Friday, July 31, 2009

I've been putting if off for awhile...

so I guess it's finally time to address The Shack.  I read it months ago, spurred into action after so many of your suggestions to give  it a try, but something has been keeping me from sitting down to blog about it.  The reviews I'd heard on the book were widely—and I mean night and day—varied, and I needed to read it myself to be able to form any kind of opinion on it.  The funny thing is, after reading it my opinion isn't nearly as firm as I thought it would be.  

It's a quick read for sure, and as I flew through it, I couldn't place myself into either of the polar opposite camps.  There were things I liked and things I didn't. I kept finding ideas that I thought were intriguing, followed by those I felt could be dangerous or misleading. It is a piece of fiction, yes, but I had some problems with writing fiction about God.  It's seems like Young ventured into some territory that has some off-limits aspects to it.  Yet at the same time, the perspective taken by him was so unique, I couldn't help but see things from a fresh perspective. I was reminded in a new way how much God truly desires relationship with us, not just ritual. I loved the emphasis on that.  

But then again, I didn't like the freedom Young took on so many issues that the Bible does not cover.  Never is God (the Father, Son, or Spirit) referred to in a feminine way in the Bible, and I don't think that is an accident or a product of the culture of the time the Bible was written.  Even though God is not human, He has chosen to personify Himself with masculine pronouns and attributes.  I do not think it is our place to second guess God's reasoning behind that.  Just like so many things, I don't know why, but I know that God does, and that is enough.

To continue with this push and pull format, I very much liked the message of forgiveness that was woven through the story. I felt Young wrote very beautifully on this subject, showing the very slow, but very complete process Mack went through on his journey to forgiveness.  In fact, the scene where Mack finds the spot where his daughter's body is buried is my favorite portion of the book.

In contrast, my least favorite section took place when Mack went to the judgement seat. I felt that the author presented a very skewed picture of God's nature that includes both love and justice.  I felt this part, again, might prove to be very dangerous to many who might be prone to confuse this work of fiction with a sound book of theology.

To sum up, for me the water is muddy where this book is concerned. I'm glad I read it, but I wouldn't go so far as to recommend it.  It caused me to think, but it left me feeling that I did not have conclusive thoughts on any part of it.  The Shack is intriguing because of the vast popularity it has found, and in many ways, that makes me question it even more.  I don't like the idea of anyone going to a book of fiction for answers on the most important aspect of life, and something about that just doesn't sit right with me.  The Bible is truth, and while other books can be of great help and insight, it contains everything that we need for our spiritual journey. 

That's the best I can do.  Feel free to add your thoughts if you have read it!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

life defining

Sunday night was momentous, and if you promise to keep the envy under control, I'll tell you where I went.  The American Idols 2009 tour came to Memphis, and I  was there (way, way up there, but there) to cheer my heart out for this year's top ten. Okay, okay, a little jealousy is fine =).

It was fun, silly, cheesy, exciting, and everything else I expected it to be, but believe it or not, I'm not going to give you a summary, critique, or anything of the sort about the night.  I'm simply using it as a segue into the post because something Danny Gokey said during his set is relevant to what I wanted to write about today.  If you remember, Danny is the contestant whose wife passed away shortly before he tried out for the show, and at the concert Sunday night he made mention of the fact that he didn't want to ever be defined by a tragedy he had been through.  

I loved that he said that.  The tragedies of our life shape us—that much is undeniable—but they do not need to define us.  Danny made it clear that he has no intention of being known for the rest of his life as "that guy who lost his wife."  And I have every confidence that this desire has nothing to do with how much he loves her or misses her.  It's simply not want he wants to be known for.  

I am one hundred percent with him on this point.  I have lost a child. I'm part of a group  that no one ever wants to be part, just like Danny.  But as much as I love Poppy, and as much as I believe she has left her permanent mark on my life, I never want to be defined by the tragedy I went through.  I don't want to be known as "the girl who lost her baby," not because I'm ashamed of what happened or because it's too hard to be reminded of it, but simply because that's not who I am.  Thank God, I am not defined by what happened to me already or what will happen in the future, because those things are out of my control.  

So what do I want to be defined by?  Good question.  I don't think about it every day, but last week as I was sitting through the funeral of a great man it was my privilege to know, I started giving it some thought.  Funerals make us think about that kind of thing, as we fast forward in our heads to what might be said about us down the road at our funerals.  I know this: just about any of the stuff I do is not what I want to be defined by. I mean things like cooking, working, running, sports watching, reading, blogging, etc.  Instead I want to be defined by my relationships, both with people and God.  I want to be defined by being a wife, a mom, a daughter, a friend, a teacher, an aunt, and a child of God.  Those are the things that go down in my book as being forever important.  The other stuff is fun, it's important, but it's not defining.

So thanks, Danny, for a little insight into life definition.  I think it's good to be reminded every now and then.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Photo Contest

Nathan plays softball on Thursdays, providing a wonderful night each week for Marianna and her friends to get together at the fields and run off any ounce of extra energy that they might have been storing up.  Usually we pack plenty of food and drinks, and the kids are good to go indefinitely.

This week was a double header, so I brought my camera hoping to catch some good shots of the kiddos playing together.  But instead of doing the photo shooting myself, I took a little holiday and handed the camera over to Marianna and her best friend, Maggie, to take turns capturing some priceless moments.  A photo contest ensued, and I'll let you be the judge of who walked away with the grand prize.  

I'll start with the best and work my way down.  First, we'll take a looksie at Marianna's work behind the lens.

This was the first picture on the camera, and what a keeper it is!  She set the bar high with this one...and as we'll see later on, maybe a little too high.


It didn't take long for things to take a turn for the worse with this picture that captures Adrienne looking a little, shall we say, frazzled?


Okay, time to switch operators.  Maggie is now in firm control of the camera, and again, the first shot is a keeper.  


She tried again, and she's two for two, success!


But then Marianna was ready for her solo shot.  I actually heard her requesting this picture and turned around in my chair to see her posing on the grassy knoll.  She's at that age where posing for a self portrait is nothing but pure joy.


Or not.  Let's take a look at that one a little closer, if you can handle it.


OH MY.  When I saw this, I almost choked on my dinner.  I laughed until I had to wipe away the tears, and even when I put the camera away, this image kept popping in my head, causing me to burst into laughter all over again.  

Whoa.  Never have I seen such a terrible picture in my life.  It's hard to say who walked away from the contest a winner, but I'm leaning toward Maggie for capturing life at it's most unglamorous.  It takes work to take a picture that bad.  Or maybe the credit goes to Marianna for being able to produce a facial expression like that.  A toss up I suppose!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

specialty swap

My whole life, my mom has been known for her killer chocolate chip cookies. At almost every event, party, or family dinner we could count on her whipping up a batch, and over time they became a thing of legend, a staple, something we all looked forward to with anticipation.

Once I got married, I forged a little side road off the path my mom had carved before me.  Mom's cookies were something that I wanted to leave to her, so I found my niche with oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.  I haven't had nearly as long to establish legend, but when Nathan came home telling me that the guys at work were wondering when our next party was because they were anxious for the left over cookies, I knew that I had found my specialty.  I love to bake, and I do experiment with other things, but this is a staple.

My idea for this post was to share my recipe with you, complete with all my helpful hints, and then in turn ask you to share your particular area of culinary expertise.  I think we probably all have at least one.

So here it goes. My recipe is adapted from the Quaker Oats Vanishing Oatmeal Cookie recipe, with only a few small changes.

*2 sticks of butter, softened (this is a big key!!! I try and leave my butter out for two hours before baking, because no manner of microwave softening is ever quite as good)
*1 1/2 c brown sugar (I add a little more than the recipe calls for, and it's always treated me right)
*1/2 c sugar
*2 eggs
*2 tsp vanilla (again, recipe calls for less, but for me, 1 tsp just wasn't enough, so I double up)
*1 tsp baking soda (and please don't add any extra there!  I did by accident once, and trust me, you don't want to go there)
*1 tbls cinnamon
*1/2 tsp salt
*1 1/2 c flour
* 3 c rolled oats
* 1 package semi-sweet chocolate chips (or chunks)

Mix sugar and butters, then add the other ingredients one at a time.  Stir in chocolate chips, preheat oven to 350, put generous sized balls of dough on the cookie sheet, and only bake for 9 minutes!!  This is very important. I always take my cookies out before they look done, but oatmeal is tricky because it hardens way more than you would expect.  So for soft cookies, bake no more than NINE minutes.  

And that's it.  Simple but absolutely delicious.  Now, if you have a few minutes, please share what your specialty is, and make sure you don't leave out any of your secret touches! Maybe we can compile quite a list of tried and true specialties here, so we'll have a few tricks up our sleeve in the days to come.

Monday, July 20, 2009

a review

Gracias to each of you who gave their input on the last post!  I found it really interesting to see the rationale behind why you spend money on the things you do. I must admit, there was a huge contingency out there who promoted coughing up the money for a pair of designer jeans, and it made me willing to open that door and peek in.  Maybe I'll go try on a pair and see if I can see the difference so many of you do.  

I also thought a good rule of thumb that several of you suggested is to never buy anything you don't love.  I have been burned by ignoring that philosophy in the past, and I really would like to try and live by it.  Cheap is not always better, and sometimes it's worth it to do with less but really have more, than vice versa.

Now on to a product review.  Today I have been blown away—nay, stunned—by the Magic Eraser.  

This miracle product has come through for me in a way that I really would not have imagined, making me a life-time believer in whatever "magic" it has tucked away in that non-assuming white sponge.  

Before I tell you what the this dynamite product did, let me back up and give you a little insight into my problem.  Six years ago this month we moved into our house.  Nathan and I built the house, which meant that I picked out most everything, including the flooring.  Having never owned a house (I was all of 21 years old when we were building it), I didn't know much about the practical side of things, and that is the only explanation for the huge WHITE tiles I picked to go in our kitchen, entryways, and bathrooms.  And to add insult to injury, not only were they white, they were unsealed.  I didn't know it at the time, but what that translates into is dirt getting stuck in the tiny, microscopic crevices and pits in the tiles, making my floors always appear dirty even after they are freshly swept and mopped.  It has been my biggest household nemesis in the six years we've lived here, and after the long, hard, never-ending battle for clean floors, I was just about ready to throw in the towel and hire the big guns to come out and do some kind of crazy expensive cleaning.

But before I did that, I decided it couldn't hurt to give the Magic Eraser a try.  Sure, nothing else—bleach, brillo pads, or any amount of mopping—had ever worked, but what could it hurt?
I started on one tile, and before I had scrubbed ten seconds I knew we had a winner.  Tile by tile, I watched as the grime that had been stuck in the pores magically disappear. 

I got so excited I grabbed my camera and  started snapping pictures.  This first picture is my tile as clean as I could get it prior to the Magic Eraser.  

Doesn't it just scream, "Grimy!"  I hated the tiny black spots that were everywhere, making my tile always appear dingy.  

Now this is the after picture of the same tile.

Gleaming, clean, and exactly as it was when it was first laid.

Here is a shot of treated and non-treated area side by side. 

 I don't think I need to tell you which tile got the Magic.

And finally, a shot of the section of kitchen I finished tonight.  


A sight for sore eyes.  I wasn't able to finish all of the tile in my house with the four erasers that came in the package, but let me tell you, it is well worth every dime I spend. I don't know what else these little sponges will work on, but if you have a problem area, I say give it shot!  

Friday, July 17, 2009

bargain buying

I really like a good bargain.  There is something so invigorating about a good deal—something I imagine must be similar to the thrill of the chase for the hunter. Paying full price for a piece of clothing is just about unheard of in my world, and it's no secret that places like Target and Hobby Lobby get a lion's share of my business.  I take it like a personal defeat if I pay the listed price for something that has any kind of likelihood of going on sale. I'm not kidding when I say it's harder on my psyche than my pocket book, so ingrained is the paragon of a good deal in my mind. 

But then there's the opposite side of the coin.  The side I tend to neglect and then regret.  The fact is that sometimes cheaper isn't better. I know that paying less isn't always what pays off in the long run, but then again, so often it does!  So my question is, what things are worth paying high dollar for?  

A pair of jeans? Home decor? How about shoes, makeup or nail polish? And then there is the baby category–baby clothes, baby products, baby toys... Which of those things are okay to shop consignment, and which is better to just bite the bullet and buy?  

I know everyone's opinions and budgets differ greatly on this point, but as a person who leans heavily toward all things inexpensive, I would love to have some input on the one or two things you feel like are worth the money.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

love yourself

If you're reading any books or articles or listening to any t.v. or radio, then surely you've picked up on a new wave in popular psychology that focuses on self love.  Actually, I'm not sure that it's even all that new, but it seems like I'm seeing more and more of the undertones of this philosophy all over the place. My perception of this line of thought is that it's all about making yourself happy first, because if you're happy, then the overflow of your life will be positive.  Does that have anyone else seeing red flags besides me?

Last week I flipped on Oprah and listened as she explained that her new goal was to focus on learning to love herself.  The show was about a recent personal slump she had been through, both with her weight and her overall well being, and her explanation for the struggle was that she had forgotten to love herself. Oprah talked about how she had gotten so busy, she had not made time to make herself a priority, and everything had taken a downward spiral because of it. She is now advocating that everyone take time to love themselves first, believing that without taking time to love yourself, your quality of life will suffer as a result.  Nothing she said was bad, and just for the record I am not an Oprah hater, but there was something about the verbiage used that didn't sit right with me. 

I know that's just one venue, but the plainness with which the "love yourself" message was spread made me do some thinking.  The thing that is so hard for me to swallow with this line of thought is the fact that we are born completely, totally, 100% selfish beings. It seems to me like the thing we spend our entire life learning is how to love others as we love ourselves, not vice versa.  I don't know about you, but I haven't had a whole lot of trouble thinking of myself first, making decisions based on what I want, and all around doing some lovin' on myself before anyone else. Self love comes very naturally, demonstrating itself in almost all of our decisions and actions—just look at the divorce rate, for goodness sakes! When it comes down to it, a selfless act is the rarity, with the selfish, self-pleasing things we do far outweighing the others.  

I know what Oprah meant when she said that she needed to take time for herself so that the rest of her life would benefit.  I agree with that, because I believe we all need balance and that includes time for taking care of ourselves and renewing, even in the midst of a busy schedule.  I get that.  I guess I just wouldn't take it to the same level. 

To me, the basic flaw in the "love yourself" philosophy is its inability to bring any real fulfillment our inner peace to our lives.  I get the idea that it's message is all about  bringing fulfillment to ourselves, by reaching inside, and digging deep to find that what we need is really inside us all along.  And that just amounts to baloney to me.  

This is what I think:  I believe that the key to unlocking happiness and fulfillment is not learning to love ourselves, but learning to accept and bask in how much God loves us. It's His love that gives us worth, and it's His love that brings meaning to us and what we do.  When we realize how important we are to Him, that will trickle down and effect every other aspect of our life.  We will take the time to take care of ourselves, and we will also be secure enough in that love to reach out and love those around us.  Understanding and living in God's love is something I do very imperfectly, but I truly believe that it is the key.  

You can search the Bible and find hundreds of verses about God's love for us.  You can find verses commanding us to love each other.  But you aren't going to find much about focusing on loving yourself.  It's a dead end road, because we are not the source of love.  God is. We cannot generate love on our own, but we learn what true love looks like by seeing how God has demonstrated it on us.  

So, what do you think?  Can you see anything good that springs from the self-love message?  Do you see the fingerprints of this philosophy everywhere you look?  I'd love to know!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Success

Yay!!! I hope you'll take a second to stop and enjoy the simple elegance of that fabulous new header.  

Whew.  This design stuff really takes it out of me, but thanks to Sneaky Momma Blog Design, I was able to create this header, by myself, for FREE!  Thanks so much for the tip, Emily, and thank you to everyone else who offered help and ideas.  I have spent most of nap time looking through all the choices, and since I'm evidently a glutton for punishment, I decided to try it myself once more with a few tips from Sneaky Momma.  Novice though I am, I am feeling the sweet sensation of success after a discouraging beginning!

Now that I know just enough to be dangerous, I'm on to see what else I can do...


 (new signature, too!)

help!

If you've looked at my blog in the past 15 hours, you'll have noticed that I tried to take things into my own hands regarding a new blog layout, and it didn't turn out pretty.  I'm always thinking that I have more talent in creative technology than I do, and then finding out the hard way what my deficiencies really are.  So now, in my ambitious but un-inspired attempts to design a new blog header for myself, I have accidently deleted my old one.  And on top of that, I can't seem to get even the small things, like making the pictures on the side bar look the same size, to work for me.  

I am not a blog designer.  Just like I am not a hair dresser.   Evidently these things just require a little hands on experimentation before I can come to grips with them.  

So I would love some help.  Are any of you up to the challenge of a blog makeover, or do you know someone who is? I am now officially in the hiring, instead of designing, business.

Friday, July 10, 2009

cow mania

Did you know that today was Cow Appreciation Day at Chick-fil-a?  I hope so, because if you didn't, you missed a rare opportunity to dress up like a cow and get free food.  We at the Luce household were not going to let that chance pass us by, so our Friday night began with a trip out to Chick-fil-a. I hit a road block when I surveyed the girls' closets and found nothing that screamed cow, but there were old white shirts that had been put into the play clothes pile, just begging to have a cow drawn on them with a fat black marker.  So that's exactly what I did.  

Our night at Chick-fil-a started with a photo with the cow himself, and it only got better from there.


I'm going to zoom in on Marianna's shirt so that you can see my handy work.  It is what it is: a home made, semi-embarrasing attempt at getting free fast food. But I'm gonna have to say, the finished product was surprisingly cute.


Now this is where the night really gets good.  Right before we walked into the store, a family coming out gave Nathan and I their home made cow costumes, consisting of black garbage bags, with holes cut out for the head and arms, covered with taped on pieces of white construction paper.  
Classy just doesn't begin to cover it.


And do you know how much we paid for our two combo dinner? $0.00.  It was completely free. Sure, some may view the price paid in pride, but come on, if you take yourself too seriously to dress up as a cow, then what fun are you really having? The atmosphere at Chick-fil-a was cow-razy for sure, but more than that, it was good, old-fashioned, silly fun to see adults and kids alike walking around in their homemade cow gear as if they were sporting the latest fashion instead of construction paper.  Way to go Chick-fil-a for continuing to cement yourself as #1 in the fast food industry in our hearts!

I think it's only appropriate to end this post post with a youtube video every Chick-fil-a lover must see.  I find myself humming this around the house pretty often.  Maybe you will to.



observations made on a Friday

****REVISED POST****
I was sitting here thinking about those Fiber One bars again, wondering how the advertisers were sleeping at night, when I decided to do a google image search for the product. Do you know what I found.  The old boxes had FIVE bars in them.  Yes.  FIVE.  I was dead wrong below. Please forgive me, Fiber One, for sullying your good name!! I am very, very sorry!  And I am very, very happy that the advertising "gimmick" turned out to be the real deal.  One delicious extra bar per box!

I'll start with this. Today, while sitting at a stop light and casually observing the cars around me, I saw something I have previously not seen while in a driving situation.  The man in the lane next to me was taking advantage of the 30 second break in pace to have a full blown flossing session with his teeth.  And I'm not talking about a toothpick; this was all an all out, two hands involved procedure.  

I sat mesmerized for several seconds, watching what I have previously only seen take place in front of a bathroom mirror, happening before my eyes at the intersection of Stage and Whitten.  The act itself was not extraordinary, but something about that middle aged man sitting in his pick up truck, working the floss with high intensity effort in and out of his back molars, caught my attention and made me smile.  

I thought, there is a man who is using his time efficiently.  You hear all those studies about how much time we waste in the car at stop lights.  Not this man. He can go to bed at night with his conscience laid to rest on that point.  I'm not ready to pack my floss in the glove compartment yet, but there are certainly worse ways to spend your time in the car.

My next observation came as I was putting up groceries.  I got to my box of Fiber One bars and noticed the large print across the box said "One FREE bar inside!".  The old boxes contained six bars, so I ripped into the new one expecting to see seven delicious, mouth watering Oats & Chocolate bars waiting on me. Nope.  Still six.  Still the same price.  

I'm guessing here, but I'd say the only thing that changed in the Fiber One cereal bar department is the person in charge of advertising.  It appears that the price for 5 bars went up exactly 16.6% per bar, allowing that last bar to be, as advertised, "FREE."  A bad economy evidently calls for an extra dose of propaganda to be poured out onto the consumer.  I've got to say, I'm not a fan. I sure do love the bars, but not the new methods of marketing.

Not my only observations on this Friday, but probably my two most interesting. I hope you all have a great weekend!  

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Ga reat!

Our tickets actually corresponded with the calendar date this go around, making our second trip to the Orpheum quite a bit more exciting than the first!  Wicked was amazifying in every way, and now that I know what I would have missed, I'm doubly glad our tickets were for tonight and not a previous date.

For those of you who haven't seen it, but hope to, I will warn you when you should read no longer.  I went in last night without a clue as to the plot, and I think that made it every bit more exciting.  I'm so glad we went in as blank slates, totally prepared to be blown away, but not at all sure in what way that would be. The only danger going into last night was high expectations.  Every single person I had talked to gave a fantastic review for the musical, raising my mental bar very, very high!  Fortunately I can say that whatever expectations I had were blown away.

It was funny, packed with talent, full of plot surprises, family friendly, and all around so much fun! I could tell when we walked in that the crowd was electric.  I have no idea how much of the audience had seen it before, but whether people had seen it or not, they were excited! Every seat was filled, and I was thrilled with our front row balcony seats that gave us an excellent view of the stage. 

Here we are in our seats, just a few minutes before the show began.

Okay, if you don't want to know any plot, stop now!  When I said I didn't know anything about the show, I mean I didn't know anything, including the fact that the Wicked Witch of the West was the hero!  I loved Elphaba.  I loved the dynamics between her and Galinda.  I loved how funny the first act was, especially since I wasn't expecting it to be funny at all.

Highlights: The highlight for me had to be the end of Act I.  I had chills up my arms by the time the curtain closed. I also enjoyed the theme: everyone was misunderstood, but the judgements made about each person were never accurate. I loved the resolution, I loved how everything tied in with the plot of The Wizard of Oz, and most of all, I loved the music.

The one thing I didn't understand was the dragon.  I really thought it was going to have its big moment somewhere along the way, but besides lighting up those red eyes here and there, it was mostly just a big decoration.  

I'm officially a fan, and I'm just about to turn on my iTunes and see about loading up some, if not all, of the music.  Wicked was wonderful.  If you haven't seen it yet, I hope you get a chance to!  Thank you Mom and Dad for such a fantastic Christmas present!

Monday, July 6, 2009

232 to 233

Here's a little now and then from our country's last birthday to the present.  Last year our family began the Independence day celebration with our first annual water balloon fight.



This year we carried on the tradition. 


And if you want to check out the high-level intensity of the fight, check out this video =)

video

Maybe next year Adrienne will get in on some of the action.  But for this year, she was pretty happy to kick back and watch some fireworks.  



For that matter, Marianna and her friends were a little excited about the fireworks themselves. 


And for a little more than and now?  Check out this.



That was one year ago before fireworks, and here is one year later.


One birthday to the next has brought with it a lot of change, for our country certainly and also for my girls. But one thing is definitely the same. I am so grateful to live in this country, and I am proud of all of the people who have fought and continue to fight to give us freedom.  I love this country, and I hope to pass down that love to my girls. 

Thursday, July 2, 2009

a not-so-Wicked date night night

Tonight was the big night.  We got the girls over to Nathan's parents for a sleep over, and we headed downtown for a long dinner (a rare commodity these days), and of course, Wicked.  

We had planned to go to a little restaurant called Cafe 61, but as we were pulling in we noticed it was out of business, so it was on to plan B.  I'm not adventurous when it comes to dining, so after passing up some places we haven't ever been, we ended up at the Majestic.

Let me back up right here and give you a little history before I launch into tonight's evening.  Last year Nathan and I ate at the Majestic before going to see David Copperfield, and while we were there I pulled out our tickets to look at something on them.  We got up, walked to the Orpheum to see the show, and realized that I left our tickets on the table at the restaurant.  We ran back, found out that our table has been cleared, and our tickets along with it, and returned (sadly) to the Orpheum to see if anything can be done.  Fortunately, I had purchased the tickets online, so they were able to use my credit card to reissue the tickets, and disaster was averted.

With this in mind, I entered the Majestic with a weird little nagging feeling lurking in my stomach.  I kept having paranoid thoughts about losing the tickets even though I had checked to make sure they were in my wallet at least three times.  We ate, enjoying a fantastic meal and taking our sweet time, until the check finally came.  I reached for my purse to get out a gift card, and after a thorough searching, my stomach sinks as I realize my wallet is missing, tickets and all. 

AGGHH! Terrible Deja vu came rushing back as I considered the three most likely scenarios.  1) My wallet fell out of my purse, 2) My wallet was stolen, or 3)My wallet was in the car. Realizing that number 3 was the only scenario where we would have a chance of finding my wallet, we raced back to the parking garage to see if it's there.

Let's just put it this way.  On the way out of the parking garage walking to the restaurant, I told Nathan he was going a little too fast for my footwear; on the way back to the parking garage, he had a little trouble keeping up. I didn't run, but I came close.  I just couldn't believe this was happening again.  We make it back to the car, do a quick check, and find the wallet!

Whew. I gave a little out loud, "Thank you, God!" prayer, and we laughed all the way to the Orpheum, strolling once again now that the tickets were in hand.

I could hear the music playing as soon as we stepped in the doors, and the adrenaline started pumping.  It was so exciting to walk in, the crowd bustling all around, with everyone dressed up and the anticipation sky high.  I handed the door lady our tickets, tapping my toes and giddy to get in.  Then I heard a weird little beep from the ticket scanner and a "Hmm.. wait just a moment and let me see what that's all about."

She looks at her little machine and then looks up at me and says, "Honey, you're tickets are for July 7th."  Seventh.  Second.  They sound a lot alike, but there's a big difference.  A perky ticket lady next to her piped in with, "At least your tickets are for next Tuesday and not two days ago!"  Amen, sister.  I am glad about that.  But still.  There is something sad about having to fight your way out of a bustling theatre, to head back to the parking garage, to get in your ca, to drive home at 7:10 on your evening out on the town.  

How did I get it wrong?  I have no idea.  Absolutely no clue whatsoever.  The tickets, the very ones I had examined several times today, had the date printed right on them, but in my mind, we were going on the 2nd and no amount of looking was able to penetrate my brain and get that notion out of my head.  Oh well. Tuesday it is.

So what did we do with the rest of our Wicked-less night?  Nathan had a softball game that he had planned on skipping, and now that we were on to plan C, we decided to go home, grab his jersey, and hit the fields.  It was a good night, just not the one we had in mind =)  And don't worry... that Wicked review is still coming.  Just five days later than anticipated.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

off to see the wizard


Nathan, Marianna and I just finished watching The Wizard of Oz—and for two of the three of us, it was a first time viewing.  Somehow Nathan managed to make it to twenty-eight without ever seeing the iconic film.  Crazy, huh?  He told me that he knows all of these quotes from the movie, but he has not specific context for them.  Such a strange concept for me (and most Americans for that matter).  After all, I can't remember a time when I hadn't seen the movie.  It's just one of those that you grow up watching, never knowing when that first time was because it's always been there.  

I was not even aware of  the gap in my husband's knowledge of critical cultural folklore until we started talking about our trip to see Wicked tomorrow.  Once he let the cat out of the bag, we knew there was only one way to remedy the problem, and Nathan was on the phone calling video stores until he found a copy.


So now we are off to Wicked, both appropriately aware of the story line, and in great anticipation of seeing the much raved about musical.  I am intentionally ignorant of almost everything about the plot, so I can't wait to sit down tomorrow night and take it all in, with not even a hint of what will happen.  I'm thinking it will be a pretty terrific way to start off the holiday weekend with a bang!