Thursday, September 29, 2011

Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real - (Mostly) Cellphone Pictures Addition (My camera is broken)

round button chicken

My sweet girl is just so pretty (totally unbiased opinion).  I mean, come on:

I cannot believe this critter turned 11 months this week.  She was JUST BORN!

This is her "looking at daddy" face.  She is smitten (she takes after her mommy in this way).

I am still loving my new office. Look at this view!  So happy.
My old office had a window into a sad hallway.  Definite improvement.
Also, note the Disneyland book in the basket.  That is my "waiting area" book that I hand to people when I need them to wait a sec for me.  It has awesome fun facts in it such as "The vegetation that lines the moat around Sleeping Beauty's castle primarily consists of junipers because it is one of the few types of foliage that swans will not eat" and "Tom Sawyer's Island was officially annexed and recognized by the Missouri State Legislature in 1956."  Now you know.

Both funny and real:

I now have to fold pretty much everything at least twice, as "helping mommy" is her favorite game.  

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Quasi-review: Pride and Prejudice at South Coast Repertory

Tuesday night my mom and I headed down to South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa and saw a play I've been looking forward to seeing for ages: Pride and Prejudice.  I am calling this a "quasi-review" because, let's be honest, I have very, very little objectivity when it comes to Jane Austen.  I love her.  I also love anything that falls into the British-period-romantic category.  I cannot help myself.

With that in mind, let's begin.

The show is a period-correct, faithful adaptation of the book with one caveat: there is a brief "contemporary" opening in which a teenage girl is given a copy of the novel and then takes part in the action of the play as an observer and a reactor.  This, to me, was the single most distracting aspect of the entire play.  At one point she jumped into the carriage with Elizabeth and the Gardiners as they were heading to Pemberley.  Ack.  The actress playing the role, Claire Kaplan, brought as much as she could to it, but ultimately it was just incredibly annoying.

Here you can see how incongruous the "observer" character looked onstage.  Eek.
I enjoyed pretty much everything else about the play, though: the acting was good; great in some cases.  Mrs. Bennet, played by stage veteran Jane Carr, was perfect in the part, as was Randy Oglesby as Mr. Bennet and most of the other principle actors.  Mr. Collins was an absolute highlight as well.  Scott Drummond was perfectly awful as the socially awkward vicar and clearly delighted in every bit of it.

To me, the best part of seeing Pride and Prejudice live was the energy of the audience.  On a Tuesday night the show was just packed with Austen die-hards (as evidenced by some particularly nerdy bathroom-line conversation: "I agree that the '95 is vastly preferable to the '05 but have you seen the Olivier??  Oh you must, you must!"), and everyone in the room was clearly waiting for their favorite lines and scenes.  As each favorite was delivered ("An unhappy alternative is before you, Elizabeth...") the room tensed with anticipation and howled with laughter.  It was truly an Austen geek-fest, and that is what made it such fun.

Pride and Prejudice is onstage at South Coast Repertory through October 9th.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

To Autumn

I am so ready! Ready for the crisp air, the decorations at Disneyland, the birthdays and holidays we have coming up. I LOVE fall. It is my very favorite season. I recently found this on Pinterest:

And it reminded me again of how much I love everything about this season. I want to go back to school again (and Hogwarts, but that's a totally different post)!

So in honor of my favorite season, one of my favorite poems:

To Autumn

SEASON of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cells.

Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
Or on a half-reap’d furrow sound asleep,
Drows’d with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers:
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
Steady thy laden head across a brook;
Or by a cyder-press, with patient look,
Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.

Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,—
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
And touch the stubble plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
Among the river sallows, borne aloft
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft;
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.

--John Keats