Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Power of Womanhood

I'm going to direct you elsewhere today, to an incredible article written by a blogger named C. Jane Kendrick. It's called "The World Away From Porn," and it's all about loving who we are inside and out, allowing our sexuality to be free from outside influences, and teaching ourselves and our daughters how to embrace the power we have as women.

If you're a man, this post can give you a glimpse into the sacred and powerful womanhood that surrounds you.

So go read it.

(I was also thrilled to see a plug for the Echo Theatre in Provo on this blog, owned by an old friend Jeff Blake. =) Woo hoo for friends' successes!)

photo via

Saturday, February 23, 2013

"She knew that cold is not so cold if you are not afraid of it."

It's winter.

Last night, Rexburg experienced a little over a foot of snowfall, for the second time this year. And between it being February and having a slight cold, it's all I can do to resist hibernating. I'm either part-plant or part-bear, based on my responses to the weather.

Since I can't reasonably hibernate, I'm reading. I have the time to read this winter, unlike winters of the past. Two Februaries ago, I did a blog entry about "winter reads," and I think I'm going to call these books "February Books" from now on. I've been reading a lot of them lately.

I don't want to explore "brave new worlds" of literature in the winter. I'm finding I don't have the summer courage to make new literary friends. In February, one wants old familiar friends.

So far, I've reread Anne of the IslandLittle WomenThe Fault in Our Stars, A Wrinkle in Time, and most of the Little House on the Prairie series. I haven't read the latter in at least fifteen years, and
it's been fun to revisit. And boy, does that series help you deal with winter. It sort of romanticizes winter. And that's nice when you can't hibernate.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

May - September: A reunion


Max Benson
John Bidwell
Joseph Bidwell
Lesley Bidwell
Trudy Bidwell
Jacob Chapman
Liz Chapman
Jerry Costner 
Justin Dabell 
Joseph Galati 
Misha Jenkins 
Mason Lucero
Eliza Merrill 
Maggie Merrill 
Scott Michelsen
Tanner Morton 
Sydney Wise 
Camilla Martinez 
David Martinez 
Justin Maxfield 
Nicole Maxfield
Taylor Regen 
Jacob Squire
Stacey Starke 
Hannah Thompson 
Amanda Van Orden 
David Walker 
Anya Wilson 
Boyd Wolz 

So Jacob and I have talked about auditioning before. (And apparently, we met and spoke at callbacks for the Playmill in 2009, which I have no memory of.) But this year we went for it.

And we're in.


And I gotta tell the story of getting cast, because it's kind of amazing.

We auditioned on Saturday, and got called back, and felt we did really well. We were told we would find out if we were cast by a phone call sometime in the next two weeks. I spent all day Sunday and Monday alternating between despair, ecstatic hope, and complete terror. My prayers during the last week or so have been something along the lines of "Please bless us that we will be cast at Playm--*sigh* Please help us to accept thy will."

By Monday night, I was a wreck. I had a tech rehearsal for The Tempest, and Jacob was at home doing homework. My siblings-in-law Dave and Camilla were also in The Tempest, and had also been called back for the Playmill. Watching them at rehearsal, I began to convince myself that they had been cast. My instincts are often right on this kind of thing, and since Jacob and I hadn't gotten a phone call, I began to lose hope that we were cast. We had heard rumors earlier in the day that the Merrills were making phone calls, and since we hadn't received one...well...

So I got more and more depressed throughout rehearsal, to the point where others were asking me what was wrong, and finally sent Jacob a text message:

"I'm at the point of anxious despair when it comes to Playmill. I've convinced myself that everyone we love was cast and we weren't."

And then I went onstage to do a scene, trying to concentrate on Shakespeare and not my cell phone.

Meanwhile, Jacob was at home, taking a break from his homework. He decided to trim his hair and take a shower. While in the shower, he started daydreaming about the Playmill. He imagined that when he got out of the shower, he would find that he had missed a call from Roger Merrill, offering us a position at the Playmill. He got swept up and carried away by the vision, until he finally reminded himself to chill out and not get his hope up too high.

When he got out of the shower, he heard his cell phone. It was making the noise that signifies a missed call.

He ran to the phone, and checked it. An unknown number. But he had a voicemail. So he dialed it.

"Please enter your password, then press pound....you have one new message...first unheard message...Hi, this is Roger Merrill, just wanted to talk to you about the Playmill..."

Jacob called him back right away, and when Roger offered us positions at the Playmill, he accepted. Then he hung up and laughed out loud for five minutes, occasionally jumping around the room in excitement. After his celebrations were complete, he noticed he had a new text message. It was from me, explaining my despair over Playmill. He began composing a reply.

Switch back to my perspective. I got off stage, and picked up my cell phone to see that I had a new text message. Oh good, I thought, Jacob is offering me some words of comfort. I checked the message and found this:

"I literally just got off the phone with Roger. We're in."

I gasped and ran in circles for about 4 seconds, then dashed out into the lobby to call Jacob back. He confirmed that it was true, and I danced for about five more minutes, and then went back into rehearsal, attempting to contain my glee.

When I got home that night, the two of us hugged each other and laughed and danced and talked. We told each other our experiences, then kneeled in prayer to thank our Heavenly Father for this incredible blessing.

Neither of us could really accept that it was real until we saw the cast list. Also note the presence of family and good friends, like Dave and Camilla, Nicole and Justin Maxfield, Jerry Costner, Scott Michelson, the Bidwells, the Merrills, Dave Walker, and Stacey Starke.

We're both thrilled. THRILLED THRILLED THRILLED. We also both have a few fears...Jacob's worried about his voice holding up, and I'm worried about trying to repeat the past instead of letting things be what they are, and we're both worried about maintaining a strong marriage under the stress of summer stock theatre. But we feel armed against whatever may be...we've got love, friendship, patience, service, a love of theatre, and a whole lotta excitement. =)

See you in West Yellowstone this summer!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Goat Cure

The comedic potential of goats is almost never-ending. So here are a few videos of goats, just in case you're having a bad day or something. Any one of these will cure whatever ails you.

Beatboxing Goat.

(second 12 is my favorite)

Goat does worst goat impression ever.

A goat that's been raised by chickens makes this noise. 

This baby goat is just happy to be alive.

(Much to the chagrin of her baby goat friends.)

Fainting goats.

This baby goat is learning how to jump, and it's adorable.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

All roads lead to...

Out of curiosity a few weeks ago, I checked what searches brought people to my blog. This is what I discovered:

A pretty accurate snapshot of what goes on around here, no? I like to think so. Although I haven't talked nearly enough about monkeys with long hair...

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Feed your mind

It occurred to me the other day that I think being a documentary host would be one of my dream jobs. (The others involving acting, teaching, and writing.) Think about it...I'd get to sort of act (at least follow a script), travel, learn, and then share that knowledge. What more could I ask for?! But as I'm not sure how to go about becoming a documentary host, I'll settle for watching documentaries until the opportunity arises.

Alien Cities Underground
The earth's core is hollow, and home to alien races! I have a soft spot in my heart for these conspiracy-esque documentaries. There is some pretty cool stuff in here, like the discovery of an underground city that could house 20,000 people in Turkey. Also, if you're Mormon, this is a really cool documentary--Ecuadorian Indians are guardians of a cave of treasures that parallel artifacts from ancient Egypt and other Middle Eastern cultures. How could they have possibly gotten them?! This documentary postulates aliens, but I've got another theory. =) If you're not Mormon, read this book and you'll see how cool this is.

Lost Science of the Bible
I actually watched this one hoping it would be the same one I watched years ago with a similar subject, but it wasn't. Fairly entertaining, though. They made an ark of the covenant replica levitate. They talked about how water can be used to initiate a chemical reaction that creates fire (think Elijah). God is the greatest scientist.

The Antikythera Machine
Ancient civilizations are awesome. The modern concept of ancient peoples is that they were developmentally behind us, but they were still the same species, and to say they weren't capable of incredible engineering and technological feats is a bit of an insult. Take the ancient Greeks, for example. Or the Romans. They invented cuckoo clocks. Did you know that? Also, this documentary talks about the Ancient Library of Alexandria a lot, and I actually get teary-eyed thinking about how much knowledge was lost in its destruction. War is stupid! Libraries are awesome! We'd probably know how to build Egyptian pyramids today if Caesar hadn't gotten all battle-happy and burned everything.

The Real Bonnie and Clyde
I actually watched this one a while ago, but forgot to recommend it here. The classic Warren Beatty/Faye Dunaway film is pretty fantastic, but the truth is even stranger than fiction in this case. Clyde Barrow is an especially tragic figure, and this documentary both moved and fascinated me. It was because of the Barrow Gang that the US Government created ways to coordinate federal searches of criminals--before Bonnie and Clyde, catching criminals was a haphazard county-to-county affair.

Nefertiti Resurrected
This is a two-part documentary focusing on the famous queen/possibly pharaoh Nefertiti. I'm kind of obsessed with her husband Akhenaten, and Egypt's history during their reign. This documentary covers a lot of it, although I tend to give Akhenaten more of the benefit of the doubt. There's all kinds of awesome stuff in this documentary, including appearances by the delightful Zahi Hawass and semi-silly reenactments. The focus is on three mummies found in KV-35...is one of them Nefertiti herself?! You'll have to watch this to find out.

BBC's How to Grow a Planet Series
I have separate blurbs for each part of this series listed below, but just as a whole, this documentary is INCREDIBLE. All the HD glory of Discovery Channel's "Planet Earth," but with the added element of a story spanning billions of years. From the very first bacteria all the way to our own species of humanity, our planet's story is a pretty incredible one. There were times when this series actually made me weep at the beauty of the earth. (Note: This documentary sort of skips over the exact details of how evolution works, saying things like "Flowers developed seeds." For the exceptionally curious, I'd recommend brushing up on natural selection and sexual selection to get those details.)

How to Grow a Planet: Life From Light
This is an awesome overview of the beginnings of life on earth. Did you know that millenia ago, the oceans were purple? How incredible would that have been to see? This documentary has some stunning footage, and goes from the very first photosynthesizing bacteria to dinosaurs in the evolution of life on earth.

How to Grow a Planet: The Power of Flowers
Maybe we take them for granted, but life as we know it would be COMPLETELY different if it weren't for flowers. Did you know that there are some flowers who only release their pollen to honeybees, and ONLY when the honeybees beat their wings at a frequency of middle C? Did you know that some flowering trees in rain forests release 5 tons of water vapor into the air PER DAY?

How to Grow a Planet: The Challenger
Have you ever really thought about how much grass is on our planet? It's so humble, it seems like it would have been one of the first plants on earth, but scientists believe grasses came AFTER trees and flowers. This documentary is also fun because it gets into human history. Part of the reason our ancestors might have become bipedal is because they had to stand to see over the tall grasses. CRAZY. Grass has played a major role in human history--who knew?