Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Bumpy Road

So I've been telling myself "I need to post." Then life would happen.
The next day I'd tell myself "I need to post." Then life would happen.
Then the next day I'd tell myself "I need to post." Then life would happen.

Needless to say- there's been a LOT of life going on. Some good, but lately I've been hit with a lot of conflicting stuff.

First point of Life- My old youth theater program split ways with the main company and now, while still holding the same values (essentially), it's a mess. No one knows what's going on and there is a ton of uncertainty. I'm slightly glad that I've graduated from this program and only teach there now and then.
Many good things happened in this theater group, and many challenging things. So there's a lot that I'm just waiting to "see what happens" on the subject. To be honest I'm tired of seeing all of the notifications on Facebook about this. I know it's important, but I feel like there's just too much confusion right now. Everyone needs to simmer down for a while.

Second point- I will not be working for two weeks. This week, and next week I am not scheduled for any hours. This is very worrisome. I'm supposed to be able to pay for gas to get to and from the RenFaire(See point 3). I was also hoping to accumulate some savings, and start paying for most of my expenses. Guess what's not happening?
This is probably the worst thing I am dealing with right now. I actually had to go into work and check the schedule. I started crying once I got back to the car.
I know the company has cut back on hours, but not getting any hours when I know my coworkers are getting 12-20 hours a week stinks. The only redeemable part of this is that my parents have agreed to let me do extra chores and stuff around the house to pay off my gas money. If my work hours keep up like this I'm going to need to find a new job.
I'm really praying hard about this. I don't know what to do. I know God's in charge and that he's going to take care of me, but I don't know what I am supposed to be doing right now. That annoys the heck out of me.

Third point- I'm starting RenFaire training and I'm scared stiff. I have no idea what I've got myself into. I'm gradually getting more and more terrified. Everything about the process has felt completely paralyzing, but at the same time, it feels like home. How warped is that?

Fourth point- I don't know if I'm going to be able to dance this summer at all. I don't know if I can take time out of my work schedule to dance. This makes me want to punch a wall.

The stupid thing is that I work so that I can have money to dance and participate in RenFaire. If I don't work- what gets eliminated? The dancing, RenFaire, or the work?

Friday, May 18, 2012


Matthew 18:21-23

21 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?”
22 Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.
Forgiving people is hard. 
I don't think of myself as one to hold grudges, I know several people who can hold grudges for years for some pretty insignificant things. I try to forgive people and let things go. 
There are several people I'm still in the process of forgiving. Various people for various things. Lying, breaking promises, bashing my dreams and chosen path, etc. The list is a little long. 
Some of these people used to be close friends that I had for years. Now, while they are still my friends and I still love them, it's hard to be around them when we've all changed. 
I was driving home from dance class on Tuesday and having my weekly car-talk with God. I use my 30-45min drive home to not listen to any music or radio and just talk to God. I don't feel silly because there's really no one else to hear me carrying on. I ask a lot of questions, thank God for what He's given me, prayed for my friends, sing praise songs (usually traditional hymns that I remember). 
This past Tuesday I asked why I can't forgive these people, I want to forgive them and I want to move past these things that are holding me back. 
Ever have those moments when God just speaks to you? Well, the words "Seventy times Seven" came into my head and made me think for a good portion of the drive. 
Forgiving people isn't about saying I forgive you and then letting everything go. I've tried to do that so many times. 
Forgiving people is making the choice to forgive them each time you think about how they wronged you. Seventy times seven equals four hundred and ninety. Let's take a look at that in numbers:
x   7
I will have to forgive someone 490 times before I can truly let things go. I don't think I've even come close to that with any of the people I'm trying to forgive. In all honesty, it might take longer than 490. But I think the point is that you have to make the effort each time someone angers you. Each time a memory and a biting question rises up in you, you have to make the effort to forgive them. Eventually (or 490 times later), you'll be able to forgive them and put everything behind you. 

This doesn't mean that I don't love these people. I love each and every one of my friends, and I've been trying to work on the idea that God calls us to love everyone. But sometimes your friends hurt you and then you are called to forgive them. 

I didn't really like the idea of forgiving people 490 times, over and over again. I really wanted a quick fix. I don't think a "quick fix" is possible in this case. It took me a little while to get used to that idea. 490 times of forgiving each person. That's a long walk. It might not take that long for some people, it might take longer for others. 
At least I'm not alone while I walk this road.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Jim Henson

I don’t remember my first introduction to the Muppets, or anything Jim Henson. Like Rodgers and Hammerstein, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Singing in the Rain, and Looney Tunes; the Muppets have always just seemed to be apart of my life.
My parents tried to introduce me to other Jim Henson classics such as The Labyrinth, but since I was probably only four or five at the time, that movie scared the heck out of me and I still remember the slightly nightmarish dream that resulted.
I am happy to say that I did pick up Labyrinth (on my own, without any prompting from my parents) about two years ago and love that movie. It doesn't surprise me that I love it, I actually find it funny that a movie that scared me so badly as a child is now one of my favorite movies.
But I love anything done by Jim Henson.

Jim Henson’s stories on film and characters have impacted me greatly. His characters were on Sesame Street teaching me shapes and numbers and my ABCs. His Muppets made/make me laugh for hours on end, no matter how many times I watch the show. One of the earliest Muppet videos (yes, VHS) I remember watching was Muppet Classic Theater. They were slightly fractured fairy tales and full of slapstick, but that’s what makes a Muppet a Muppet! And there were exploding penguins! Who doesn't love random penguins (and chickens) zooming through the air? Admit it, you know you love them too. Don’t lie to yourself.

I know Jim Henson has inspired many people, and many people claim that a piece of a song he sang resonates with them. I think the songs Jim Henson and the other men who made the Muppets sang were supposed to resonate with everyone on some level. I can name about 5 or 6 songs off the top of my head that resonate with me and what’s going on in my life RIGHT NOW.  The songs were about life, about getting along, about finding your place, about silly stupid stuff that just made you laugh. Songs that get stuck in your head. Tunes simple enough that children will be able to sing all of the verses after hearing the song only a few times.

Today in the anniversary of Jim’s death. He died 22 years ago, about two years before I was born. Just watching the video footage on YouTube of his memorial service is enough to send me into a stream of silent tears. Every time. Seriously, if you want to get me to cry, make me watch his memorial service. Everyone was touched by knowing Jim Henson. Kind of like how everyone who knew Christian Stillwell was touched by his light. The biggest difference was that Christian is a Christ follower, and as far as we know, Jim Henson was not. This makes me cry even harder.
I watched part of a TV special (on Youtube), Muppets were putting on a Tribute to Jim Henson. They had to come up with a finale and Fozzie Bear found a folder that Kermit left for them to look through for inspiration. The folder was full of condolence cards and letters from their fans, saying how sorry they were that Jim had passed away.
If you ever say puppets can’t have emotion, just watch all of the Muppets deflate after reading these letters. There’s no music, and not one of them has anything that they can say in response.
A few seconds go by and Robin (Kermit’s nephew, a small frog) starts singing a song called Just One Person. It’s from Snoopy the Musical, but it applies perfectly. Eventually everyone joins in singing along (I’m sobbing at this point when I watch the video).

If just one person believes in you,
Deep enough, and strong enough, believes in you...
Hard enough, and long enough,
It stands to reason, that someone else will think
"If he can do it, I can do it."

Making it: two whole people, who believe in you
Deep enough, and strong enough,
Believe in you.
Hard enough and long enough
There's bound to be some other person who
Believes in making it a threesome,
Making it three.....
People you can say: believe in me.....

And if three whole people,
Why not -- four?
And if four whole people,
Why not--more, and
more, and

And when all those people,
Believe in you,
Deep enough, and strong enough,
Believe in you...
Hard enough, and long enough

It stands to reason that you yourself will
Start to see what everybody sees in

And maybe even you,
Can believe in you... too!

I think that this is the most perfect song to describe the impact that Jim Henson had on people. He was a soft spoken man, hiding his brilliance behind a shy smile and when his humor came out, everyone laughed. When he came up with an idea and took a look at the world in a different way, everyone paid attention. He was able to present important ideas in an innocent and simple way that helped people to understand each other. He helped people to believe in themselves. I think he was able to do that because he showed puppets acting like people. Not people acting like people, but silly little puppets that everyone loved. I haven’t met a person who has a Muppet that they don’t like.

There will be plenty of times that I talk about Jim Henson, or want to watch something made by him, because it brings me back to my childhood and inspires my future. I hope that we never forget this man and the impact he left on the world in his short time here.

Life's like a movie, write your own ending. Keep believing, keep pretending.” 
             -Jim Henson 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Sweatshirts, Summer, and Square Knots

Summer is almost here!!!

One more final (ASL- Tomorrow night) and I will have completed my first year of college!   HUZZAH!

I'm not too worried about my final. I almost have my summary of The Sound of Music memorized, and then I just need to go over the Culture and Grammar sections on Blackboard, that wonderfully confusing tool that colleges love to use.

Looking back on when I started my first semester at College, I wasn't sure how it would go. I wasn't sure about anything at that point. This school year put me at a totally "clean slate" time and it was both thrilling and terrifying. God has totally gotten me through this first year and I know He's got a lot in store for me in the upcoming months and next year.
I've proved to myself (homeschooler that I was)  that I can study in a classroom setting and pull good grades, so far I haven't gotten a C grade in a class, so I'm happy. I aim for As in everything, but I've still got a few things about college and studying that I probably need to learn to make the straight A thing happen (and find all of the math and science classes for people who are not very adept at those subjects).

So what did I learn from my various classes?

English 101- 101 classes have a lot of slackers and half your class won't show up or even care half of much as you about the assignments. Especially English 101. You are at college for yourself.
ASL 101- All the crazy people take ASL, you make friends and almost all of the people who take ASL are prepared to study and take the class seriously, unlike other "foreign" languages.
Psych 101- There are no rules, recipes, or formulas when you deal with human beings. Also- we have no idea what we're doing when we diagnose mental disorders. This was possibly the most scary part of my Psych class.
English 102- If you get a good teacher who knows what he/she (in my case, she) is talking about, you will learn a lot, especially if you do things HER WAY. Also, respect the teacher and show her you care about the class, it's not kissing up, it's called being responsible about the money your parents are paying to give you a higher (and very expensive) education. Also- get the teacher with the wickedly sarcastic and slightly dry sense of humor, you will love this semester and be able to ignore the people in your  class who are wasting their parents money by not doing their work and are sassing the teacher.
ASL 102- Is a lot like ASL 101, except that we can now speak in "complete sentences" and carry on simple conversations in Deaf Culture.
Pilates- IS THE BEST! 
Yoga- Is is a lot harder than I thought, but even though it wasn't my favorite I still learned some stuff that I can use. I did get a lot stronger this semester and I think part of it was the exercises I did in yoga. It still isn't my favorite thing though (see Pilates).

Something about my college- it's freaking cold in that palace ALL YEAR LONG. Hence, the sweatshirts. Plus, I got a hand-me-over sweatshirt from The Doctor (my 哥哥 (ge ge)). Plus he introduced me to FIREFLY and I'm now learning a small amount of incorrectly pronounced Chinese. I'm very happy.

Plus, The Doctor helped me learn several knots after yesterday's Square Dance. I love Square/Line dancing so that was tons of fun! But maybe better was my face while trying to figure out a Monkey's Paw Knot. I'm getting better at it already! However, you should head over to my Anne-Drew blog to read about that (the post should be up later tonight).

Just a quick update- look for my Jim Henson post on Wednesday!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Finals, Costumes, and a NEW BLOG!

A very diverse post, I think.

I haven't been posting about what's going on as much as I'd want to. In short, this week and next week are Finals for College and I've been busy.
Busy with Homework
Busy getting over a nasty cold that made me miss 3 DAYS OF DANCE!!!! Colds can go die.
Busy researching Elizabethan Sailors, and having not a lot of luck in that area. Thank goodness for The Order of St. Elmo (more on that in a bit).

Ergo a heads up- There will not be much posting this week or until midweek of next week. School ends a week from Tuesday.

On the brighter notes-
I have found the artist my Wed. jazz teacher always plays in class. Her name is Bebel Gilberto, and her music is awesome! Look her up on youtube or something. She's a Latin artist from Brazil and I love her voice. Her music is almost ethereal and sometimes it's quite mysterious. It's also very calming. I'm a fan. Now I don't have to wait for Wednesday to listen to her!

I have been making some progress in my story! Although it's a much later point in the plot, I felt like writing it and to be honest, you don't have to write things in order when you're writing fiction unless you have no idea what happens before that point.
Plus, writing PTSD is a great challenge. Make someone seem crazy and write from their POV. Sentence structure is different, phrasing is off, it's just a heap of fun.

Now for the Costuming and Blog stuff that really do go hand in hand, and have to do with RenFaire
 Yesterday I drove about an hour north in pouring rain (it was terrifying) to attend a costume lecture. The lecture itself was really interesting- even if I already knew most of the stuff that was talked about, it was good to have someone who knows what they're doing explain Elizabethan costume. I also found out that you never want to use commercial patterns for Elizabethan clothing. THEY'RE WRONG! Find something else if you want to be historically accurate. Most people who do these things for a living are really helpful when someone else shows interest in their passion.

Anyway, the lady running the costume lecture wanted us to introduce ourselves and say our troupe and role that we're playing. I introduced myself and stated "I'm playing a girl disguised as a boy sailor, named Anne Drew."
The costume lady then said, "Oh, I've heard about you- you're controversial." Most people laughed.
Darn tootin' I'm controversial!

It just so happened that two other actors were at the costume meeting and we started to talk about what we can do with my character- oh the fun we'll have! I also now have sources for information about Elizabethan seafaring folk, and am a member of The Order of St. Elmo (St Elmo is the patron saint of sailors). That's the group of people who portray historical sailors (and that's the best way I can sum it up right now).

I've decided that a good way to know how much I'm learning and get a grip on my character is to write a blog about all the stuff that I'm researching, all the stuff I learn at the RenFaire, and all of my character stuff. That way I keep all of that stuff on that blog- Tales of Anne Drew, and I keep all my real life stuff on this blog.

And now I need to go to work- then dash over to school for ASL practice and class.

Yo ho, Yo ho, A sailor's life for me!