Tuesday, September 30, 2014

What is your Greatest Show on Earth?

I took Lilian to the Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Circus on Saturday morning. Lilian found everything so very "impressing" but her favorite act was the motorcycles racing around inside the round, steel cage. For me, it was the elephants. Always the elephants. Because well...elephants, right? Who doesn't love them?

The circus bills itself as The Greatest Show on Earth. But I want to know is who came up with this distinction? I mean, the circus is indeed a pretty great show. It's got many and varied acts. Cool and amazing, all of them. Heck, even the clowns have mad skills. But the Greatest?

Because I'm thinking that to some, The Greatest Show on Earth may not be the circus at all. For some it may be the Superbowl. For another it may be U2's 360 tour concert. Maybe it's dinner at Wolfgang Puck's Spago in Las Vegas. Or perhaps listening to Yo Yo Ma perform at Carnegie Hall in NYC. It could've been watching Star Wars in the theater with your Dad back when you were just a kid in 1977. Maybe The Greatest Show on Earth is participating in the Rise Lantern Festival in the Mojave Desert. Maybe it's as simple as watching the sun set over the ocean in San Diego or Hawaii.

I think it depends on each individual person as to what the definition of The Greatest Show on Earth truly is. For me? It's a Broadway musical. And though I've seen four shows in NYC on Broadway (one of them twice), if pressed I'd probably call "Anything Goes" my Greatest Show on Earth. Probably because not only was it an old time classic broadway musical starring Sutton Foster as Reno Sweeney and have phenomenal music and tap dancing (!!!)....but it was the very first Broadway show I ever saw. And I was blown away by the caliber and quality, yes...but also by the very fact that I was watching a show on Broadway!

The circus is great. I hugely enjoyed it. But it's not The Greatest Show on Earth to me. Maybe it is to you? If not, what's YOUR Greatest Show on Earth?

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Pick a seat, any seat...

"Just pick whatever seat you want when you get into the theater," the girl at the ticket counter told me. "This showing is just general admission."

Thankful for previews seeing as I was running just a tad bit late for the 2:05 starting time of "Magic in the Moonlight," Woody Allen's newest flick, I stepped inside theater 2 and waited for my eyes to adjust to the darkness....
....and then realized there wasn't another soul inside. I had the entire theater to myself. General admission indeed!

If you can dismiss the somewhat creepy feeling about being all alone in a big, dark theater and not give way to your overactive imagination that makes you wonder if you really are actually alone....well, then...there are some definite advantages to owning that theater. At least for that showing anyhow.

1. You can sit anywhere you want. Heck, you can change seats in the middle of the show. You can try out every seat in the theater and run your own personal experiments as to which seats are best for sound, visual acuity, closest to the exit if you have to make a mad dash to the bathroom because you drank too much soda, etc.

2. You can put your feet up on the chair in front of you and not have to worry about kicking someone in the head. Having your own theater viewing experience is all about comfort.

3. You can talk out loud to the characters on the screen (or to yourself) and no one will "shhhhh!" you. (Should I admit that I do this?)

4. You can stand up and take a selfie of yourself with the movie as backdrop and post it to instagram with a #theatertomyself #magicinthemoolight #afternoonatthemovieswithnokids

5. You don't have to turn the ringer off on your iPhone and can actually take a call right then and there if someone rings through.

6. You can answer a text message and not worry that the light from your iPhone screen is super obvious to others around in the darkened theater.

7. You can drool all you want over Colin Firth (aka Mr. Darcy) and no one will notice and mock you for it.

This afternoon I was guilty of numbers 1, 2, 3, 6, and 7.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Once a blonde, always a blonde

I've begun the process of lightning my hair color. It's been a dark brown, nearly black, for about ten years now. A stark contrast to the dirty dishwater blonde I was previously. But my grey hairs are now coming in fast and furious. And those grey hairs look pretty dramatically light against my dark hair. So I decided that it was time to go lighter so as to lessen the contrast. Not that I plan to go completely blonde again. And not that my grey hairs won't still be noticeable...just maybe not as holy-wow-that-girl-really-needs-to-get-her-hair-done-stat sort of obvious. But it's been so dark for so long that it's going to be and already has been a lengthy process. This most recent trip to salon brought my hair color to a point where it is now noticeably lighter.

Bryan is thrilled. And my Dad actually thanked me when he noticed. I started wondering if they had actually hated my hair for the past ten years...
(They both assure me that this is not the case.)

I was reading a blog post this morning. About a lady who was having a frazzled sort of morning. It involved getting her kids to school on the first day and smashing her finger in the door, blood spurting everywhere...all while promising to help a friend jump his car because of a dead battery so he could get to the airport. So, after getting the kids off and trying to staunch the blood from her finger...she opened her trunk, nodded to the jumper cables sitting there and told her friend to go get his car so they could get started.
To which he stared at her and said, could you be any more blonde? She felt dumb and made excuses about her injured finger and frazzled state of mind.
And I sat there trying to figure out what the problem was.
Was there some double entendre that I was catching onto? What was she apologizing for? What was she feeling blonde about? I just wasn't seeing it.

I read the passage a couple more times and then continued to skim down the post a ways before I finally figured it out. Oh! Duh. Of course the guy can't bring his car to hers...his battery is dead. That's the whole point of needing jumper cables.
And then I laughed at myself and felt rather dumb.

Because apparently it doesn't matter if you have been a brunette for ten years....underneath it all, the blonde lives on.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Back to school

The first day of school was a little bit different this year. Perhaps because though Rebekah was also experiencing her first day of school at Utah State University, it was in an entirely different town and I wasn't able to get pictures. I should've insisted she send me a first day of school selfie. Hmm.
The three others, however...Julianne, Brandon and Lilian...were not able to escape the traditional doorstep photo-op.

Truth be told, I almost forgot to get a picture Julianne. I said goodbye at the door, my mind already moving onto the next order of business (waking Brandon) when I realized that I hadn't taken a picture! I made a mad dash out to the driveway, my arms waving to get her attention, and then literally made her climb out of her already running car so I could take a quick picture. And maybe its appropriate after all, that her picture is in front of her car rather than the front door seeing as this was her first day driving herself to school.
A junior at the local high school, her schedule goes something like this. (Well, exactly like this if you want to get technical. No something about it....)

1. Math Honors
2. English Honors
3. U.S. History
4. Psychology
5. Seminary
6. Social Dance
7. Chemistry
8. Ce Intro to Education

*The Ce class is a college course through Weber State University.

*Julianne was selected by her Seminary teacher to be the class president. Which apparently carries with it multiple responsibilities.

*She was also chosen to be on the Junior Committee this year which means she's involved in helping put together a lot of various school activities and spreading school spirit and that kind of stuff.

By the time Brandon left for school I had the whole photography thing under control. Traditional doorstep shot, check.

This kid is in 8th grade this year so he knows what's what over at the junior high, all the ins and outs of handling multiple classes and teachers. His schedule this year...

1. English
2. Exploring Technology
3. U.S. History
4. Science
5. 2-D Art (drawing)
6. Math
7. Science Exploration

*He likes science...can you tell?

*We're hoping to get him out of P.E. next semester. Because really, when you are at the gym 6 days each week for a total of 26 hours, isn't P.E. kind of waste of time? We have to take it up with the district, apparently. I hope we can get them agree, because I think his time would be better spent taking a different class he would enjoy more, or having a study hour.


Lilian is in 2nd grade this year. She has decided that black is to be her color this year. With pops of hot pink, she says. And that leather skirts make her look "popular." Oh my....

She also insisted that I take a picture of her backpack. She is picky about and has very clear ideas of what backpack she will deign to carry. In Kindergarten, it was Angry Birds. 1st grade was all about Monster High. This year it had to be a cross body-one strap deal. And the fact that it was black and hot pink plaid...well, done deal.

*She really likes her new teacher.

*Along with school, she also started up piano lessons. Officially she started lessons in the summer but what with various vacations and other such things, it was sporadic to say the least.

*Also she finally hit the magical time where she is allowed to join CentreStage Theatre (Julianne's studio) with the beginner class. She's beyond thrilled. She was cast for her first little play, as a cat. She was concerned about this, until I informed her that Julianne debuted as a rat in her first show, Rebekah as a poodle. She felt better after that.

 *And finally...hallelujah for the bus! With the addition of a new sidewalk leading to the school, all buses but 3 were done away with this year. And those 3 pick up kids in our neighborhood after it was deemed that not only are we on the verge of being on the school district's too-far-to-walk rule, but also, the sidewalk is not on our side of the street and there is no crosswalk or crossing guard to get our kids to said sidewalk so it is unsafe. I'm sure it's only a matter of time before we are forced to walk as well. (Or more realistically, form a carpool.) But for now, thank heavens for no sidewalks, crosswalks or crossing guards!