Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Baker's Dozen


When I accepted the job as a packager at the Rexburg Broulims bakery, I never would have suspected that my co-workers would be such colorful characters. There are days at work when all I can think of is what a great movie my job would make. Curtis, now that you are a film major, I expect you to draw inspiration from this blog in future projects some day.

For the sake of privacy and protection, I won't specify any names, but please know that none of these details have been exaggerated. Meet the cast of the Broulim's Bakery movie:

The Boss/Head Baker -- He looks like either an alcoholic or like he's been sunburned for most of his life, or maybe both. He works hard, jokes a lot, and has a paternal affection for the rest of the employees. He loves classic rock and plays the guitar.

The Assistant Boss -- Says the s-word a lot. Has hardly any teeth left from smoking so much, but she's really self-conscious about it. She decorates cakes.

The other Cake-decorator -- She's absolutely terrifying for the first several hours of the day. If she's not a morning person, I'd like to know why she works in the bakery. But once you get past Scary Morning Monster Woman, she's pretty cool. She says "crap" as often as the other cake decorator says the s-word. Which is funny, because this cake decorator isn't a member of the Church either, and swears a lot anyway, but apparently never the s-word.

The Assistant Baker -- A really sweet girl, currently on parole for something I haven't yet had the courage to ask about. She's in her first trimester of pregnancy with her second child, and leaves the bakery about every two hours to throw up.

The Other Baker -- Kind of pretty, also new, and somewhat boring. Hard worker, and good to work with. Although kind of a perfectionist, which you simply don't have time to be in the bakery.

The Head Packager -- My supervisor. Nice girl, but kind of scary. She looks like a pig (no offense, but its accurate), and she's actually 15 years older than what she looks like, which is really weird. Her husband's name is MERLIN.

Night Shift Guy -- A Drag Queen. No seriously. Queer as a three-dollar bill, and walks/talks more effeminately than I do. On weekends and vacations he travels to Boise and Pocatello to be in drag shows. Has an insatiable thirst for drama and conflict, and tacky tacky tacky drag clothes. Great dancer and performer, though. So he tells me.

Other employee -- Also on parole for something I also haven't had the courage to ask about. She's a lesbian from Pocatello, who's one of the most die-hard Trekkies I've met in a long time. She's kind of butch, and she's got a cyborg claw tattooed onto one shoulder-blade, and a Cardasian symbol tattooed onto the other.

The Samples Lady -- She's adorable, and about a hundred and twelve years old. She hands out bits of food and advice, even if the wisdom she shares doesn't necessarily make sense. Her lipstick is always perfect, although her hair is crazy and dyed maroon except for a little patch at the very back of her head, which is always gray. She had a minor stroke a few years ago, and apparently has never quite been the same since, but I wouldn't have her any other way. She's a doll who loves to chat with customers, and then she comes back into the bakery and swears like a SAILOR, and gives all of her old jewelry and clothes to the Drag Queen.

Then there's me.

I enjoy my job. There's a fun feeling of camaraderie among everyone, and either no one realizes what a quirky crew we are, or they ignore it and get along anyway.

Except I don't like my stupid hat. I do get to wear a chef's jacket, though. That's fun.

Friday, April 18, 2008

"Who, me? No, I work in the bakery. But some people mistake me for Lana Turner."


The above is a picture of most of Comic Frenzy at our final 2-hour “Yacht Party” show. It was a blast…my favorite moment of the night was during Pop-Up Story-book, when Jesse said “And the moral of the story is, when we solve our problems here, they’ll still be in Mexico.”

Well, ladies and gentleman, the summer begins! Today was my third-ish day as a packager in the Broulims Bakery, and I can’t decide how I feel about the job. It’s not terrible, but its not exactly thrilling either. I get up at 6:15 nowadays, in order to be on the job at 7am, 5 days a week. All summer. Although its nice to get off at 2pm every day and know that I’m done working for the day. I’m desperate for “Faustus” auditions next week—I need theatre in my life something terrible.

The school year ended in a flurry of insanity. This semester, I think I’ve set a record for myself as having the worst report card in my academic career. I just really spread myself too thin. In order to be eligible for scholarships, you have to carry 14 credits, so this semester looked something like this:

Fitness Class
Script Analysis Class
World Religions Class
American Literature Class
Educational Psychology Class
Acoustics Class

I also made Comic Frenzy this semester—hooray! It was totally worth it, and one of the greatest experiences of the semester, but it was another time commitment that I didn’t want to short-change. So that meant 4 hours of rehearsal a week, and one weekend of 4 shows once a month. I was also Theatre Council President again (planning theatre awards!), and I directed (and costumed, and did set, lights, and props for) a one-act play called “Riders to the Sea.” Which was also awesome. Oh, and I worked 20 hours a week. In the theatre department, and it wasn’t too difficult, but still 20 hours a week. So it meant that for a significant part of the semester, I would leave the house at 8:50 in the morning, and not come home again until about 9:30 or 10:00 at night. At which point, it would be time to do what homework I couldn’t finish at work. Which was usually most of it.

I have to admit I kinda threw in the towel a little bit. When you have that many things on your list, the least important ones to you tend to just kind of…fall off the list. Like classes. I apologize to anyone I’ve disappointed. I’ve had my period of grieving, and now I’m reconciled to it.

This week of “vacation” between winter and summer semester has been spent at the Thorsons’ new-ish apartment. Sarah, Annie, and I are shacking up there while the Thorsons are at home in Medford visiting family, and we are celebrating by all becoming as domestic as we possibly can.

We’ve developed a theory. We think that when there are fewer women in a household, they all become more domestic. We also think that we’re all going “Betty” because we’re staying in a real home…with family pictures on the walls, and books on the shelves, and flowers in vases in front of the windows. We take turns cooking these great dinners, and we clean all the time, and there are always cookies or something on the table, and there’s always hot water in the kettle for tea and/or hot chocolate. We’re playing house. =)

Which leads me to our other past-time—we’ve officially got Sarah hooked on the TV show “House, M.D.” With yummy Hugh Laurie. Annie went out and bought all three seasons on DVD. For a while, we had borrowed a friend’s, and it was on constantly in our house last fall. Sarah’s trying to catch up with us, so when we’re not being domestic, we’re watching “House.” Although Annie and I did watch “Wrath of Khan” yesterday. Ah, Star Trek.

Anyway, I’m on my way to big things, as per usual, although the path is alternately too full of adventure or not nearly exciting enough. But I guess that’s a permanent road we’re on, eh?

I’ve also been writing a lot of poetry lately. I set a goal for myself last semester to have some of my poetry published, as in print published, not just internet published, so last week, I submitted 5 poems to BYU-Idaho’s literary journal. That will be a cool thing, won’t it? “Why yes, I’ve had some of my poetry published in a private university’s literary journal.” Hopefully they’ll accept my entries…

But I bring it up because I have a few friends who are BRILLIANT poets, who often publish their poetry on their blogs, so I thought I’d give the same thing a spin. Also at the end of this entry is a fun little list-y thing…got this from yet another friend’s blog. Check it out, my life’s soundtrack. There’s a lot of romance-related songs, but I guess that’s a big part of the human experience. Feel free to fill out your own, it was fun.

So here’s a poem.

What a Wonder is a Gun

Ernest Hemingway
shot himself in the head
at home here in Idaho.
After 32 electric shock treatments in one year
and at least triple that number of empty bottles.
He had known defeat for years
And where’s your code hero now,
Who will be your children’s code hero now?

I’ve got work
that starts tomorrow
Seven a.m.
5 days a week
until the end of July.
I dread the first day of any job

The boy I can’t stop being in love with
is still sitting in the living room
refusing to be loved by me
He left late last night when
talking on the phone
to the girl he’s planning on marrying.

It started snowing this afternoon
when yesterday it was tropical
Sarah’s still got a cold
Beckah’s in New York and then gone forever
And everyone’s a Playmill Player.

Today I’m sitting in my Cutlass Ciera
parked in the fire lane
at my old apartment complex.
listening to rock and roll
and breaking rules.

I’m sure that by the end of my summer here
I will understand why
my address had to be on Princeton Court.
Why I had to trade in character shoes for a chef’s jacket.
Why he had to marry her.

Why another bank account had to be closed.
Why another flight had to be cancelled.
Why I had to throw away my key to the Holiday Motel.
Why I had to give up on
Acoustics and Jean Piaget and the Tao
and everything else except Brother Allen and
American Literature.

What would you have done, Ernest Hemingway?
This country is hard on people
This country where everyone’s got the right to be happy.

Johnny and Paul and their cronies from Liverpool
said that Happiness is a Warm Gun
And John Hinckley was sure that it was a smoking one.
John Wilkes Booth was his code hero.

Anne Sexton and Sylvia Plath both
stuck their heads in their ovens,
and Emma Smith
started her own church.
But Atlas still hasn’t dropped the globe,
And in the end
you do what you have to
to pull through.
You go on a drive,
spend an hour in the gym,
take 50 mg of sertraline.

Sometime around 1992
The youngest son of some German immigrants
walked to the beach
Having decided that
Hemingway had the right idea
and that Happiness was a smoking gun after all.

My uncle’s ashes have been dissolving into
the Pacific
for more than 15 years now

And who will be my code hero now, Ernest Hemingway?

It started out about sitting in my car in the fire lane and writing poetry, but ended up being about a lot more. The best art is the kind you don't do on purpose.

Now for some fun to finish up. My life in soundtrack form!!!
Opening Credits: "Dizzy Miss Lizzy" by The Beatles
Waking Up: "Here Comes the Sun" The Beatles
First Day At School: "Confidence" from The Sound of Music
Falling In Love: "Oh It Is Love" by HelloGoodbye
Fight Song: "We're Not Gonna Take It" by Twisted Sister (I'm actually listening to this song this very second...)
Breaking Up: "One For My Baby" by Bette Midler
Being Dumped: "Kinda Low" by Katie Thompson
Unrequited Love: "We Get On" by Kate Nash
Prom: "Dancing With Myself" by Billy Idol
Life's good: "Beautiful Day" by U2
Mental Breakdown: "Tonight" by Sixpence Nonethericher
Driving: "Roam" by the B-52's
Flashback: "That Time" by Regina Spektor
Getting Back Together: "Lovers of Loving Love" by The Aquabats
Wedding: "Going to the Chapel"
Birth of Child: "Isn't She Lovely?" Stevie Wonder
Final Battle: "Indiana Jones Theme" by John Williams
Death Scene: "Goobye-Goodbye" by Oingo Boingo
Funeral Song: "When I Die" by Blood, Sweat, & Tears
End Credits: "The Curtain Falls" by Bobby Darin

Anyway, hope you are all well!

Monday, April 7, 2008

"Hollywood is a place where people from Iowa mistake each other for stars." --Fred Allen

Ladies and gentleman, my film debut!

This is the first screen acting I've ever done seriously, and it was a blast! Everyone did great in it...Davey as the intimidating boyfriend, Jeff as the awkward everyman, Allison and Sam as the goth kids, Lizzy the stern baby-sitter, and of course the Merrill girls steal the show in everything they are involved in. It was FREEZING, and kind of raining the day we filmed, but it was so much fun anyway.

Curtis is the real brilliance behind it all. All his concept and direction and editing. The song is perfect. This is his application into the film program at BYU. Wish him luck, everyone! I can't wait until he's famous, along with Jeff and Davey. I feel privileged to associate with such talent!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Confessions of a bibliophile...


It's almost summer. Know what that means? Reading! Lots and lots of reading! Whatever books I want. On my timetable. Ah, books.


10. All of the Stripling Warriors from "The Book of Mormon"
Come on, what teenage Mormon girl didn't crush a little bit on those obedient boys?

9. Peter from "Peter Pan"
He broke my heart along with Wendy's for always being a boy, but I wouldn't want him any other way.

8. Atticus Finch from "To Kill A Mockingbird"
Although sometimes I'm in love with him, and other times I feel the sort of motherly affection that a kindly neighbor woman might.

7. Nephi from "Romancing the Nephites"
Notably not from the Book of Mormon itself, but the above book is a deep dark secret of my past. I don’t recommend it, but if you happen to read it, don’t judge me. I was young.

6. Cal Trask from "East of Eden"
Might have something to do with the fact that James Dean plays him in the movie.

5. Laurie from "Little Women"
That scene when he's confessing his feelings to Jo? Breaks my heart every time.

4. Rhett Butler from "Gone With the Wind"
I hate it when I'm attracted to stereotypes.

3. Edward from "Twilight"
Damn pop culture Mormon vampire book. I like it even though everything tells me I shouldn't.

2. Holden Caulfield from "Catcher in the Rye"
Dear sweet sensitive intelligent boy.

1. Stan Claxton from "The Whistling Toilets"
Quirky and wonderfully human young man.