Monday, December 26, 2011

December changes

Well, one week from today, we'll be moving into our new apartment.

It's truly bittersweet -- we've loved living in Rexburg West. We spent the first year and a half of our marriage there. We spent the first 6 months of that with Carrie and Scott as our neighbors. The Taits have been our neighbors this whole time, too. We've worked in the Primary in our ward for the whole year and a half that we've lived there. Part of me is thrilled to be moving, but a corner of my heart is DREADING it.

- Cheaper rent
- Funky little apartment
- Closer to EVERYTHING (walking distance to: campus, Great Harvest, Teton Thai, cheap theatre, College Avenue Deli, Cocoa Bean Cupcake Cafe, Wells Fargo, Porter's, Plasma Center, Sammy's, Mike's Music)
- Back on College Avenue, which has got a whole load of sentimental value already
- Neighbors with my new friend Danielle

- No longer neighbors with the Taits (or my sister, who just moved into the complex)
- No longer in our ward

And those two cons alone almost outweigh all the pros. But it's the right thing for us to do. And it's not like we're moving across the country, or the state, or even too far across town. We're moving, like, 6 blocks. It just feels more dramatic because we live in Rexburg and it's our first move as a married couple.

In the meantime, we're here in Utah, jamming on the guitar with Jacob's extended family, planning a visit with our beloved Carrie and Scott, sneezing (the people we're staying with have cats, which make me sneeze), and trying to find a movie theatre that's playing "My Week With Marilyn." Which I'm DYING to see, but neither Rexburg nor Idaho Falls is showing it.

Enjoy your post-Christmas activities, everyone! I'm going to eat more pumpkin pie and watch documentaries. Maybe do a puzzle or two.


image via Pinterest
(Pinterest is a black hole and I'm nearing the edges of its gravitational power.)

Monday, December 19, 2011

Now that school is out...

(UPDATE: Links have been added to the post below this one...the one wherein I recommend several documentaries.)

...Jacob and I have been doing the following:
Playing guitar (Jacob)
Watching movies (both of us)
and learning how to use Photoshop more awesomely (me)

Wanna see? I've been learning how to use gradients.

Fun, right? My favorites are the Buddy Holly one and the Beatles one. And the one of Jacob dressed all crazy isn't bad either.

(Also, I hope no one is offended by that last one. A friend and I were joking lovingly about Oregon once and he said that. I thought it was a hilariously accurate portrayal of Oregon. I love Oregon with my whole heart. Although I don't necessarily advocate smoking pot. I'm all for supporting lesbians, though.)

Friday, December 16, 2011

Documentaries! Documentaries! Keep your brain alive over Christmas break!

UPDATE: Links to each documentary have been added! Just click on the title! 

I know just about everyone's brains are TIRED at this point, but hear me out. I've discovered something AMAZING this last year, and you deserve to hear about it. Free streaming of HUNDREDS of documentaries. You can't download 'em, and most of the videos are links from the actual companies' youtube channels. You can search. You can browse. You can make your brain jump for joy.

If you're not sold yet, here are a few things I've watched recently:

The Medici: Godfathers of the Renaissance
Before there was Michael Corleone, there was Cosmo de Medici. He and his family may have operated an enormous mafia racket back in the 1500s in Italy (or, ahem, "banking business"), but they were also patrons of Boticelli (who changed painting to be fantasy-based), Brunelleschi (who invented linear perspective), and a young man with a chisel in his hand named Michelangelo Buonarroti. Oh, and they "produced" four Popes, too.

Titanic's Achilles' Heel
Did you know that in the Senate Investigation of the White Star Line, the record states that the Titanic went down intact? The majority of eye-witnesses swore she sank in one piece. We're learning that James Cameron's famous description of how the Titanic sank might be completely incorrect.

Modern Masters
I've just started this series, but I watched the hour-long special on Andy Warhol, and I was fascinated. Just about every single thing that happened in graphic design and pop art (and experimental film and the look of rock music) can be traced back to this blond child of Slovakian immigrants. Did you know someone tried to murder him once? Crazy. I'm excited to watch the rest of the series.

Clever Monkeys
First of all, it's narrated by David Attenborough, so you really can't go wrong. Second of all, monkeys are crazy smart. People say language is one of the things that separate us from apes, but some apes seem to actually speak other monkey species' languages! And they use tools. And it's cute.

Marie Antoinette: The Last Queen of France
I read a fictional autobiography of Marie Antoinette this past summer, and have been fascinated by this woman ever since. The poor woman was the ultimate victim of the press, I think, and a figure deserving of more pity than we give her. (Incidentally, most people know Marie Antoinette only for saying "Let them eat cake" and for being beheaded. Only one of those things actually happened.)

The Truth About Killer Dinosaurs
Um, do I even NEED to sell you on this one? Scientists using fossils and math to figure out just how deadly a T-rex or Triceratops actually was? Oh, still not convinced? That steel T-rex skull on the cover is recreated from actual fossils. It's life-size. They feed it cow bones. (Why are you even still reading? Go watch it!) Oh, and Bill Oddie is delightful.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

I WAS going to start decorating for Christmas...

...but we're moving into an apartment above the Cocoa Bean on January 1st. $80 cheaper rent, and back on good ole College Ave.

I decided today, as I was walking through the freezing snow and wind, that the extra $80 will be spent on a daily hot chocolate from the Cocoa Bean.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The alternative to counting sheep

Jacob and I spent last night playing improv games. I guess that's a little bit misleading, because really we were just laying in bed and playing wit games, but it was really fun. And there were quite a few gems.

Exhibit A: 

Patron: Waiter, there's an elementary school principal in my soup.
Waiter: Oh, that's where we put academic honesty!

Patron: Waiter, there's a volleyball in my soup.
Waiter: Someone must have spiked it.

Patron: Waiter, there's a volleyball in my soup.
Waiter: Tom will be so sad!

185 storks walk into a bar. Bartender says "We don't serve your kind here." Storks say "Oh, that's okay, we just needed a leg up." 

185 storks walk into a bar, and then everyone had a baby.

185 lamps walk into a bar. Bartender says "We don't serve shady characters like you around here!"

185 lamps walk into a bar. Bartender says "Get your own oil...the bridegroom already came."

Aaaaand my absolute favorite of the night:
185 foolish virgins walk into a bar. Bartender says "You're awfully purdy, come here and give me a kiss." Foolish virgins say "No! You'll get pregnant!"

(Jacob and I wondered if these would still be funny in the morning. 

 Yep. Still funny.)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Life with the Chapmans

Ever wondered what an average day in the Chapman Home is like? Pictures speak a thousand words. (So here's daily life in 4,000 words...)

Oh, and here's Thanksgiving in 5,000 words:

There was lots of music.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Work in progress

I'm almost done with the first draft. One day, I'll hand a printed copy to my mom, who keeps reminding me that this MUST be written.

There's still a lot of work to do, but this ROCKIN' cover and perfect title for my little Kirby memoir, is great motivation to finish.

(The title is from the "Kirby song" we sang as an office to get us pumped every morning. "Up in my head, down in my feet, deep in my heart, I got the whole Kirby spirit!")

Friday, November 18, 2011

Quirks of evolution

The other night, as I was watching a documentary called "Clever Monkeys" (narrated by David Attenborough of course), I was introduced to one of the weirdest looking creatures on the planet today.

Really. It's really weird. Wanna see it?

Scroll down. I dare ya. 

TA DA!!!

This is a proboscis monkey. Or the "long-nosed monkey," as its also known. And I think it might be my new favorite animal. I'm not sure, though.

It's kind of like a car crash. Part of you wants to look away, and the other part of you can't help your fixation, you know? When I showed this picture to my sister-in-law Laura, she said "I don't know whether I want to cuddle it or drop an anvil on its head."

Anyway, they're endangered, and they live in Borneo, and only the males have those weirdly large noses. Here's another picture for you.

I mean, doesn't this guy look like a muppet? Or an old man? Or a muppet of an old man? Several people noted that this guy is "The Jimmy Durante of Monkeys."

Here's another picture. This is "Zoolander Proboscis Monkey."

"What? I'm a proboscis monkey, biotch! Don't hate me 'cause I'm beautiful!"

(Okay, that might have gone a little too far. But it seemed the appropriate caption to this photo.)

The thing I can't figure out is WHY they have those huge noses. What evolutionary purpose could they serve? Since only the males have them, are they some sort of...wooing display? Like, "Look at me and my large nose. I would make a good mate!" (That's as far as I'm going with that...I don't think I could continue without feeling uncomfortable.) Or are there foods in Borneo that demand a keen sense of smell to be found?

I can't think of any truly plausible reason that nature would select for this nose.

I have a hard time believing it's real. I've concluded, however, that the proboscis monkey must belong in the same genus as these guys:

Squidward, from "Spongebob Squarepants," and

the Blobfish.

(The Blobfish is a real creature, by the way. I know that picture doesn't look real, but it is. According to Wikipedia, the blobfish "is a deep sea fish of the family Psychrolutidae. Inhabiting the deep waters off the coasts of mainland Australia and Tasmania, it is rarely seen by humans. Blobfish live at depths between 600-1200 meters or 1968-3937 feet where the pressure is several dozen times higher than at sea level, which would likely make gas bladders inefficient for maintaining buoyancy. Instead, the flesh of the blobfish is primarily a gelatinous mass with a density slightly less than water; this allows the fish to float above the sea floor without expending energy on swimming. Its relative lack of muscle is not a disadvantage as it primarily swallows edible matter that floats in front of it. Blobfish eat invertebrates like crabs and sea pens." Yeah. It's "primarily a gelatinous mass.")

Oh, and proboscis monkeys tend to have large "beer-bellies" too.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

"Ain't this glamorous!?"

Acting is usually billed as a glamorous profession. Red carpets, Dior gowns, cool drinks and personal assistants. And while that is part of the life for the 2% of the world’s actors who can demand six figures for every project, the majority of the time, acting is probably the LEAST glamorous job in the world.

Here’s what acting actually is:

Acting is wearing a spandex full-body suit for two hours while scales are being painted onto it. And then not moving while it dries.

It is putting on a wig-cap (which makes everyone look like a transvestite, regardless of their sexual/gender identity), then having bobby pins lodged deep into your skull for several hours.

It is wearing a gown made of three layers of upholstery fabric under 50 brightly focused lights.

It is saying the same words hundreds of times, and trying to make them sound new every time.

It is changing your clothes (and occasionally your entire identity) in less than 45 seconds, either in a darkened corner with three pairs of hands gropingly assisting you, or else while running through the restaurant below the theatre.

It is spending 20 – 30 hours per week (that’s a part-time job, people) for two months in order to receive 30 seconds of applause.

It is standing outside in the dead of winter in a light coat and being told not to shiver.

It is being told to stop what you’re doing every two minutes or less, for five to six hours a night, for one long long long week.

It is a non-lubricated condom pulled over a mic-pack worn around your waist under your costume, with a mic thread pulled through your hair and taped onto your face with medical tape.

It is having a rib popped out of place by someone falling on you, and going on with the show anyways.

It is cleaning blood out of the inside of your character shoes.

It is being told, sometimes even by those that love you, either directly or indirectly, that your contributions to the world are not worthwhile and do not matter, regardless of how life-changing your experiences in that theatre have been.

It is bruised elbows, hyper-extended knees, ripped off fingernails, dislocated toes, and pulled muscles.

It is not getting home until midnight for weeks.

It is finding Ben Nye makeup (which I’m pretty sure is a combination of pottery clay and Crisco) in your eyebrows a week after a show has closed. (And fighting the zits from that makeup for months after the show has closed.)

It is having your hair wrapped in plastic wrap, straws stuck up your nose, a garbage bag put over your shoulders, and strips of plaster laid over your face. (And again, being told to not move while it dries.)

It is singing and dancing for six hours straight, six nights a week, in 103-degree weather.

It is looking into the eyes of one person some night, and knowing that you made some difference in their life. Maybe they learned something, maybe they felt something…something in their face tells you that you did something meaningful.

I’ve been in somewhere around 30 productions now. I’ve done tech for another 10 or so. (Tech is two hours of boredom interspersed with five minutes of sheer panic.) Every one of those things I mentioned up there I’ve personally experienced. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I don’t mean for this to sound like bragging or anything, I’m just trying to share what I love.

I guess all I really have to say is that those who stick with acting DON’T do it for the glamour.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Least Festive Halloween Ever

Between designing sound for one show, and starring in it, and running sound for another show, and working 15 hours a week, and going to school full-time, there simply wasn’t time or emotional energy to get excited about Halloween this year. No costumes, no jack-o-lanterns, no candy, no parties. No nothing. Kinda lame.

But here’s the thing. Last night I was filled with gratitude to just sit at home with my husband and not have to be ANYWHERE. We’ve been basking in the free time we’ve had the last two nights. Sunday, we got into bed around 7 and stayed there until we fell asleep around midnight, with only a break or two to get dinner (Rocky Road ice cream and Great Value peanut butter cups). Jacob read a J.R.R. Tolkien story aloud and then we made out.

If that all sounds perfect, it was.

Last night, we went out to dinner, and then I shaved my legs, soaked my feet, and read “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” while eating chocolates. The whole evening was rather Holly Golightly, actually. (Except for the part when I fell on my face while weather-proofing our bedroom window. Not so Holly Golightly.)

So Happy Halloween, I guess. In the future, the Chapmans will be more festive. But this year, sitting in the living room, listening to Jacob play the guitar while I read and wrote, was the perfect Halloween.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Two Wolves

A man once told his son, "Within each of us, there are two wolves: one good and one evil. They are constantly battling, fighting to be the dominant one."

His son replied, "But, father. Which one wins?"

The man smiled at his son and answered, "That's easy. Whichever one you feed."

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Jules and Seve Come to Visit, or "Baby Simon Goes on a Roadtrip"

Here's the weekend in pictures. Our good friends Jules and Seve came to visit, and they brought their newest family member, sweet Simon.

Here he is, surprised by mortality, as usual.

Simon spent the weekend: 

Being cared for by Mom and Dad. (That's a syringe in Seve's mouth. In case you couldn't tell.)

Thinking deep thoughts with Jacob.

Meeting Uncle Jerry.

Being a tiny hipster.

Looking this concerned at least 80% of the time.

And occasionally looking downright terrified. (We can't get over this picture. For any readers who may be concerned about the cause of this face, it was poop. When you've only had a working digestive system for three weeks or so, poop can be pretty alarming.)

But most of the weekend was spent cuddling.

Or being cuddled, as the case may be. 

Is it obvious that I'm excited for us to have one of our own someday?
Because I'm pretty excited to be a mom someday.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

SCI 207 Homework

(UPDATE: Yeah, I totally turned this in. And got full credit. In fact, the teacher liked it so much that when he handed the assignments back, he had me read it out loud to the class. Ha ha!)

The Assignment:
Observe the rock in the Geology hallway display case. Record your observations, then come up with the rock's history based on your observations.

The Rock:

The Rock's History, according to me:
Once upon a time there was a very large and often hungry monster named Lithovore Jones. Lithovore Jones was what modern bloggers would now call a “foodie.” He loved eating more than he loved sunning his tail on rocks or singing hopscotch songs, and all monsters love these things a lot. His favorite foods were plants and seafood. The only problem was that Lithovore Jones always ate too fast.

After going out to dinner with other monsters one night, Lithovore Jones grimaced and said, “I love eating, but I always get a stomach ache afterwards!”

“Maybe if you didn’t eat so fast, Lithovore Jones,” his friends kindly hinted.

Lithovore Jones sighed. “But I just love food so much! I can’t get enough of it. Tonight’s clam-bake was delicious.”

His monster friends agreed. “The barnacle appetizers are superb at this restaurant,” one said. “Oh, and the oysters! Divine!” said another. “I’m a fan of the Unidentifiable Material Horseshoe Dessert myself,” said another. Everyone nodded their heads in agreement.

Lithovore Jones’ stomach gurgled, and he sighed again. “If only there was something I could do to aid digestion!”

Suddenly, another monster stepped out of the alley. She had a long mane of matted orange hair, and it was filled with shells and beads and bits of bone. She was carrying a small leather pouch.

“Pssst,” she said. “Hey Lithovore.”

“Me?” said Lithovore Jones.

“Yeah you, sonny. I’ve got something here to cure your ills!” The strange monster held out the leather pouch, and Lithovore Jones peered inside.

“It’s nothing but sand and pebbles!” he said.

“Eat it, and your gastrological ailments will be cured!”

The other monsters looked skeptical, but Lithovore Jones instinctively trusted the monster-witch, and he took the pouch and gulped down its contents. Readers may judge this move overhasty, but they must realize that Lithovore Jones’ stomach really hurt.

For a moment after swallowing the sand and pebbles, nothing happened. Then suddenly, Lithovore Jones felt his stomach lurching and churning. The clams and barnacles and the Unidentifiable Material Horseshoe Dessert were all being tossed around in his stomach like clothes in a dryer. Lithovore Jones felt slightly alarmed.

“Is this supposed to happen?” he asked the strange monster.

She laughed and said, “Yes! Yes! One moment more and the process will be complete!”

Lithovore Jones felt his stomach slowing down, down, down…until finally it stopped. Lithovore Jones belched once and a small stone fell from his mouth.

All the other monsters examined the stone with slightly disgusted fascination. The sand had mixed with Lithovore Jones’ stomach acids to create a sort of cement. And in the cement were all the clams and barnacles and the Unidentifiable Material Horseshoe Dessert. The pebbles churning around with the lump of digested shells had smoothed its edges, leaving it free of jagged edges.

For having just been belched forth from the innards of a large monster, it was a thing of beauty.

When the other monsters finally looked up from the stone, the strange monster-witch was gone. The monsters debated among themselves about what should be done with the shell-filled rock for a few minutes. Finally, Lithovore Jones picked up the stone and put it in his pocket.

“I know exactly what I’ll do with this,” he said, and walked away, thinking fondly of his dear friend Brother Tonks, who would be sure to find a use for the stone in his science courses at BYU-Idaho.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Brief Announcement/Thanks

Hey everyone.

Remember when I asked all of you to go vote for this guy to be a Cheapster?

Well, pat yourselves on the back, people, because he's 

Thanks to YOUR votes, the man is IN! Like Flynn!
Thank you thank you thank you. All of you rock. More than you know. =)