Monday, February 09, 2009

Bloggy Memories

Hello everyone!

Note, to preface: I feel real uneloquent tonight. Words just aren't coming so naturally to me. Sorry.

Well, 'tis 1:30 a.m. and I am awake and blogging! As per usual. My late night activities of late have included the world wide blogosphere in a lot of ways, and here's the result. The last few nights, I've had fun looking through the FOUR YEARS worth of entries on this blog. I found a lot of stories I'd forgotten about, and re-learned a lot of things just from reading about them again. There was a lot of laughter and a lot of thinking on my part, and so I thought I'd share some of the highlights here! Forgive the lengthyness of this my defense, there were 234 entries that I was skimming through. So there are quite a few gaps in between each of these, but here they are anyway. Enjoy! May these inspire a bit of a smile and/or a bit of a think!

PS: Apparently a lot of my best blogging happens on Thursdays.

All right, folks. The most bizarre thing just transpired in our dorm. It was seriously one of the weirdest things that has ever happened to us, and I would give anything to re-live it. Wow. Here's the story.
So, Jen, Jenny and I were sitting in our living room, surfing the web and discussing the fundamental differences between Canada and the United States, when we noticed a strange male face looking into our window. We all looked at eachother like "Do you know this guy? No, do you?" None of us had any idea who he was, but he was standing in front of our dorm, looking in the window just the same. So we gestured for him to come in. He opened the door and stood there looking at us. We all looked back. After a lengthy pause, Jen said "Who are you?" The guy stepped into the room, closed the door behind him and looked into the mirror on our wall. In complete silence, he proceeded to remove his hat and spent a minute fixing his hair. Then he turned around and sat in one of our armchairs. Us girls were all kind of laughing a little. Finally, I looked at him and said "You never answered our question." He just looked at us. "Who are you?" I added.
Long pause.
"Oh," I said. "I'm Liz." Jen and Jenny introduced themselves, and Alexis was summoned from the back room and introduced. So, after introductions were complete, we all just sat there. Silently.
After another moment, Addison stood up and said "Well, it was nice meeting you guys." Then he stood up and left.
We all sat there and looked at eachother for a minute, then burst out laughing. I don't think I can accurately describe the event to do justice to it's weirdness. But it was one of the coolest things that has ever happened to me. I'm still not completely sure what happened, exactly, but it was still the highlight of my night.

So, last night, I was in the Snow building, preparing to go caroling when I ran into my good friend Ben. We spent a pleasant 1/2 hour or so discussing many a thing, one of which was the musical "Oklahoma!" Since we have both been in the show, we were swapping analizations and stories of our experiences. I decided to tell him about one night when the actor playing Jud did something really scary. The whole problem was that I was standing in a doorway.
For those of you who know me you know that for me, telling a story is actually, like, story-telling. It involves voices and demonstrations and my whole body. So, Ben was standing in the room, and from the doorway, I was telling him how one night, in the scene where Jud and Curly have the knife fight, Andrew (who played Jud) decided to freak me and my friend out. Right before going to stab Curly, he did this creepy look right at us, with his hair all falling into his eyes and this demonic grin, and the knife glinting in the lights, and then he turned and went to STAB Curly! So, while I'm telling this, I turned away from Ben to demonstrate, but what I did not predict was that a very dignified, well-dressed member of the Bishopric would be walking into the doorway right at the moment when I turned to demonstrate the stab. So what happened is that I hit him square in the chest. This poor man just had a completely strange girl who he's never met before turn and pretend to stab him! With all the drama she could muster. There's not a whole lot you can do when you hit a strange man in the chest in a fake-stab.

It was great to spend some time with my Oma and Opa...after the visit, I asked Dad whether I'm just getting older and noticing it or whether Oma and Opa are getting funnier. He said he thinks they're getting funnier. They just have so much personality, and they're so funny, and the best part is they don't even know it! Observe the following conversation I was privy to during a visit. All this is said with endearing heavy German accents.
Opa: Is the heater off again?
Oma: Ja, I turned it off.
Opa: Why?
Oma: Because it's been on all morning and we don't need it.
Opa: It's 64 degrees in here!
Oma: Hans, I know. That's why you go outside and sit in the sun.
Opa: But it's cold!
Oma: I know. Hans, go sit in the chair outside and read your paper.
Opa: (as he goes outside to read his paper in the chair in the sun) So cold...why don't we use the heat?
They are just the funnest, most wonderful people. They pretend to argue like that at least 15 times a day, but they're still so much in love with eachother, after almost 50 years! There's just something about that that makes you feel kinda warm and tingly inside, you know?

I have this memory from "Our Town"'s one of those memories that doesn't seem very significant but sticks with you for a long time. It was a Saturday morning, and we were getting near opening. Everyone was running around doing tech stuff...trying on costumes, moving set peices, running lines. Our sound guy, Jeff, was trying to adjust levels on the system, and so he had me stand in the center of the stage and talk. After a little while, JD jumped onstage with me, a half-eaten sandwich in hand, and the two of us started singing and rapping and talking for Jeff. It was all of it complete nonsense and I don't remember much of it now, but it was genius. A lot of it was an ode to Jeff in song form. [JD]'s such a whacky guy, and follows whatever instincts hit him, which means he's totally spontaneous, and that he climbs things a lot. The guy's an amazing performer, but if you tell him so, he'll thank you graciously but deny that he's anywhere near as talented as you claim. I love hanging out with him, and working with him onstage is a ton of fun and really fulfilling. What an amazing person. He's definitely in the top ten percent of humanity in my book. JD, wherever you are and whatever you're doing (which I'm 99% sure is in West Yellowstone doing a show for Playmill), I miss you and think you're the cream of the crop. I have one thing to say to you: "I wanta hear da proposition from the duck-pant boy!" ("Tiki tiki!")

So, I had a virgin strawberry daquiri spewed in my face this evening. It was probably one of the more fabulous experiences of my short life. I haven't laughed that hard in many a moon. And it was one of those times when you laugh hysterically, and then right when you start to get control of yourself, you notice that the girl who just spewed virgin strawberry daquiri all over your face is still laughing, but with a somewhat panicked look because she's got daquiri coming out of her nose. Who needs alcohol. I've got Patrice Strate.

There's a guy on the 4-to-1 crew at work named Buck, who's got some mental problems. I think he's slightly autistic...he can function perfectly well and make decisions and can handle stress pretty well, but he doesn't always get jokes, etc. We make fun of him a lot, because he can be so funny, but in truth, we all really care about him. When he got to work today, he pulled Tim aside for a few minutes, then went back to work. I didn't think much of it...he was quieter than usual, and just seemed sort of out of it. What I saw later, though, was the kind of thing that just sort of knocks the emotional wind out of you for a second and then you realize a few things, or remember a few things you'd forgotten.
As we were unloading the truck, I grabbed a box off the chain just as Zach and Buch were also doing so. Zach and I were sort of chatting, but as I turned away, I heard Zach say "Are you cool, Buck?" Buck said "What?" and Zach repeated "Are you cool? You doing all right?" I was intrigued, so I listened as I continued to work, as Buck told Zach he's just sort of out of it right now, just a lot of stuff going on. Zach said quietly "You wanna talk about it?" Buck said no, not right now. It was probably because we girls were back there too, and Buck's a little stand-offish with us. But later when it was just them in the back, I caught a glimpse of Zack leaning on a pallet jack and listening intently as Buck talked in a low voice, his face full of emotion.
Somehow, Zach's example just caught me off guard, and I've been thinking about it all day. My reaction might make more sense if you knew Zach. He can be sort of quiet and only selectively talkative, which often comes across as conceit. But the more I get to know him, the better of a person he is. Today especially, he showed a side of himself that he doesn't show often, and I'm sure he had no idea what an influence his example was on me. I was reminded of what a tool you can be for the Lord in lifting other's burdens and bettering people's lives.

Everything seems so normal around here. It shouldn't. Here, the only water around is the campus pool, when on only the other side of our own country, people's lungs are filling with it. Rexburg's population keeps moving around in its normal patterns, maybe glancing at the news and thanking their lucky stars it isn't them, and then continuing their errands to the grocery store and the post office. A part of me realizes that you can't put your life on hold to mourn every time there's a sadness in the world. If that were the case, no one would ever get anything done. But nothing seems to feel any different. I feel different, and I can't see that feeling reflected anywhere around me. Shouldn't the whole world stop for a moment? Shouldn't the banks be crammed with people sending money? Shouldn't community center programs be halted to make room for those volunteer crews setting up donation centers? Shouldn't there be jars in every business with signs that say 'For victims of Hurricane Katrina'?"
I felt so full of this sense of injustice, although the logical side of me knew that Hurricane Katrina is certainly not the only catastrophe in our world right now.

The other realization happened a few weeks ago, but I still think about it all the time. I discovered that I’ve been using paper toilet-seat covers BACKWARDS my entire life! You know the little flappy part of it? The part that you punch out so you can actually use the toilet? Apparently, the part that’s still connected after you punch out the middle is supposed to go in FRONT. I read the instructions. I’ve been putting it in the back for the last 20 years! What does that mean? What does that say about me as a person? What does that say about society? What a riveting demand for redefinition this brings on!

All girls who fit the following criteria should officially be outlawed from attending BYU-Idaho:
18 years old or younger
big blue eyes
expensive magazine-y clothes
large breasts or curvy figure in general
Here's why. As long as THEY are all here, the rest of us don't stand a chance. How are we supposed to compete with that?! Here we are, spiritual, intelligent, individual, funny, beautiful...we are girls who KNOW who we are and are trying to be what the Lord wants us to be. But are we the girls who get dates? NO! It's the ditzy blondes who all look, act, and think (if they do at all) in the exact same way. IT BLOWS MY MIND! It seems like by their early twenties, boys would have stopped thinking with their hormones alone and started also employing their hearts, minds, and spirits in being attracted to someone.
Tonight, some guy friends were talking about how difficult the dating scene in Rexburg is, and how it's so much harder for guys and how girls don't take dating seriously. Like my friend Sarah said, B.S. Rexburg is one of the few places in the world where there are THOUSANDS of single LDS young men and women in one place. And check it out: around here, GUYS are the askers. So which is harder: to ask? Or to sit around and wait to be asked and to feel like there's NOTHING you can do about it when no one asks you? Hm. And as for girls not taking dating seriously, I don't even know what they mean by that.

FRIDAY, MAY 19, 2006
Since coming up to West Yellowstone, Montana
1 Trips to the E.R. since rehearsals began
79 Approximate hours spent in rehearsal
2 Times I've watched Old Faithful go off
9 Times I've cried (happy, sad, in character, and out of character)
8,462 Times I've laughed
1 Compliment I've received that I will treasure forever
2 Parental lectures received since moving to Montana
6 Times I've listened to the song "Come On, Eileen"
4 Cast members that are currently ill
9 Moments I've wondered about a cast member's sexuality
14 Number of times I've fallen while attempting a partnered cartwheel flip
1 Number of times Ben has dropped me on my head while we were attempting said cartwheel flip
0 Times Curtis and I have done our jive choreography correctly
8 Times I've done the "Go Go Joe" choreography correctly
0 Times I've done the "Go Go Joe" choreography correctly while being able to breathe and/or sing
3.1 Harry Potter books I've re-read
7 Number of ferral cats caught in the theatre and have now been sent home to Jesus
8 Times I have been down-right astounded by things that the Merrill children have said
6 Average number of times per day that I sing a high G above the octave
9,742 Number of times I have thought of the wonderful people that surround me and how much I miss those that I'm not with every day right now

MONDAY, JUNE 12, 2006
The other night, after we successfully opened "Plaid," the Merrills got us pizza (according to opening night tradition) and as we were sitting there, eating and talking and laughing, I looked around and thought "I am so happy and blessed to be here. There is nowhere else in the world I would rather be right now than right here, doing what I'm doing, with the people I'm with." Of course, I miss the other wonderful people who are a part of my life, and I miss the fun of school and the green of Oregon and the laughter of my family, but there is so much joy to be had in being in the right place at the right time. And I really feel that for me right now, that's here at the Playmill. I learn so much every day that I can't even keep track of it all; my journal is this random assortment of half-written entries and revelations. I'm making new friends, and growing closer to old ones. I love discovering who a person is, and to find myself caring about them and learning from them and finding ways to serve them.
I love looking into the faces of audience members every night and watching their expressions. I can't believe how many opportunities I have to touch people's lives EVERY SINGLE DAY. Everyone has that opportunity, but to do it in a theatre setting is such a different experience, and so thrilling.
And in some ways terrifying. I sort of talked about the whole "pretty" thing in the last entry, and it's a continual process of gaining confidence in myself, but its certainly coming a lot further than it was before. I had another growing experience some of you may know, I love to play the guitar. But I'm self-taught and don't have much theory knowledge, so I only play in front of friends. Well, J.D. is in charge of pre-show for this summer, and I told him I was scared to sing a pre-show song, and he told me to go for it. I told him that I really didn't want to sing, but if he asked me to, it would be good for me and help me overcome my fears. So for the first time in my entire life, last week I played the guitar in front of an audience. I sang "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" and accompanied myself on the guitar and it was terrifying, but wonderful in this surreal sort of way.
Tonight J.D. asked me if I would play/sing a pre-show number for "Plaid" for the rest of the summer. I accepted, and I'm excited for the challenge! I still get really nervous, but as is typical of me, I get more nervous after performing. Tonight when I got offstage and was putting the guitar away, J.D. came by and said "Liz, thank you. You have a great pre-show voice. It's just this really unusual, old-time radio-type voice that is PERFECT for pre-show. It's just really good, and it's a voice that people want to hear, and that audiences want to listen to. It's great." It meant so much to me, and I thanked him and told him as much, and Davie Walker added that he loved my preshow and thought it was so cute and didn't know why I was so scared. Anymore of this and I'll be a diva before the summer's over! No, I'm not nearly there yet.
In all honesty, I don't share these compliments I receive because I want to brag or justify my behavior or decisions. I'm just so thrilled and honored by them, and they mean so much to me that I want to record them as a way to better preserve the memory, and to remind myself of them, because more often than not, I forget or don't believe them.

AUGUST 24, 2006
Tonight we only had one show of "Plaid," so afterwards a group of us went out to dinner at a nice restaurant, just because we could. Former Playmill player and friend of many a cast member Jon-Peter Lewis also joined us, and I'm pleased to say he's not nearly as insufferable as I remember him being shortly after the whole American Idol craze. (See I even provided a link to his site...) We had a nice little chat about Paul McCartney and shared a dinner roll. Although I think we could probably be friends, I can't get past the difference in our pocketbooks.

131 College Avenue. Turkish prayer flags hang above the porch. On the front door is taped a sign, with a picture of a camel and the words "Welcome to the Hawmps" and as a post-script "It's very small. And nicely that there's hardly any room between one adventure and the next." Enter an old house with walls too thin, containing an impressive library, a dozen or so Jones soda bottle, and a Pez collection on the wall opposite the front door. A guitar sits in the corner, rescued from the flooded Playmill men's dressing room, bearing the autographs of everyone who's played it since its entered the house. The white-board outside the kitchen has various items of business, including the Question of the Day ("Are there pineapples/beaches in Spirit Prison?") and the Word of the Day, normally taken from the Balderdash cards ("Snurp: verb. To shrivel up."). Next to the white-board is the chores chart and the Official Constitution, and on a shelf above it, The Shrine. The Shrine consists of numerous objects that have stories behind them or are in some way connected to one or more of the members of the household. On the shelf sit a newspaper rose in a vase, a green stuffed bunny named Dave, a Mr. Potato figure, the shards of Sting, 3 railroad pikes (one of them bearing a magnet saying "Vaughn"), a Catholic "Santa Barbara" candle, a collection of Volkswagon Bug model cars, and 2 Balderdash cards, one describing the movie "Hawmps" and one bearing the word "Dunkle" (to dint or crumple). In the kitchen is a pile of dishes that Vaughn will eventually do if they're Liz's responsibility, otherwise they'll pile up for a few more days until we run out of clean ones. Covering the walls are the paper hearts that were put up for Eileen weeks ago when she was having a bad day, but which now serve as a good reminder of appreciation.

MAY 19, 2007
I had a fun talk tonight about all the old-school computer games we all used to play back in the day. Which inspired me to write this blog. And I totally stole this idea for a blog entry from Willie. Woot for syntax text-only adventure games.
You find yourself sitting awake in bed.
>Check clock
It is 2:01 in the morning
You have your roomate's computer, your phone, and a stuffy nose.
>Blow nose
You need a tissue to do that.
>Get tissue
You can't get a tissue from here.
>Screw blowing nose
>I'm bored.
I don't understand that command.
>Entertain me.
I don't understand that command.
>Make observations about current situation.
You are single. You are thirsty. You are an insomniac.
>Change relationship status.
You need to choose a person to do that.
>Select Guybrush Threepwood as companion.
Guybrush Threepwood is an imaginary character.
>Select Al Pacino as companion.
Don't be stupid.
>Get a drink.
You get up and pour yourself a glass of water. You get out powdered energy drink and add 4 scoops. You drink the glass in one gulp.
>Go to sleep.
You have gone to sleep.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You know, that paper thing that covers the toilet? A man wrote those instructions. I also put the attached part at the back, and that's because if it were in the front ... well, it just doesn't work so well. And you know what else? You and I never had any discussion about how to use that paper thing, I'm sure of it. You just did what made sense. Do you know any girl who puts that attached part in the front? I'll bet not!

Thinking of you with love and a smile,