft-used blog cliches that I happen to really like, which we will inevitably be snickering at in less than 12 months with the arrival of even cooler (ie more ridiculous) terms...

- Evah. As in, "It was the best day evah!" I suppose these are all examples of just fun conversational writing, which I'm not necessarily knocking. I've read a couple of scathing, over-indulgent blog posts shooting down much of what I truly love about reading and writing blogs. I want to hear the person's voice. If they're spelling correctly (or mis-spelling for the sake of silliness, as in "evah"), I'm happy. Heck, I even love one blogger who is notorious for accepting and self-deprecating her misspellings, which I respect. I'm not reading your blog expecting a professional journal, but if it's filled with these cliches, I think you're trying too hard. I know, you want to (not "wanna") be the best blogger evah, but I've officially tuned you out now. :-\ I hope my readers don't do that!

- Wop wop. In case you don't know, this is supposed to be the trombone sound that's played when a bummer happens. This is another creative visualization that I actually appreciate. Anytime there's a musical enhancement without having to throw in a YouTube clip, I'm all over it! And much more interesting would life be if, say, you burn the roast, take the lid off, look, then turn to some unseen camera with a "wop wop" sound in the background? A lot more, I'd say.

- Lurve. Yes, readers over the age of 40 or 50 (particularly male), I am aware that "lurve" is from Annie Hall (a movie which I'd like Santa to deliver, if he reads this...). I've been told this on more than one occasion. Believe me, I love...lurve...classic film, and I consider it to be on that list. However, why do I doubt that a majority of the bloggers that use the term are aware of the usage history? I guess it doesn't matter where it starts; it's fun to use! As Woody Allen says, sometimes it's necessary to come up with a new word when "love" just isn't strong enough...

- Wait for it. Hee hee. I enjoy this one. It's so silly. You're obviously not waiting, because you're continuing to read. The next line will tell you exactly what you should be excited enough to "wait for". Example: "We went to...wait for it...Vermont." You can SEE the word in your peripheral! Hee hee. On the aforementioned nasty blog that slammed some of these phrases, it compared "wait for it" to stage directions in a play. So true! Oh, which reminds me - "Exit, stage right" needs to catch on.

- Periods to articulate terribly important pauses. I do this all. The. Time. And, strangely, I like doing it. Obviously "The." isn't a sentence, nor is "Time." And "I do this" is incomplete, as well. Yep, the grammatical inconsistencies (or downright errors) are palpable. But who cares? It's fun, it breaks up the entry and adds a bit of flourish. 

- Awesomesauce. This is my current favorite. What's better than awesomesauce? We'll see what the future holds, shall we? 

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Celebrating One Year - A Vermont Getaway

Alternate Title: Or How I Almost Had a Nervous Breakdown Trying to Post from Windows Live Writer With This Many !$%#@?$* Pictures in a Post...hence it took several weeks to get this thing live on the interwebs.

We had plans, baby. Lots of 'em. But just enough not to make the whole anniversary trip a mass of rushing around mixed with a touch of anxiety. It. Was. Perfect.

As for our honeymoon last year, Dave and I went to our favorite fall getaway - Middlebury, Vermont. This time, since we wanted just a brief overnight trip, we didn't travel north to Burlington, but instead spent a good day in Middlebury before traveling south on Route 7 (aka Antiques Galore) to the Bennington area. The weather was perfect foliage was incredibly just makes me want to save up for a better camera to play around with and learn how to take pictures that will actually do it justice. And all the other inane stuff I want to photograph. (Y'know - branches, cats, future babies, furniture.) 

To save you from many unnecessary paragraphs, here are some of the highlights of the trip:

And imagine if I had time to edit this photo! My favorite from the trip.
Methinks it deserves a frame.
Let’s just say we stopped at the Middlebury Co-Op before checking in at the Inn.
‘Tis awesome that I have a partner-in-crime who will not only put up with me taking pictures of bulk foods in a very busy store, but encourages it. (It was busy, don’t let the picture mislead you.)
Aaaaand here is said partner, studying “local” coffees (kinda). He ended up grinding his own the next day. So proud!

Must I explain why I get excited over dairy in glass containers? Didn’t think so.
(And organic, nonetheless!)

These products are made about 15 minutes from where I live…and are sold in Vermont. Sweet!

Made about an hour from where I live, you know I HEART CHOBANI, right?
Isn’t this the neatest non-waste to-go container? Just wish I could figure out how to heat up soup in a microwave using that thing.

The gorgeous falls…

And Dave playing around with the fly fisherman.

I LOVED this shop! Everything was either “awww, cute!” or gorgeously-styled.
And we left empty-handed. Bummer.

Dave enjoyed these lil’ guys.

The meaning of life, or what?! We both particularly enjoyed this one – and I’m thinking up a way to make one for our digs...or at least using the sentiment.
Our song. It was meant to be. Maybe I should’ve bought this little box, after all.

Twisting his imaginary moustache. How did we NOT purchase these? Oh, right. They were expensive.

Okay. THESE were cheap. Why didn’t we buy them?!

Oh, right. They’re terrifying.
“Yellow Submarine” flashback.

These were pretty cool, but not practical…for us.
You can provide people with a “check” either providing a person extra karma points for awesome behavior, or withdrawing points for crappy behavior. Hmm. Maybe I could use these at school…

 This was in a different store, but it’d be awesome to fill this thing. (With a baby.)

Another perspective on the falls, and, as Dave puts it, “an old building used to be there!”

 Perfect little Vermont town.

So do we, Knitting Club Lady. So do we.
(Sew do we?)

The Middlebury Inn:

And my ever-present, goes-with-practically-everything, gaudy purse. Enjoy.

No, he’s not really peeing. We like to mess around. You should see the pictures I DON’T publish for all the world to see. (See: How To Make a Marriage Last Only One Year – Post Peeing Pics)
Love this display of mirrors in the hall of the Middlebury Inn!

He looks pissed, but he’s not – we were truly excited about “tea time” at the inn.

Treats with tea!

Love me a branchy tree picture.
(Let’s just say I have several very similar, yet slightly different versions of this one.)

There was a wedding and reception at the inn the day that we were there.
Why didn’t we think of that? Oh, right. We hadn’t been there yet.

The incredible tavern at the inn, where we ate dinner.
Also my nieces name. Giddy.

We found some checkers in the hallway.
Dave insisted that he forgot how to play.
Faker. He won.
Pay no attention to the stomach rolls. It was the angle…yeah, that’s it.

The inn’s lobby (one of its areas).

 Ready for some antiquing? Hard not to be with an interesting
oval lamp like this. (Although I’d prefer it in something other than brass. ;-))

And a sweet chair in ebony. That “M” must be for Megan. ;-)

I loved that the curtain fabric was slightly modern/punchy, but
complemented the room’s traditionalism. 

Antiquing highlights:
 Dave found me some great vintage Christmas cards. Got some ideas for ‘em.

 Old seed packets. This ran around $60. Seriously?!

More? Good thing we found some at Camelot Village later in the day. Project time!

Ewe. You’re creepin’ me out. And makin’ me sad.
(On a side note, this is our FA-VO-RITE antiques shop in Vermont.
It’s where we got our sideboard last year. :-D)

This place also has a barn full of stuff. This is the creepy upstairs o’ furniture. 
Vintage Remington typewriter. We just happen to perform our shows in Remington’s old stable.

Ya don’t see this in NY much…

And in the midst of a heavy afternoon of antiquing, Rachel’s provided us an on-the-go,
locally-made, all-natural option. Thanks, Rachel!

Such as their “Vermonter” sandwich, sweet potato chips and “adult soda”…

…and Dave’s thirst-quenching lemonade.

Which gave us enough energy to enjoy our Bennington stop, and meet up with an old friend.

  And relive our well-known photo op.

Goofing off at Camelot Village (but not in the antique section; that wasn’t allowed. Wop wop.)
                                              Hitting traffic on our way out of Vermont.

What we didn't get pictures of:
- The best dang anniversary gift ever. After 12 months, we still hadn't sifted through the plethora of wedding pictures to create a photo album (be it traditional or the online-make-your-own kind). So, when Navigator Meg told Driver Dave that we finally had a stretch of time on the horizon (he'd asked me several times "Okay, after that turn, do we have a long stretch yet?"), he pulled out a present from the backseat and threw in a CD. The gift: a gorgeous album that he'd made online of a selection of our professional photos (which, incidentally, he'd worked on here and there since December, mostly by lying to me that he had to stay late at work 20 minutes...and here I thought it was another girl ;-D Juuuuust kidding). The CD: Most of the music that helped make the day special. For example, here's the first song (which we and our wedding party entered the reception to; how can you not giggle with giddiness at that intro?!) --

- The inside of our favorite antiques shop EVER. (Possibly tied with Camelot Village...possibly.)
- The fun we had inside Camelot Village's antiques shop. We visited this store a few years ago (during our first Vermont trip together, while there for a friend's wedding) and took some wacky pictures. We got to the "village" too late last year. THIS year, I noticed that there was a sign discouraging the use of cameras and which my naughty husband said, "Good thing I have my cell phone." We got a FEW pictures, but not nearly as many as the first time we went. ;-)
- The Middlebury Co-Op. Millions more pictures should've been taken, but it was a hoppin' joint the first time we went, and I'd forgotten my camera for the second visit. Two visits in a 24-hour span. Consider us hooked. Heck, Dave's still talking about the soap. (Ah, yes, the soap. I should've snapped pictures of the soap.)

So, that was our awesome Vermont getaway! Hope it wasn’t too boring to relive with us. It was one of the best weekends I remember having in awhile, so it’s nice to jot down a little journal-like blogging to remember it in the long-term.