Monday, April 30, 2007
Brenda needs a makeover, (are you calling me fat?)
Brenda needs a partner. (Uh, no. Happily married, thank you!)
Brenda needs her own show. (I am my own show!)
Uncle Brenda needs your help. (are you kidding me right now?)
Brenda needs a home. (Nope, just hardwood floors!)
Brenda needs a miracle healing right now, (ain't that the truth)
Brenda needs to improve her acting skills a little bit. (whatever!)
Brenda needs a good lesson in diplomacy. (It's my way or the highway)
Brenda needs the help of the public.
Brenda needs to stabilize those emotions.
Brenda needs encouragement and grace.
Brenda needs your prayers.
Brenda needs a new best friend. (Okay, this is over, there is no way I need a new best friend. Debbi and Nikki are the bomb when it comes to best friends. This googling sucks! Doesn't work, ain't happening, its WRONG!)
Saturday, April 28, 2007
Friday, April 27, 2007
Added note: The person I mentioned did show up and paid CASH for the trailer, our asking price cause I wasn't budging. We delivered the trailer to their home in Windsor and took out all our stuff. Wow, that happened really quick! I'm looking forward to getting hardwood floors upstairs!
The most nerve-wracking and desperate hours of all are those leading up to an audition. Especially so when you're just out of high school, trying to enter professional theatre for the first time. No one could possibly understand how this feels unless they've done it before. But alas, I must again attempt to demonstrate it to you, with a story.
The day of the audition has arrived. Beauty and the Beast, Brandi's favorite Disney musical, is the show she's auditioning for, after failing to make it into SRT's production of Aladdin. Absolutely nothing is going right, which is almost to be expected.
Audition is in the morning of a fine and sunny day, the air clean from the rains that had fallen ceaselessly the day before. The time slot is 10:30AM, and Brandi is watching the clock, trying not to get too nervous. She eats her breakfast of Corn Pops faithfully, setting the bowl in the sink and rushing off to grab everything she needs: keys, cell, water, gas. There's no monologue required for the audition, so she didn't need to memorize one, and preparation was at a minimum.
Thinking she was prepared ahead of time, Brandi and her mother set off for the playhouse on Sixth Street.
Halfway there, Brandi remembers the thing she'd forgotten: sheet music.
Her face reveals her panic, and she turns off the freeway, glancing at the clock to reveal she's already hopelessly late. She voices this thought aloud, her heart dropping in her chest. What kind of impression is she doomed to give?
"Pull over." Brenda motions Brandi over to the side of Roberts Lake Road, opening her door and calling for a chinese fire drill. Confused, but willing to acquiese, Brandi runs out of the car, making her way to the passenger side just as Brenda tries for the driver's door. In a piece of unwitting comedy, they run into each other in the middle of their rush, and laugh nervously as seatbelts are buckled and open doors closed.
"I don't want you to get a speeding ticket." Brenda's only warning to her young daughter as suddenly, the gas pedal is floored, and they're off on a race reminiscent of Brenda's days at Petaluma Speedway. Holding on to the door handle, her knuckles white, Brandi pushes her foot to the floor as if she could psychicly touch the brake and make the madness stop, but she doesn't say anything as she watches for pedestrians and, more importantly, policemen.
Blessedly, they make it home without being stopped, their only obstacle the cars around them that insist on following the law; who ever heard of such nonsense? But they arrive back where they started, and Brandi runs out of the car, up to her room to fetch the papers laying, ready, on her desk. She's tempted to either laugh at her own stupidity or lay down and cry, but she does neither and makes her hasty way back to the awaiting vehicle, music clutched in her icy hands.
Another race through the streets of Santa Rosa ensues, as Brandi tries to use the technology available to her. The cell phone comes in use as she calls Caitlyn, the only person she knows is also auditioning that day. Caitlyn is already at the playhouse, and ensures Brandi that when it is her time to audition, she'll make it known to the director and whomever else is in attendance that Brandi will be there. She's only late. Car trouble.
After getting lost one too many times, Brenda and Brandi finally find the playhouse, located in an upgraded warehouse off West Sixth. They park in the abandoned parking lot, and get out of the car to see Caitlyn and her mother already there, and still waiting. Confused, Brandi and Brenda get out of the car.
"No one's here."
The statement is obviously true, as the only two cars in the lot are the blue Blazer Brandi and her mother arrived in, and the white car that belonged to Caitlyn. After a few furtive moments of analysis, Brandi remembers the people she'd seen on the side of the building, and she and Caitlyn make their hurried way to investigate.
The man and woman sitting outside the back door of the dance studio are merely renters, and they know nothing of the audition Brandi and Caitlyn are at this moment missing. Discouraged, they return to the front of the building, and Brandi gets a sudden revelation: the auditions are at night.
"I makes sense now. I remember the e-mail saying PM, not AM, and it is an adult company. Most of the people probably have to work in the morning." She shakes her head at her own stupidity, and Caitlyn, Brandi, and their mothers commence to speak at length about all manner of things: The Grimmerie, Le Roi Soleil, auditions and theatre in general. Agreeing to meet back at the dance studio twelve hours later, they seperate, Brandi to shop for her prom dress, and Caitlyn to prepare her rhetoric speech.
Brandi's relaxed at the realization that she is not late, she's early, completely so, and so she and her mother leave to attend to other, more pressing matters (see Prom Vol I).
But the hours pass, and Brandi's nerves are wound up so much she can barely sit still. With nothing to distract her and the thought of food sickening, she becomes more and more distraught as the clock ticks slowly past nine. Her fingers shake with anxiety, and the computer screen glares condescendingly back at her. Every sound is a vicious murmur, an annoying distraction when she desperately needs to relax, to calm, to stop shaking.
Finally, ten minutes to 9:45PM, when she and her mother are to leave, Brandi goes into her iTunes folder and clicks on a song title: "Your Daddy's Son," sung by Audra McDonald. For the first time she just listens, trying to absorb the sound. She resists humming or singing along, desperate to try and get it right. This is where I breathe. This is where I belt it And then something interrupts her trance.
"I like your singing better." What? Brenda's comment may be idle, just a statement of fact, but Brandi is shocked by it. Who could like her singing better than Audra McDonald? Audra was made to sing the song! She's professional. Brandi's just a teenager trying to be an actress with nothing more than a few crap theatre classes and high school productions to her name. But she doesn't question it. It would be pointless. Instead, she lets her mother's words fill her, and try to calm the rapid beating of her heart and the sour acidity of her stomach as they both go to the car, Heather, Curtis and Justin crying Good Luck! and Break a leg! behind them, even if they don't know where the saying originated.
The car ride is mostly silent, and not nearly as fast as the similar one that same day. With the guiding directions of Brenda, Brandi somehow manages to find her way back to the playhouse in the intimidating darkness. Caitlyn isn't there, so they enter to find people actually present. It was at night! A sigh of relief escapes Brandi's barely functioning lungs, and she laughs and jokes while filling out her audition form, asking questions about the most simple inquiries.
"Do I sing harmony? What's my range?" How completely uninformed was she. It didn't help that her entire body had succumbed to a minor bout of the shakes. She somehow managed to stand and hand off her form, which is carried to the studio. You'll do fine.
Then, just after sitting on the couch to wait it out, her time arrived, and she stood, making her way to the windowed double doors, the shades drawn. The room she enters is large, open, and echoing, with a mirror along one wall, and hard linoleum floors. A room for dancing, not singing. Not acting. Brandi feels entirely out of place, and she hands her music to the voice instructor, shaking hands with Holly, the director, and nodding thankfully to the choreographer.
"My name is Brandi Cook, and I'll be singing 'Your Daddy's Son,' from Ragtime." The music starts, but it's unfamiliar, she tries to catch up, but it's much to fast. So she informs the voice instructor, who willingly slows the tempo. Brandi is hoping she'll be stopped. Her voice is shaking, but as she gets into the second verse, it stops. She's never sung the third verse at an audition before, only in the shower or the comfortable safety of her own room, where the only people to hear her are her sisters, who ceaselessly yell at her to please stop singing.
But she doesn't, and she never will. Instead, she lets the shakes pass, and she throws herself into the song, reminding herself when to breathe, to enunciate, to, most of all, feel it. With all her heart, she feels this song, and her breaths come like sobs when its all over.
Daddy played piano, played it very well.
Music from those hands could catch you like a spell.
He could make you love him 'for the tune was done,
You have your daddy's hands..
You are your daddy's son.
Daddy never knew that you were on your way.
He had other ladies and other tunes to play.
When he up and left me, I just up and run,
Only thing in my head..
You were your daddy's son.
Couldn't hear no music.
Couldn't see no light,
Momma she was frightened,
Crazy from the fright!
Tears without no comfort,
screams without no sound!
Only darkness and pain, the anger and pain, the blood and the pain!
I buried my heart in the ground, in the ground!
When I buried you in the ground...
Daddy played piano, guess he's playin' still.
Momma can't forget him, don't suppose I will.
God wants no excuses, I have only one:
You had your daddy's hands..
You were your daddy's son..
At the door, the ladies that assisted her with her form lean back from the wood, smiles glowing on their faces. One clapped silently, her voice a whisper in the dying echoes.
"That was really good. That's a hard song, and she did really well." For someone who has heard every audition that day, it's a compliment, and Brenda just nods. Brandi did a good job, better than the last time she sang it. Last time she was doing the dishes.
Brandi is still standing, and the director looks up from the paper.
"That's a very good audition song." Her voice is mostly neutral, but Brandi thinks she can detect the slightest bit of apprieciation. During the song, she'd seen very good looks from the director, looks that were considering. Brandi desperately hopes she's reading it right, and can't wait for callbacks, if she gets in.
She gets the papers from the vocalist, and thanks her, and goes off to find Caitlyn, so they can both learn the dance. Caitlyn is waiting outside, and they both disappear into another room, where they are submitted to rigorous and rapid training. I would describe to you the perils they endure in the five minutes they are gone, but the memories it brings to surface are too much to dare recount. Suffice it to say that after three run throughs of a four eight count routine, they are forced to show it before the director, and Brandi, clumsy, graceless fool that she is, is on the wrong foot half the time, and feels terribly about her performance. But with the weight of her singing success lifting her from the ground, the small failure of dancing is completely forgotten.
And so the audition is finished, with the customary chatter between parents finished soon and the drive home easy and also finished without exertion. As Brandi falls into bed, she thinks of all the things she could have done better, and the list, thankfully, is a short one. Now all that's left is to wait for callbacks and torment Caitlyn into listening to Le Roi Soleil..
Posted by Brandi at 11:32:00 PM
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
My friend Debbi commented on my Fixed the Fix It and reminded me of the story of why we don't let Nikki drive. First, her car is, well, kind of messy with her day to day stuff. So if she were to drive, we'd let her drive our car. Here's the next problem, Nikki has a tendency to lock keys in cars. (I've been informed the AAA drivers know her personally now!) Still, these two reasons aren't quite enough to keep Debbi and I from letting Nikki drive. The third and most important reason is this:
While driving home from CKU Anaheim, Nikki and I had to go it alone since Deb flew home. (So I guess this story is Deb's fault too!) It's like 7-8 hours and although Nikki doesn't like to drive other peoples cars, she was willing to share in the driving. So about halfway home, we switched and I let Nikki drive my Tahoe. Nikki is used to driving a smaller car, but is an experienced driver so I had no problem with her driving.
We were about 1-2 hours from home when Nikki looked at the gas gauge and realized we were on fumes. (I wonder if she runs out of gas besides locking her keys in her car?) She immediately gets off the freeway around Oakland/Berkeley area looking for a gas station. I was a little worried cause I've never run out of gas in my car. We're driving in what looks like an industrial area, having trouble seeing any gas stations. We come upon a railroad crossing and take advantage of the clear view to look for the gas station. Well, instead of spotting the gas station, I spot the oncoming train! The railroad crossing lights start blinking and the arm starts lowering. I yell to Nikki, "back up, back up!" In her panic, she can't get the car into reverse, (just like in the movies!)
Down comes the railroad crossing arm, right across the middle of my hood! *Bounce*, *bounce*. I think Nikki was saying something out loud, not really sure. I went into a hysterical fit of laughter. I've never had this happen and I think it's so funny! Poor Nikki is mumbling something about being so sorry and she'll pay to have it fixed. I have tears cause I'm laughing so hard!
Back to the photo: So what is the horse looking at? I have no idea. It's the only photo I could find of my car! (I've since sold it. It was defective with a teeny tiny dent in the hood)
So that's why Nikki doesn't drive.
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
So in my mind I am quickly running through things I can say when I hear those awful words, "Do you know why I pulled you over?"
The officer comes to my window, opens his mouth and says, "You were driving 65 in a 45 and I know your windows are tinted. Can I see your license, registration and proof of insurance?"
Wow, there goes the wind right outta my sails! I smile, laugh a little and say "sure". What can I do? I figure I just spent $200 in scrapbooking money for this stupid ticket! Oh well, I have talked my way out of a bunch of tickets (which is why I have a clean driving record). I figured it was my time.
A few minutes later, the officer returns to my window with ticket book in hand, (great,). He says he wrote me a fix it ticket for the tinted windows, this doesn't go against my record and I can get the ticket signed off when repairs are made. He asked me if I rode a bike? (What the heck?) He said that the windows tinted like this don't allow bicyclists to see the driver. It's important to be able to make eye contact. (I'm really confused about his whole conversation with me). Then he told me to slow down. I would receive a notice in the mail, I could fix the windows and pay a small amount and have the ticket removed permanently from my driving record. (no speeding ticket!!!!!!!)
So here's proof that I waited until the last day (what a loser), but I fixed the ticket and payed my $10 fine!
Maybe next time Debbi should drive!
Sunday, April 22, 2007
And the winner is:
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
I was smart though, I'm staying at home to not *share* this with everyone at the office. I would feel really bad if someone else got it from me! I have so much work I need to get done! Hopefully tomorrow I'll feel better and can go.
Actually, I wish I'd feel better today, cause it's beautiful outside and there are lots of things I could be doing inside! That is one bad thing, if I have to take off of work, I wish it could be so I could play! Never is, always feel bad and can't focus on things, so I don't get to do anything fun! I once burnt a pan of boiling water when I was home sick. How do you do that you say? Easy, put a pan on water on the stove top to boil, turn on high, leave kitchen and forget you're boiling water. Come back a while later and smell (through stuffed nose) pan burning cause water has evaporated away and pan is ruined. Lucky I didn't burn the house down! So now if I am cooking when sick, I don't leave the kitchen. I sit on a stool next to the stove until I am finished!
My personal voodoo doll!
I have no clue where this came from? It just happened that way!
I love this one! Probable my favorite so far!
See what my honey bought on friday (the 13th!) ? A new dishwasher! Go here to see what we got. I guess he knows someone at Asiens Appliance, so we are happy with the price! The kids are happy cause after a month of hand washing, they appreciate the dishwasher! Now we need a new oven!
Sunday, April 15, 2007
Saturday, April 14, 2007
These are so addicting!Nikki and Debbi and I are having so much fun making them! Stayed up to the wee hours! (Look like anyone you know?)
Friday, April 13, 2007
Thursday, April 12, 2007
Thanks for being my friend!
P.S. You are in so much trouble for not telling me it's your birthday today! "You're fired"
Oh, wait, you quit, I forgot!
For instance-this is what's on the whiteboard of my refrigerator today!
Don't you just love it! SO much better than the one at work!
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
Pictures I took today at work! SO much better!
Don't you love the little bow on the tail?
Red Velvet girls did an Ugly Doll Challenge! I entered but my photo of my ugly (I think it's cute) butterfly stinks! I had to use my cell phone cause we didn't have internet! Oh well, I had a great time making the butterfly! That's the point of entering contests, to go through the process of doing something you may otherwise not have done!
Here are some random weekend photos, I can upload now! YEA!!!
The Reno Bowling Stadium is HUGE!
See the empty lot? This is where we got married! The Heart of Reno is the place, but it's a different building now and in a different location! How sad! No photos of the original building where we got married! No photos of our wedding! I guess this will have to do!