Friday, December 31, 2010

No Pressure


These are no pressure resolutions. Too many times I get too caught up in goals and get discouraged when I don't accomplish them. It's time to feel be at peace and content, despite my many flaws.

That brings me to resolution 1. Be content. Find healthy ways to cope with stress. Instead of stressing, take a moment to breathe. Read a book. Watch a movie. But most importantly, just breathe. Everything is and will be okay.

My 2nd resolution is to simplify. To accomplish resolution 1, I must do this. I must find little ways to simplify my life. It's already started, but I'm working on more ways.

Resolution number 3 is what most people have on their list: Eat healthier and exercise. I'm not going to place a number on my goal, because that's not the point. The point is to find what works for me. What weight works best for me. At what weight do I feel healthy and confident? Not only that, but how can I train my body to give me the best results? That's way more important to me than a model-sized body. I want to find ways to connect body to soul--yoga is on the list.

My 4th resolution has to do with something else entirely... well, sort of. I plan to make another blog. I think this will be a great distraction and hobby for me. If I do it. We'll see. No pressure resolutions, remember!

Resolution #5... Write. Every day. Whether it's in a journal, the blog, or my novel. I must write daily and in doing so, learn to harness and express creatively.

I would like to cook and bake a lot more often for resolution 6. I love it, and now I can chronicle everything with my awesome new SLR! (See the pic above for an example... I made whole wheat bread yesterday. Pair it with Cindi's awesome jam and yum!).

That's all I have, well for you to see anyway.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Kate Winslet's Titanic Journal

If you're interested to know Kate Winslet's thoughts while filming the movie Titanic, go no further. This is fascinating. I found this on an archived site, which no longer exists. Otherwise, I'd link to it. Enjoy. If you don't want to read it all, I've highlighted what I found interesting.

December 7, 1995, Los Angeles.
Today I met [director] James Cameron. Even though I haven't read for him yet, he showed me a model of the Titanic and how they were going to do the special effects shots by using a pen which is actually a tiny camera.. The story is incredible, horrible. One lifeboat only just missed landing on top of another. Some were sent out with 11 people on them and yet so many people drowned. The character he’s considering me for is called Rose Dewitt Bukater, a 17-year-old from Philadelphia who is about to marry a man she can’t love. She’s on this ship, feeling as if she is about to be condemned for life, only to find true love on board the Titanic... 

December 27, 1995, family Christmas, Reading, England.
I’ve finished reading the treatment for Titanic. My God! I just saw True Lies and The Abyss: amazing. One of Jim’s triumphs is that, in spite of the action, I really, really cared about those people. I wanted to know what happened in the rest of their lives. I want this part.

January 15, 1996, London.

Leonardo DiCaprio is being mentioned to play Jack [a boy from steerage Rose falls in love with]! He is the actor of the century after what he did in [What’s Eating] Gilbert Grape. 

February 26, 1996, Los Angeles.
My first proper screen test. For Jude and Sense and Sensibility and Hamlet I’d done a lot of auditions and reading and being put onto a video tape. But a proper Hollywood screen test! I arrived in the morning and it took an entire day, with hair, costume, make-up, on a sort of set that they’d built up, really working the scenes and doing dialogue to the camera. I think it went okay. My fingers are very tightly crossed.

March 19, on set with Kenneth Branagh’s Hamlet, Shepperton Studios, England.
Oh my God! I’m sharing a room with Tina [make-up artist] in this tiny bed-and-breakfast and my mobile rang at 5am! When I heard Hylda’s [Kate’s Hollywood agent] voice, I knew there was only one reason for her to call at 5am and I was screaming so much I woke everybody up, even Julie [Christie, playing Gertrude to Winslet’s Ophelia in Branagh’s Hamlet] in the next room. Then I had to go to work, where I was in a straitjacket, doing Ophelia’s whole bloody mad scenes! Ken [Branagh] is so excited. He’s so thrilled for me. The best thing is that I’ll be playing an American in something that happens to be a really good story. 

June 7, London.
I’m exercising like a freak. How vile. I’ve had to give up my daily swim because of all the red dye they are putting in my hair. Too many chemicals. So now I’m lifting weights and cycling my bum off. Jim has chatted to me about the weird eating habits you get into on a really long shoot. He can tell I’m a bit squirrelly about eating and things like that so he has suggested I should have a routine. Not that he wants me to bulk up like Linda Hamilton did in The Terminator but I must be strong enough for the task ahead. He’s told me it’s going to be tough, it’ll be a long shoot. I’m flying to LA to start rehearsals at the end of August. Two months to no cellulite. Can it be done? 

September 8, Interstate 5 South Freeway, heading to Mexico and the set of Titanic.
I’m in a car with this great driver called Patrick on the way to Mexico. We’ve been drinking ice-blended mochas from Starbucks and listening to the blues. It’s a beautiful day, and this is a beautiful drive. The sea is to my right and there isn’t a whisper of a cloud in the sky. The cigar Patrick is smoking is huge and smells divine. 

September 9, Rosarito, Mexico.
I’m on my little balcony. All I can hear is the sea and the chug of a little fishing boat going to catch lobsters. The rooms where we are living are really nice, airy and clean, although nearer to Christmas they’ll all be blacked out because from then on we’ll be doing night shoots and sleeping by day. 

September 10, Rosarito.
It’s extraordinary what’s been done here. They are building studios, cold-water tanks, Titanic funnels, staterooms, dressing rooms, a production office, a gym...on what was derelict land by the sea. The time spent; the money spent! I’ve been shown my dressing room. People keep referring to "my trailer", but it’s really a room, with a huge TV and a CD player and an enormous sofa and a bathroom with shower. I was welcomed with flowers and a little basket of soaps and eye compresses. I’ve just done 40 minutes on the bike. I’ll do my stomach exercises later. Flabby tummy today. There is so much security here. There are men walking around carrying guns and truncheons. Very weird. 

September 12, Rosarito.
Today there was an explosion 200 metres away from where Jim was directing me, Leo and Billy [Zane, who plays Rose’s uptight fiance] in rehearsal. And Jim rushed out and came back saying it was 20 kilograms of dynamite - they are creating even more space to build on and the set is so massive as it is. So they just blew up a whole chunk of land. There are thousands of people working here, cranes swinging against the sky. 

September 14, Rosarito.
I’ve been up since 5.45 AM, moved my furniture around a bit and made it a bit more cozy. I am on a mission to get rid of a horrid horsehair seat. I’m very tired and I need to get some sleep. I feel smelly, fat, ugly, talentless and uncommited, frightened, lonely, nervous, mad and we haven’t started shooting yet. If it’s not rehearsals, it’s weight training; if it’s not etiquette, it’s voice coaching. By the end of this film, if it’s not suicide, it’ll be an asylum.

September 15, Rosarito.
It is the night before shooting starts and here I am, all pin-curled up and hungry, ready to go. Thinking about Rose. She was so young. I need to think about her childhood, her youth and find my way through the 17 years of her life. I’ll never sleep tonight. 

September 16, Rosarito.
No sleep. This is it: day one of shooting Titanic. I’m thinking in American. Hair and make-up done, and cossie on. My life is not my own and probably never will be - and that’s Rose talking. Spoke to Mum and Dad this morning from my little bed; it was 4am and strange, hot and still. 

October 5, Rosarito.
The water in the first tank wasn’t so bad, but now we’ve switched to filming in the massive tank where the water is pumped in straight from the sea. It is like swimming in...the coldest winter in the history of Scottish winters. I bet people will think it’s heated, but it isn’t. I am completely freezing. My dresser has been bugging me to wear a wetsuit, but I can’t. I’d be too aware of it and anyway, my dress is too thin for it. Jim doesn’t want see-through and says this isn’t a wet T-shirt competition, but he does want the dress to cling to me when I’m wet and we’ve done all sorts of camera tests for that. It is so cold, means my reactions are real, I hope! It literally takes my breath away. 

October 15, Rosarito.

My dress is driving me bloody bonkers. Storywise, from the point the ship hits the iceberg, I’m in the same dress till the end of the film. It’s layers and layers of chiffon and layers and layers of pain in the arse. It’s supposed to trail behind me in the water like a big long snail, but instead it keeps wrapping itself around my legs and tripping me up in the middle of shots which is driving us all mad. Jim had a brilliant idea. Scissors. How satisfying. Now I look like Bo Peep in just the top of the dress and my bloomers. Fine for close-ups but not exactly glamourous, but who cares. Leo is finding this highly amusing. He would. He’s wearing a suit. 

October 22, Rosarito.
Jim asked me what I imagined I was going to be doing when I read in the script that the water came flooding up. I said, "To be honest with you, I only ever saw the story boards. I never saw me and Leo actually doing it." Also, then I was excited about it. I wanted to kind of wait and see. Now I know what it’s like and it’s pretty exhausting. 

November 1, Rosarito.
I’ve just done a work-out with Diamond, the unlikely name of the burly black trainer. It no longer feels weird working out at 3am, but I am starting to find it too much. We’ve been shooting at night for weeks now. I get up at about 1 PM and eat straight away so that my food has time to go down before I get into my corset. Mel [make-up artist] brought back some lovely scones from Starbucks over the border, will eat for tomorrow’s breakfast. 

November 10, Rosarito.
Apparently survivors said getting into the lifeboats was completely terrifying. They had to step out across a huge gap between the ship itself and the boats. Shooting the loading of the lifeboats is pretty scary for us. Our ship is a replica, almost as big, so we have to step out over - hello! - a massive great big gap! And our gap is considerably smaller than the real gap would have been. Diamond showed up on set today to show moral support. I’ve stopped training because it was all too much, but he’s become a good friend and it is lovely having him around. He’d heard this was a really tough scene for me, so there he was, standing there watching, looking out for me...Very comforting. 

November 20, Rosarito.
There’s a section of the ship that moves on hydraulics right up to 90 degrees. It’s bloody high up there, so Leo and I are in safety harnesses and clinging to each other for dear life. In some of the shots we have to lean over the railing and witness stunt people hanging off their harnesses doing falls and God knows what else. Survivors’ reports say that it was a really still night. Strange, because it was really still tonight, too. The stars were amazing. 

December 3, Rosarito.

Sarah, my stunt double, was being hit by a tidal wave of water in a corridor today. All in a day’s work for her. How can she be so matter of fact about it when I stand and watch, cringing? She’s really helpful when I do my own stunts, always there with kneepads and elbow protection. "Just bend your knees, just relax and control your breathing." Not so easy in the heat of the moment. I’m covered in bruises. Part of the job. It bloody hurts, though. My problem is I don’t think I’ve done my job properly unless I walk away having suffered. Am I a complete masochist, or what! 

December 15, Rosarito.
Day off. Much needed. I’ve been for a lovely swim and now I want to go back to bed. Lucky Leo gets more sleep than me. There’s an extra hour-and-a-half added to the end of every day for my pin-curling. Kay [hairdresser] can do it pretty swiftly. Good thing we are both too tired to chat because half the time I’m asleep in the chair. On screen I have luscious red curls. Off screen I look like a bag lady with my headscarf tied in a bow at the front. So attractive. I think I’ve put on weight. I feel heavy, tired, physically swollen and so lonely without my family. 

January 9, 1997, Los Angeles.

I feel revitalised. Christmas back at home was lovely. My brother seemed to have grown a foot since I left for Mexico. The new year brings much excitement and I am determined to be positive, especially as I have a new pair of shoes: very high with two big straps across the foot. New shoes, new walk: proud, tall and confident. I must sleep now - 7am pick-up and still jetlagged. 

January 16, 1997, Rosarito.
It’s the UK premiere of Hamlet today. In fact it’s 1.15 AM in England, so they’ll all be partying at the Dorchester [hotel]. I didn’t get much of a chance to write yesterday - we [came] inside to complete the scene where Rose meets Jack. We didn’t complete it, but we’ve done most of it. We did Leo’s and my reshoot and close-ups, though. Initially, I was so fed up because we’d been shooting that scene forever and it isn’t an easy one. But thank the Lord we did it again; I felt I really found beats that I couldn’t find before. 

January 18, Rosarito.
Nothing, nothing prepared me for the scenes we are shooting now. I vow I will look much more carefully at script directions in future! "Jack and Rose run through flooded corridor" has turned into the most arduous three days of my life. Scared. Terrified. My experience in the water seems like the worst of anybody’s because of that bloody flimsy dress. Everyone is being very sympathetic. We never do more than three takes before we warm up. Jim is being really careful about hypothermia. You don’t realise when you’ve got it, seemingly your brain just switches off and you don’t know how cold you are. When you’re in freezing cold water and you’re acting your arse off, you forget about the temperature of the water. Thank God we have on-set jacuzzis. We fling ourselves into them for 10 to 15 minute stretches while the dressers attack our clothes with hair driers, ready for the next take. 

January 23, Rosarito.
In every shot when Leo and I are in a confined space, there are safety divers underwater, untangling my legs from the dress. [Now Sarah has done the stunt] we are doing the close-ups in the scene where we’re swept along by a tidal wave, then get trapped behind an iron gate. The water’s rising and then, at the last minute when it’s almost at the ceiling, we break through. It is frightening and claustrophobic. To make matters worse, at this point in the film, my fiance’s coat has been put on me, up on deck. So for a lot of the scenes I’m wearing a huge soaking overcoat that I can hardly move in. Every time we get the gates open and break free, we then swim under a pipe that runs across the ceiling of the corridor with literally centimetres in which to breathe. And in every take the bloody coat gets caught and the poor diver is frantically trying to free it. I know there are escape holes in the ceiling and safety divers everywhere but this all feels very real and bloody frightening. It makes my drowning scene in Hamlet seem like a swimming lesson.

January 24, Rosarito.
We finished at 7 AM. Not easy to keep at it when I’ve been awake for 19 hours and just want to fall asleep standing up. But Jim was calm, kind and concise, giving fab direction. He helped me find all the things I was looking for but couldn’t quite find and had to compromise somehow before. The sunrise is gorgeous outside, an orange, pink and yellow strip against the deep blue sea. The sunsets are always glorious here.

January 26, Rosarito.
I’m at work in my dressing room waiting to go on ship for another night’s work. It was frantic yesterday - we got lots done. Jim was in a fantastic mood and we had a real laugh. How many close-ups can that man do though? "Can we do another shot of Kate, please?" I can’t bear close-ups. I wonder if any other actors like them? I had to spit in Billy’s face in one part of the scene today. We stopped between takes for a private lesson on the side of the ship. Tina [make-up] had a bowl of beaten eggwhite, but in the end I used my own spit. When we started rolling again, Sian [make-up] ran over with a tube of K-Y jelly, and put a splodge on my tongue to make it look more dramatic - more spit - not a pleasant experience.

January 29, Rosarito.
Underwater close-ups and it was horrible! I was weighted down, on top of a small stepladder, which is weighted down to the bottom of the tank. There were stunt boys around that I’d known from doing the drowning scenes in Hamlet which made me feel a bit better while I still had my mask and breathing gear. Leo is so happy in the water! He is over there doing backflips like he’s a water baby! Then I’m at the bottom of the tank and someone takes the mask off for me and I feel completely naked and helpless. I couldn’t see Leo. The surface seems miles away. Jim was absolutely brilliant. He wouldn’t have made me do that if I didn’t say, "No, I’m okay.' So they take the mask off again and I can’t see anything...and it is really petrifying when they yell "action" and suddenly that regulator is out of my mouth and I have nothing and I cannot go anywhere because I am weighted down to this ladder. Take after take I reminded myself that I wanted to be part of this. I will not admit defeat - I will not do that. 

February 1, Rosarito.
I managed to get seven hours sleep, woke about 4 PM and ate two scones that Amy (my dresser) made - pear and blueberry - and drank coffee on the couch with Tina and watched the sunset. It’s windy outside. I’ve got lots of hope and courage at the moment. I’ve started to feel good about the work I’ve done on Titanic. Before I was just a bit bewildered and depressed about it, not knowing whether what I was doing was good or bad or indifferent or what. 

February 2, Rosarito.
I had to wear a wetsuit today, it was so freezing cold. We did a very wide shot outside in the huge tank, with lots of extras and me surfacing having gone down with the ship. 

February 4, Rosarito.
Well the week has begun again and thank God. I was becoming stir-crazy, being called in to work to do nothing when I could be here eating Granola bars, watching movies and seeing Mel and Lisa [make-up artists] dye their roots! I went for a midnight walk. I spoke to Mum. 

February 5, Rosarito.
They’ve found rats on set in steerage corridors - very authentic! I spent the night soaking wet, cold and in the see-through dress. I now strip off anytime I can and dive in the jacuzzi. Forget about a flabby arse when you just want to get into hot water and warm up.

February 6, Rosarito.

We didn’t complete the scene where the third-class passengers try to escape, so more tomorrow. My feet are pulsating, because they were so trampled on by all the steerage extras, like a herd of elephants. They reduced all my toes on my left foot to a pulpy mess in one take. 

February 9, Rosarito.
At last the week has come to an end...the worst week so far. I had an amazing massage. I lay on the table and zonked out. I didn’t even bother to dress afterwards. I stayed in my white dressing gown, shoved my sore feet into my slippers and fell into the car, then walked through the front door and proceeded to pick the coffee icing off the top of a maple walnut scone from the freezer.

February 12, Rosarito.
It’s been so mad these last few days - me running scared in freezing water. Very tired. More of it to come, though. Hyperventilating and fainting, no less. Never let it be said that I don’t suffer for my art! Very stressful. I had a good cry tonight for a lot of accumulated reasons. I want to go home now. I really want to go for a ride on a London bus. I wish my spots would go away. 

February 16, Rosarito.
I was wrapped early because I’d hurt my arm - I fell during a take and since it was already sprained from something else this week, it just made it worse. I’m exhausted and ache like hell... I’m bruised and battered from head to foot. Just realised that this is the first time in ages that I’m going to sleep in the dark - it’s the night! 

February 22, Rosarito.
No-one seems to know when we will wrap. I had a letter from Mum today which was really lovely. Hamlet’s out and the reviews are: so far so good. Ken [Branagh] has been nominated for best production/screenplay Oscar. He won’t win it though, because he’s up against The English Patient.

February 25, Rosarito.
Just finished another night of work: a civilised dry scene on the bridge. Jim did one particular shot on me, and when we’d finished, he took my hand and walked me to the monitor and made me watch it and said, "She may have had a shit morning, but look how gorgeous she is!" He was referring to the previous scene: rowing at breakfast with my fiance Cal, and a corseted lecture from my mother, Ruth - scenes we hadn’t shot that day, but scenes that precede the one we were doing. It made me feel good. It was Billy’s birthday and I didn’t know, so no pressie. Whoops! 

March 18, Rosarito.
Mum’s here! The thrill of tasting home cooking again! She’s been cooking scrambled eggs for my breakfast although I’m still on my odd timetable and she’s on normal, so she wakes me up at 1 PM with: "Darling, shall I put on the coffee, then?" and by the time I’ve showered she’s cooked the eggs. Marvellous. I feel happy while I trot off to work and when I get back I just crawl into bed with my mum. 

March 22, Rosarito.
Five o’clock in the morning. I can hardly believe that this is the early hours in the morning of this, the final shooting day of Titanic. How am I feeling? I don’t know yet. It’s lovely having Mum here, though she’s going to have to come off the sun-drenched terrace and do some serious packing for me. Still got one more night of work to do, though. Under the stars and in the water - under the water, in fact. I think this will be day 164. Longer than True Lies, apparently. Seven months, such a long time, and it’s gone so quickly. It’s the little lines that trip you up. "They go down together. They are separated under water. Rose kicks for the surface." Sounds so simple, but no. I’ve been having lessons on how to "equalise," pinching my nose and blowing really hard. That’s so your ears fill up with water and no more water can get in and burst your eardrums. You have to equalise as you’re going down. We go down with the ship. We swim towards each other. We’re looking at each other and then I wrap my legs around Leo and cling like a monkey. We rehearsed wearing masks and we’re in the heated pool this time. Then we hear Jim’s voice say five, four...and we both take a deep breath, then Leo pulls us under, do [to about three metres], then we get down there and he [Jim] says, "Action", and we have to swim around each other. I’m holding onto him and then we get separated. Then we have to surface and we have no breath left and we’re kicking as hard as we can. I’m wearing high heels, the dress and a life jacket.

August 22, 1997, Los Angeles.
This is too weird for words. One year ago exactly to this day, I was on a plane to LA to start shooting Titanic. I’m still shooting it. Today Leo and I were Jack and Rose once more, shooting and insert, running down a corridor looking wet and bedraggled on the Twentieth Century Fox lot. It was like looking at a ghost when I looked in the mirror. Red wig (because my hair is blonde now) the same make-up and God-awful costume that makes me want to die because it is so uncomfortable, soaking wet and I’ve worn it so much that it’s like a very nasty second skin. Surreal as hell. We may as well have never stopped shooting. Five months of life that I’ve just had may as well have not happened. The most frightening part was that it all felt so normal. It was great to see [those] people again, but get me to the airport...get me home.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

You've got to see this!

I just love hearing the accents of the Paraguayans. There's nothing like it!

Also, this is my favorite Zumba song, and this nine year old girl does an amazing job!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Che Paraguay

For some unknown reason I have been reminiscing of Paraguay a lot lately. I'll be laying in bed at night at the sights, smells, sounds, tastes, and feelings come rushing at me like a tidal wave. I really miss my friends there. I miss my families too. To better remember them, I thought I'd make a few posts dedicated to them.

 One of my favorite places to visit: Ramona's house. Here's a cute video of her daughter Lara, or "little savage" as she was otherwise known ("Salvajecita"). Ramona had two other children, Christian and Jasmin Belem.

At Ramona's House

Hermana Casper, my trainer, at Ramona's house

Familia Galeano
I love this picture! After one of the Galeano children got baptized.

Hermana Long forcing me to use the machine I hated. 

This will be continued later with my favorite people from Tajy.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

More Thoughts from MacDonald

In bed attempting to recover from mono, I began reading the sequel to The Princess and the Goblin, The Princess and Curdie. Only a few pages in, I found a quote that has intrigued me. I am writing it down here so that I don't forget to contemplate it over the next week or so. 

"As Curdie grew, he grew at this time faster in body than in mind--with the usual consequence, that he was getting rather stupid--one of the chief signs of which was that he believed less and less in things he had never seen. At the same time I do not think he was ever so stupid as to imagine that that was a sign of superior faculty and strength of mind. Still, he was becoming more and more a miner, and less and less a man of the upper world where the wind blew. On his way to and from the mine he took less and less notice of bees and butterflies, moths and dragonflies, the flowers and the brooks and the clouds. He was gradually changing into a commonplace man.

"There is this difference between the growth of some human beings and that of others: in the one case it is a continuous dying, in the other a continuous resurrection. One of the latter sort comes at length to know at once whether a thing is true the moment it comes before him; one of the former class grows more and more afraid of being taken in, so afraid of it that he takes himself in altogether, and comes at length to believe in nothing but his dinner: to be sure of a thing with him is to have it between his teeth" (MacDonald).

The quote is quite long, and I'm not going to pretend I understand it fully by writing shallow interpretations. It is what it is, and I will continue to contemplate it. Maybe I'll share what I discover, maybe not. 

What do you think about it?

Also, if you don't have an iPod Touch or Kindle, you can read MacDonald's works online for free, including The Princess and the Goblin and The Princess and Curdie. I highly recommend it.  

UPDATE: One more intriguing thought from MacDonald, "The boy should enclose and keep, as his life, the old child at the heart of him, and never let it go... The child is not meant to die, but to be forever fresh born."

Sunday, December 12, 2010

My little ray of sunshine

Well, I suppose I must apologize again for the dreariness of my previous post. Sometimes a person just needs to vent and be done with it. 

This post is hopefully somewhat redemptive because while laying in bed the past day or so feeling miserable and self-piteous, I found the Kindle app on my iPod Touch to be my saving grace. I have been meaning to reread The Princess and the Goblin by George MacDonald for quite some time, and now I had the time. I read the entire thing in the last day and a half and adored every minute. 

The story is definitely more childlike (I mean to read it to my future children), but sometimes I like childlike things. You can ask my husband who has to endure me watching Monsters Inc. to fall asleep at night (like last night) or watch Pocahontas to feel better (like today).

This story is absolutely delightful. If you didn't know already, George Macdonald was C.S. Lewis' inspiration for many of his books and for his interest in Christianity. The book is wrought with Christian themes, most especially that seeing is not necessarily believing. 

This book has inspired me in more ways than one. It has given me the ability to think outside of my own tiny world and realize how much more is available to me. The princess, Irene, is a seven-year-old girl who acts more adult than most of the adults, especially her nursemaid. She understands the importance of honesty and integrity and most importantly, holding true to her title of princess. 

I've learned from the miner's son Curdie and his mother who often do kind things for each other, but never count the deeds or expect anything in return. A child's book has taught me quite a bit already. 

I guess even though there are clouds sometimes they can be quite pretty. Try Googling "storm clouds" and see if you don't get a gorgeous picture of lightning. This storm is still here, but I'm learning to love the beauty of the lightning--and my chance to lay in bed and read delightful stories. 

I must also thank my husband again for all he's done for me. He really makes my storms pass more quickly and easily.

(And thank you to those who were concerned. Trust me, I was just ruminating, which I just learned about yesterday and can actually be quite healthy.) 

If you want to read The Princess and the Goblin, I recommend downloading it for free on Kindle. I bought it from Kindle, and then while browsing for other books, I found it was also being offered for free. Lesson learned: Don't buy any book on Kindle until you've searched for it thoroughly because there are many things for free.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

I want to quit.

Seriously. I do. What's a girl to do when after putting all her energy into something, she gets beat down by the ugly monster of illness over and over again. I'm done. Anyone have any rays of sunshine for a gray day, week, month, semester?

(I apologize for the self pity this post is, but I need to vent.)

Thursday, December 9, 2010


I was tagged by my gorgeous, talented sister.  Read her blog it's quite cute--and there's always something new.
4 shows  I watch:
1. Modern Family--My fave right now.
2. 30 Rock
3. The Office
4. Mad Men (when Christmas break begins)

4 things I am passionate about:
1.  My best friend
2.  Family
3.  Learning the meaning of spirituality
4. Health

4 phrases I say a lot: 
1.  “Seriously?"
2.  “Awesome."
3. “What the what?"
4. I don't know...

4 things I have learned from the past
1. It's hard to live with sometimes.
2. People make memories--not places or special events.
3. It all works out.
4. Live in the present.

4 places I would like to go:
1. Back to Paraguay
2. Georgia to visit my granny
3. Back to Paris
4. Hawaii

4 things I did yesterday:
1. Received a great massage from my husband.
2. Appreciated the help of my sis-in-law.
3. Laughed a lot with my students--they are too funny.
4. Felt overwhelmed by the very long day.

4 things i am looking forward to:
1. Finding out if I am in the nursing program!
2. The end of this semester.
3. Christmas.
4. Growing our little family.

4 things I love about winter: (not much)
1. The white snow. It is quite beautiful when it sparkles in the sunshine.
2. Wearing sweaters and gloves.
3. Being snowed in with a good book and hot chocolate and/or delicious, comforting, homemade soup!
4. The holidays with family and friends.

4 things on my wish list
1. FOTR, extended edition
2. Motivation to exercise
3. More time in the day
4. Three or four days in bed to read and write--no interruptions. That would be heaven.

4 people I tag:

(Camie, whenever you decide to update your awesome blog)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

One Year Ago

I married my best friend of seven years.

Eight years later, we are still best friends--if not more so.

Come what may, Jeffrey. Ro hay hu eterei. Or as my favorite family in Paraguay says "Mucho I love you eterei."

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Two meals in a row--only one night's work

I'm always looking for ways to simplify cooking, but still make it delicious. Here's one way that I absolutely love.

Pizza and my own version of Johnny Carino's spicy romano chicken bowtie pasta (without the chicken, of course, for my vegetarian).

You can make either one the first day,  but the whole idea is that the second day almost everything is done for you. I usually make the pizza first, but before anything can be made, the alfredo sauce is first.

Alfredo Sauce
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 pkg (4 oz.) cream cheese
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 oz. grated parmesan
  • ground black pepper

Melt the butter over medium heat. Add cream cheese and garlic powder and whisk until smooth. Add milk a little bit at a time, whisking in between. Stir in pepper and parmesan. Remove from heat when it reaches the desired consistency.

Vegetarian Alfredo Pizza

  • Whole wheat pizza dough (I made this in advance and froze it)
  • 1/2 Alfredo sauce (recipe above)
  • Baby spinach
  • 1/2 14-ounce can of artichoke hearts 
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1/2 zucchini, sliced and halved
  • Roma tomato, diced
  • Sundried tomatoes
  • Diced olives
  • Mozzarella cheese (I just bought the pre-shredded kind)
  • A handful of shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • Whatever ingredients you would like: chicken, bacon, pepperoni
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Roll out the pizza dough onto a lightly oiled pizza pan. Smooth the Alfredo sauce over the dough and top with half the mozzarella cheese, followed by the ingredients. Top with the remaining mozzarella cheese and the handful of shredded sharp cheddar cheese.

Place in the preheated oven and cook for 18-20 minutes.

Spicy Romano Bowtie Pasta

  • Half box of whole wheat bowtie pasta, cooked
  • 1/2 Alfredo sauce from the night before (recipe above)
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1/2 red onion, diced (the other half from the previous night)
  • 1/8 cup sliced sundried tomatoes
  • 1/2 can artichoke hearts (the other half from the previous night)
  • Sliced olives (the other half from the previous night--see a pattern?)
  • Frozen peas
  • Cayenne pepper
Cook bowtie pasta according to directions. In one saucepan, warm up the Alfredo sauce from the night before. Saute 1/2 red onion in the olive oil until softened. Add sundried tomatoes, olives, and artichoke hearts. Cook for a few minutes until softened. Add frozen peas at the last minute and saute until they have thawed. Add the vegetables to the warm sauce. Sometimes the sauce will be too thick from being refrigerated, so I just add a little bit of milk. Add cayenne pepper to taste (this gives it the taste of the Spicy Romano Pasta).

Drain the bowtie pasta and add it to the Alfredo sauce mixture. Toss and serve.

Both of these meals are delicious and so easy, especially the second night. I hope you enjoy!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Bucket Lists

In the Palace of Versailles

Walking the Gardens of Versailles

I am grateful for bucket lists. I'm especially grateful that I was able to cross one of my goals from my list a year and a half ago in Versailles, Paris.

Here's a video from Versailles. Excuse the cheesiness of it all.

I also look forward to crossing this off the list in December: Going to a Judd's concert!


 This blog is writing daily gratitude for the month of November. I think I'll give it a shot. I don't know if I'll do it every day, but I think it's a good practice nonetheless.

So what am I thankful for today?

To be alive.

It may sound crazy, but today that's what I feel.
I won't go into any specifics. I'm just grateful for a beating heart. Grateful that my lungs function, bringing in air and exhaling, softly, slowly, bringing peace to a tempestuous soul.

I've felt tempestuous today, but despite it all, I'm grateful I'm alive.

Grateful I have senses. I can smell the Domino's pizza we had for dinner. I can taste the leftover Halloween candy that I guiltily continue to pop into my mouth. I can feel the tips of my fingers tap away at the hard plastic of my new MacBook (of which I'm also grateful, but that's not the topic today). I can hear my husband breathing in bed next to me  as I fall asleep at night. I can see the words to the books I'm reading (and writing) and the art I admire.

I'm grateful I have a functioning body that hasn't fallen prey to the past pain and difficulties that I've faced.

I realize that's a lot to be grateful for, but it all falls under one category, which I've already stated and still mean.

I'm grateful I am alive.

Estoy agradecida estar viva.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Saturday, October 23, 2010

I should be grading midterms, but instead...

Actually, I only have fifteen left, so I deserve a break, right?

I found this on my sister's blog, and I want to do it too.

my name: lindsay
childhood ambition: to be mary poppins
fondest memory: my wedding day
indulgence: dark chocolate souffles and DQ blizzards--oh, and chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwiches
favorite musician: right now? howard shore
wildest dream: take elise to paris
retreat: my bed with my ipod touch and netflix
proudest moment: anytime i hear from my beloved family de paraguay--los sotelos!
biggest challenge: being patient.
first job: english department office assistant
last purchase: taco bell
inspiration: right now? lord of the rings

My writing: my escape
My life: is about adventure

Friday, October 22, 2010


My life this week has been...

Watch this

And a lot of this...

I've watched all three extended editions in two days.

I'm listening to this...
And wanting to play this...

You see, I don't normally play video games, but I do play Lord of the Rings video games (or Harry Potter). Slightly nerdy, I know, but I love Battle for Middle Earth. It's a PC game and so addicting.

I guess I'm obsessed. 

I also found this website again, after years and years. I can't believe it's still there--literally, years, like 2003 was the last time I visited and it's still the same, and still being updated. Crazy.

It's just been a while, so I thought I'd post some randomnity as Jeff calls it.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

How grateful am I?

So... I'm just sitting here thinking...

It's been a long time since I felt this way.

What way is that? I'm still trying to decide.

Gratitude, yes.

Happy, maybe.

Contentment, perhaps.

It's been a long time since I felt this way.

Too long.

Thank you, God.

That is all.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Flavor-Packed BLT

You won't believe the flavor!
So, I'm writing my first post using my new MacBook. Good feeling!

I've been perusing different food blogs today, including my beautiful friend Amy's Edible Experiments, and decided I needed something flavorful. I got it.

~ whole wheat bread, toasted
~ roma tomato
~ pepper jack cheese
~ mayonnaise (I used Kraft's Mayo with Olive Oil)
~ mustard
~ bacon
~ spring mix lettuce (or just regular lettuce would work)

Just use the above ingredients to put together the sandwich. I toasted my bread in the toaster oven and added the pepper jack cheese for the last few seconds to melt it slightly. I used a little mayo, sliced the roma tomatoes (just two slices were good--I'm using the rest for our tacos tonight). Spread mustard on the top piece of bread. Add the lettuce and then the bacon. Easy!

As far as the bacon goes, I made Cindi's broccoli salad yesterday and had a little leftover. I only use the precooked variety from Jimmy Dean. Make sure you buy their thick strip, hickory baked bacon. It is much better than the others, with less fat and much more crunch. I've had my share of experiences with precooked bacon for board breakfasts, and this is by far the best.

If you come up with any other versions, let me know. This is the most flavorful BLT I've ever had. I think the pepper jack cheese and spring mix had a lot to do with that. The spring mix salad has different varieties, including arugula which adds a bite to the sandwich. Jeff doesn't like it though, and would have chosen spinach instead. It's all up to you, which is what makes the BLT so great.


Sunday, August 15, 2010

"Is there a felicity in the world superior to this?"

My favorite movie, Sense & Sensibility,
(okay, one of my favorites),
Just finished the book,
It is delightful--both are so delightful.

The title of this post is without a doubt my favorite quote from the film (and the novel).
It also sums up yesterday.

It's been a while since Jeff and I have had a weekend at home--one month to be exact.

We decided to stay in last night. We ate a baked potato and fresh corn on the cob, I watched a movie (for nostalgic purposes), while Jeff played Xenogears, and then we made chocolate souffles again--thanks, Camie and Nate, for introducing us to that delish dish.

Melted chocolate... yum.

I love egg whites--just three egg whites and a hand mixer creates this!

Enjoying the evening.

How could I forget Kingdom Hearts?

P.S. I also wrote for 45 minutes. 

(and went to Zumba and purged some memory boxes at my parents' house)... good day. 

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A Present.

So I'm not very patient.
I'm looking forward to a lot of things.
I always do.
I've accomplished one thing,
so it's on to the next.

Well, I've had an epiphany.

The future and the present correlate.
If I worry so much about the future, the present will never be, well,... present.

I sure hope that makes sense.


Saturday, July 24, 2010

Sunny in Salt Lake

Spontaneous trip, Lagoon season passes, half hour at the parade (perfect in my opinion), Five Guys, fireworks, homemade pizza, and the fam. Quack!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

I found it. I think I'm in love.

You can even buy them, but since I'm not the richest, I think I'll just look. And look. And look. There's a ton of gorgeous flapper dresses too!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Where I'll spend my time this weekend...

I have the rest of the weekend and Monday off. The only huge commitment I have is grading essays. Other than that, this is where I'll be spending my time:

Edwardian Promenade

Check out the new magazine. It's fantastic!

Good Housekeeping Archives
It dates back to 1886 with great articles and illustrations that will give me a real insight into what life may have been like as a woman of the early 1900s. I'm super excited!

Anyone else have any plans?

Monday, June 28, 2010


Jeffrey with his darkened mustache.

I did it.

I wrote.

June 22: 20 minutes
June 28: 25 minutes
I'm really loving it. I bought a large sketch book for a different project, but have designated it my writing book from now on. I adore writing on a big blank sheet of white paper. I even wrote a haiku about it.

My Bic Roundstick Pen
On this big, white sketch paper--
Inner child glee.

Thanks for the support. I plan to write more this week. I just have to get past the board meeting tomorrow at 6:30 a.m. That means wake up time is 4:00 p.m. Why am I still awake? ... good question.

Speaking of board meeting, I always make breakfast for the board. I tried these Blackberry Crumb Bars.

It is incredible. Even better than you think it will be! Yum. I am definitely making it again soon.

Try it, you'll be pleasantly surprised too.

I took a picture of my blackberry crumb bars, but am having trouble downloading it. So, for your viewing pleasure, here are some random snapshots of my life recently.

Landon before his first date and dance

Came home from a stressful day at work to find this waiting for me. Thanks again, husband!

Brodie eats sushi at Da Pineapple Grill

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Here's the Deal.

I need to write.

So much. Demasiado. Eterei. Necesito escribir.

It just seems like a very big, important part of me is missing.

With all this feeling yucky all the time, not being able to exercise, and trying to eat well, I have decided I'm going to do something for my soul. Maybe what's wrong with my body is reflecting my need to do more for the inner little me. Does that make sense or do I just sound schizophrenic?

Whatever I sound like, I have made the decision. I am going to write. What has kept me from writing? Too many excuses. I could go on and on with too many excuses that don't matter. Not in the slightest. If I want to do it, then I will, and I want to.

I must start out slow though. Three times per week. That's my goal right now. Every time I write, I'll report it on this blog. At least 30 minutes each time too. None of this, I wrote a paragraph good for me stuff.

Anyone else have a goal?

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Angel Hair with Tomatoes and Basil

Adapted from Ina Garten's Capellini with Tomatoes and Basil

I saw this on Ina Garten's show and had to make it. Why? It combines all my favorite things, fresh basil, angel hair, tomatoes, red pepper flakes, etc., etc. I made it once for my family, but was not thoroughly impressed with the results, so instead I made a few quick changes to create a dish I could be happy with.

See the link above, but use coconut oil instead and Romano cheese. I like it even better! Yum.

Saturday, May 22, 2010


I won't tell you which local store was selling this product... maybe you can guess.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

My Credit Union

As a representative from the Idaho Credit Union League said, "People don't say my bank, but they do say my credit union."

Credit unions are amazing and I'm not just saying that. Check out to find out why.

Also, check out the new Beehive Federal Credit Union For You blog (Beehive is my credit union).