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If you have a chance, please visit [livejournal.com profile] shadowwolf13's entry here and share a positive thought or two about your LJ friends.
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On Monday I walked a labyrinth at church on the university campus where I work. One of my coworkers accompanied me, as he had never walked one before. Inside this church on one of the walls surrounding the alter was this quote from Revelation 21 in the Bible:

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

I found it especially timely. I wish I could wipe away the tears and the death. Instead, I walked a labyrinth.
Read More )
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Since I last posted, I have been in the ensemble of the Pittsburgh Savoyard's production of the Yeoman of the Guard which was a blast. I helped my daughter sew a bustle skirt in black satin and white crepe and we had fun doing that, too but it took a couple of weeks of sewing. In there I had a birthday and there was this storm called Sandy that decided to rain on it. But where I live didn't get much more than some wind and rain. It seemed like every day last week it rained. In fact I think the sun poked through once yesterday that I saw and a little bit today.

People who I know and care about and live closer to the East Coast did not fare as well and my heart goes out to them. Especially my brother-in-law and sister-in-law who had over a foot of water in their house (they had evacuated and so did not lose their cars). They lost a lot of stuff that they had only put up a foot and are racing against the clock to get things cleared out before mold sets in. First I am glad they are all okay. I know this is very hard for them. I know that they will recover from this and that there are people out there who won't be able to recover from this.
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2 28 oz cans diced tomatoes (one with Basil, Oregano and Garlic)

2 32 oz cartons Organic Chicken broth

1 lb Hot Italian turkey sausage

1 large onion --diced

3 garlic cloves --diced

1 16 oz bag Frozen Italian Cut Green Beans

About 1 8 oz bag of baby carrots sliced

1 1 lb package frozen cheese tortellini

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Salt

Italian Seasoning

dried basil

Garlic powder



Place the onion and garlic in a heated, oiled (with olive oil) cast iron skillet. Let that cook for a minute or two. Remove the sausage from the casings and place the meat in the skillet with the garlic and onion to brown and crumble. In a large stock pot heat the chicken broth and diced tomatoes. Add the frozen Italian cut green beans and sliced carrots and Italian seasoning, basil and garlic powder to taste. Once the carrots are mostly cooked, add sausage and frozen tortellini and cook just until the tortellini is done. (Usually I add about a tablespoon of fennel seed but I forgot to do this and it seemed fine. Also, you can add salt and pepper to taste.)
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Recently, over on Facebook, a friend posted a list of movies she wanted to show her teenage boys and asked for help rounding that out.  Here are the movies we all came up with, in no particular order:

Ladyhawk

Princess Bride

Blade Runner

Alien

Time Bandits

Krull

Conan the Barbarian

Beastmaster

Willow

Labyrinth

Legend

Dragonslayer

Clash of the Titans (Ray Harryhausen)

The Secret of NIMH

Remo Williams

Highlander

Red Sonja

Goonies

Real Genius

Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension

Big Trouble in Little China

Excaliber

Army of Darkness (or perhaps all of the Evil Dead movies)

Robocop

Ghostbusters

The Last Starfighter

The Last Unicorn

The Dark Crystal

Red Dawn

Indiana Jones movies

The middle three Star Wars movies (or the original trilogy)

Star Trek: The Motion Picture and Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan


I know there are a bunch more that we’ve forgotten.

Edited to add movies from comments:
courtesy of petercat
Forbidden Planet
2001: A Space Odyssey

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Had to share this. I came across this in Neil Gaiman's Tumblr
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Today would have been my mother's 77th birthday. She died 18 years ago.
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I'm still around and reading and commenting but I have been nudged by the kind, [livejournal.com profile] xjenavivex, to update here and yeah, it's been two months! Right after finishing up the show, things got kind of busy at work and hence part of the reason for the LJ silence. In addition, a friend's son was involved in a very bad motorcycle accident (not his fault --an SUV in the opposite traffic lane crossed into his) and for at least 4 weeks, it was iffy as to whether he would survive but he seems to be more firmly on the surviving side and on the mend. I've been following that day by day over on Facebook.

I've also been attending more conventions --mostly more with a Steampunk theme --which has been fun!

I do have a few posts in mind for the future. I will try to update here a little more often.

Hope everyone there is doing well -even if you're not posting.
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In every Pittsburgh Savoyard's production that I've been in, there has been some kind of dance party that goes on in the wings among the actors who are waiting to come on stage for the next scene. In the Mikado, we just danced randomly. In the Pirates of Penzance, I made sure to be up in the wings for the "Cat-like Tread" dance where myself and a couple other female chorus members and one of the double cast leads (who is still in high school) would imitate the pirates dance while they did it on stage. This is a lot of fun, a way to pass the time while waiting for the scene and builds energy for the performance.

Every day during performances there was some sort of snacks/food brought in. I always brought in homemade trail mixes --chocolate chips (Ghirardelli 60% cacao), cranberries (craisins) and almonds in one bag and yogurt peanuts and raisins in another (because one of our cast members was allergic to all chocolate). Over the course of the run several cast members had birthdays so cupcakes appeared for those and we sang Happy Birthday to each one. The last birthday occurred on the day of the last performance and it was for the person playing the Major General so after we finished singing Happy Birthday to him, one of our cast improvised "For he is the birthday boy," and we all sang along.

The first Sunday of the run, the person set to play Mabel was in a multi-car accident but wasn't hurt. She came in about ten minutes before the show started (she wasn't on until later) and had two or three other cast members help her get ready and performed the role. This was most impressive as she is a high school student and was driving the car, her dad and a friend were with her and the friend went to the hospital to be checked out. I think it helped her take her mind off of what happened to have to concentrate on performing but it was still impressive and I'm not sure I would have been able to do that.
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By now, most everyone, who knows him, is aware of [livejournal.com profile] popfiend's wife Lisa's sudden death on Sunday, March 4th.

I know [livejournal.com profile] popfiend primarily through his posts on Livejournal. He is very much the same in person as he is online so I was very aware of how devoted he is to Lisa and likewise how she was to him. I think they got each other on a level that is rare in relationships and it was truly inspiring and beautiful. So when I did get the chance to meet Lisa last November at Philcon and see them interact, it was just as evident in person that they loved each other deeply as [livejournal.com profile] popfiend had posted about on a frequent if not daily basis. Their lives, their being, were/are so intertwined that it is nearly impossible for me to imagine one without the other. This is why the news of Lisa's passing is such a shock, "A punch to the gut" as [livejournal.com profile] grayhawkfh has so aptly put it. [livejournal.com profile] popfiend is someone who is a force for good on Livejournal and in life. Over the past few years that I have come to read his journal regularly, I have come to care for [livejournal.com profile] popfiend as for a dear friend. I am cycling through almost as many emotions about this as [livejournal.com profile] popfiend. Shock, anger, sadness, worrying about [livejournal.com profile] popfiend, are just a few. My heartfelt sympathy goes out to [livejournal.com profile] popfiend and all of Lisa's family. If there is anyway that I can be of any help, my friend, [livejournal.com profile] popfiend please do not hesitate to contact me.

Please also go over and read this entry on the same subject by [livejournal.com profile] cbpotts linked by [livejournal.com profile] elionwyr and this by[livejournal.com profile] elionwyr for a far more eloquent and accurate reaction than I am capable of relaying.

Here are a couple of quotes that came to mind when thinking about [livejournal.com profile] popfiend's loss.

Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there; I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sun on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circling flight.
I am the soft star-shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there; I did not die.
-Mary Frye

“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.”
― Lao Tzu
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Teaser made from a Pirates of Penzance rehearsal a couple of weeks ago:

Tech week videos behind the cut )
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Doh! I forgot I had this:

My Valentinr - adelheid_p
Get your own valentinr

Not much time left, sorry about that.
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Stronger than silent "e"!

Able to defeat even the gloomiest mood with a single hug!

The man who lights up an entire hotel lobby with his smile!


To the awesome Internet Peacemaker [livejournal.com profile] popfiend!
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About almost two years ago, I started taking voice lessons. As something for us to practice for, we have a monthly "Music Night" where we sing one classical piece and one "fun" piece (usually a pop or jazz song). For our Christmas music night, I sang "Mele Kalikimaka" which apparently inspired my music teacher to sing it for some function at her church as well. Tonight was the January music night and she decided to have the theme "Cats, Birds, and flowers". One of our group performed the song "Memories" from the Cats musical. And I remarked, "You know, if the musical had been 'Cows', that would be a whole different song!" Which spurred a whole string of cow puns. It was a very fun night!
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Me: I'm hand scrubbing my kitchen floor because it's so bad.
Friend: You know I'm not impressed, I don't scrub the floor until the cats stick to it.
Me: You wake up one morning to discover the cats have surrounded a mouse that is stuck to the glue trap that is your kitchen floor!
Friend: Bwahahaha!
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I discovered tonight that I work with a bunch of gamer geeks. At one point we were starting to rehearse a scene from the point where Mabel sings/says "Hold Monsters!" and when the director said, "Okay, after Mabel does "Hold Monsters" . . ."

I asked, "Hold Monsters? That's a cleric spell, right?" and about 4 women in the ensemble laughed and someone had to explain it to the young man playing Frederick.

It's a fun group, though.
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I have a couple of posts that I've been meaning to write but since the first week of January, I've been going to rehearsals for the Pittsburgh Savoyard's production of Gilbert and Sullivan's "The Pirates of Penzance". Which is surprisingly hard to learn and sing. The pace of the music is quite daunting. It's where the song, "I am the very Model of a Modern Major General" comes from. Couple that with having to coordinate movement (aka dance) to the songs and you've got some serious memorization demands and rehearsals. Judging from the early vocal rehearsals it's going to be a great show music wise and judging from the staging early rehearsals it will be a very fun show! So I may not get to posting much before March.

Also, things are gearing up for the musical that we perform at Confluence every year so that is taking bits of my free time as well.
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I had a music rehearsal for Pirates of Penzance to get to tonight so I didn't have alot of time to cook dinner and, after work, we picked up my car from having the oil changed so that ate into my prep time as well. What to do? What to do? I have leftover green beans from dinner Monday night and some leftover chicken broth. . . I rummage in the cupboard and come up with leftover ramen style noodles and have the idea to make soup. I remember that I have one frozen teriyaki marinated chicken breast in the freezer and get it out to thaw in the microwave. Start the broth to boil. Remember that I had cut some carrots to snack on last night so I slice up some of those and green onion for garnish. After the broth boils, I throw in the noodles and cook for two minutes. Get the chicken breast out and chop it up. Throw some dried minced garlic and five spice powder in the broth and a dash of sesame oil, then add the green beans and carrots and cook a couple more minutes and add the chicken breast to finish cooking. I taste it and it needs something. I add a few dashes of Memmi Soup base. And then, as an after thought, some Sriracha hot sauce. Parse it into two bowls for myself and husband and garnish with the sliced green onion. Not bad for a quick dinner!
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Today, I cooked some kale loosely following to a recipe on the 16 oz. package of fresh, ready to use (pre-washed and chopped) Glory foods brand kale. The recipe called for the entire bag of kale, 1 15 oz can of diced tomatoes and 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning.
The recipe called for covering the kale with water. Instead, I put about 4 cups of water in the pan with the kale and brought it to a boil and stirred so the kale was wilted down. Then I turned down the heat and simmered the kale for the 10 minutes called for on the package. Instead of draining off half the water as called for in the recipe, I drained off most of it. I added the Italian seasoning and the can of tomatoes, in this case it was Muir Glen brand fire roasted diced tomatoes. In addition, I added about a teaspoon of dried rosemary, dried minced garlic and some garlic powder. Then continued to cook the greens on simmer for about 20 more minutes until tender.

This recipe turned out really well, so well in fact, that I wanted to add some cannellini beans. It turned out that I had about a cup and a half of dried cannellini beans. I found this page which had a recipe for cooking the beans in a pressure cooker without pre-soaking and the flavors used would be very compatible with my kale. So I rinsed the dried cannellini beans and put them in my pressure cooker pot with two inches of water, two tablespoons canola oil, 4 cloves of garlic, two bay leaves and some fresh ground pepper. I did not add the salt as somewhere I had read that it impeded cooking. I brought the mixture to a boil, put on the pressure cooker lid and brought the pressure up to about 15 psi (per my cooker's instructions). I cooked the beans for the 30 minutes and then turned off the heat and let the pressure come down naturally. When I opened the pot and tasted the beans they weren't cooked enough, as I suspected, they had been in the cabinet awhile. I brought the mixture to a boil again and once again put the lid on and brought up the pressure and cooked for 30 minutes more. This time they were more than done and very tasty. I plan to mix them together and take to work as lunches. Yum!
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Apparently this furniture store caters to Tribbles (or sells them)!

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