Seven Quick Takes Friday Vol. 23

7_quick_takes_sm1

I.

This is the transplant anniversary and Les Miz post. 🙂 On Monday I went to Children’s for day one of my annual testing. This included blood work, chest x-ray, PFTs, a six minute walk, and a bone density scan, as well as a talk with my doctors, the social worker, and the dietician on the team.

The social worker can help with any sort of insurance questions, family support, etc., that you may need. I had a few questions regarding the Finance Office, but other than that, I’m easy for her. 🙂 The dietician and I touched base about my activity level and diet. My doctors are very pleased with how I’m doing. My PFTs are stable, and my bone density is actually normal! Go cheese !

The only thing that wasn’t normal was my triglyceride level. I’ve always had high triglycerides, as do a lot of people in my family (on my mom’s side), so this is genetic and also medicinially based (the immunosuppressants give you high cholesterol, no matter what.) We’ve tried lots of statins (drugs to reduce your cholesterol, like Lipitor) and I just can’t tolerate them. I have awful bone pain and extreme lethargy.

So the team was powwowing about the results and one of my docs said, “Let’s try red wine.” No, I’m not kidding. So I’m supposed to have one glass (maximum) of red wine a day. That’s a prescription I an willing to try, right? 🙂 So–here comes the wine!

II.

The transplant anniversary is always a mighty powerful day. It’s a day of resurrection, of new chances, of celebrating being alive. (Cue the song from Company)

(yeah, video clip!)

Or, as Emily Webb said in Our Town: “Do humans ever realize why they live it? Every, every minute?”

III.

This year the transplant anniversary fell on our last day of Les Miz tech week. We were warming up, preparing to go on, when my friend Bethany steps up and starts talking about me….and I turn bright red. One of the girls gave me a bouquet of flowers and Doug, our Javert, led everyone in singing happy anniversary to me. I was so touched by this. My friend Abby and our director, Robin, were also behind this scheme. I felt so loved. Afterwards a lot of people asked me questions (including the 11 year old playing Gavroche), and I was happy to  answer them. I just felt so wonderful. Thanks to all of you (again!)

IV.

Also on my anniversary, I got to have lunch with my transplant nurse, Karen, and her precious little girls. I just love spending time with her. She was a great nurse and she’s also a fantastic friend. Her little girls are 5 and 2, and they are adorable and fun. They also have two Westies that I adore (except for when one of them brings me dead Rabbits that he’s killed, but that’s another story…) And Karen’s husband is pretty awesome, too. Basically I just love that family. A true gift of Transplant has been getting to know them!

V.

So this year was the 8 year anniversary. That’s a pretty darn good milestone, given that only about half of the lung transplant patients make it to 5 years. Lung transplants are not done nearly as often as other organs, so we’re still setting precedents, in a sense. 🙂 There’s so much we still don’t know about transplant science, in general. So I’m very glad that I’m doing so well.

VI.

Opening night for Les Miz was last night. We had a full house (really. Full house) and got an immediate standing ovation after the finale. I clutched hands with the girl next to me–we were so happy and proud and excited. It was truly a memorable night. Tomorrow and tonight are the last two performances.

VII.

A few fun transplant facts for you: My surgery was over 12 hours long; My lungs were too big for me, so my center trimmed them; they came from Minnesota, from a 50ish year old woman who died of a brain aneurysm. I am so thankful to her and her family for giving me the ability to sit here and type to y’all. 🙂

Advertisements

Seven Quick Takes Friday Vol. 22

7_quick_takes_sm1

I.

I hope all my American readers had a Glorious Fourth! (I’m assuming not all of you are Americans…I could be wrong in this) It rained on and off here, which lead to a crazy packed movie theater. My brother, his girlfriend and I went to see Despicable Me 2, because sometimes you need minions in your life.

minions

minions

If you haven’t seen the first one, that’s OK. This isn’t a movie that requires you to have seen the first one, although I do recommend it, just because it’s super-cute.

After the minions, my parents and I had dinner at Max and Erma’s. Nothing quite says the Fourth like a big cheeseburger and a cookie. I finished the day by making a raspberry cream pie and watching 1776: “This is a revolution, damn it! We’re going to offend somebody!”

II.

Today I also have off, so I’m cleaning, cooking, reading, and then going to Act II music tech rehearsal tonight. Music tech is where you just practice the music without costumes, lights, all that stuff. Sometimes it’s called a sitzprobe, but we don’t sit. We block per usual. But the focus is on the music, first and foremost. Also in music tech, we’re working from the top down–meaning the numbers with the biggest number of people, down to the solos. (In a sitzprobe, you sing through the whole show, in order.) So since I’m only in the Finale, I hope that this means short rehearsal for moi. Because tomorrow starts…

III.

Tech week.

Tech week is where all the parts of the show come together: lighting, any special effects, costumes, scenery, music from the pit. Everything at one time. Now, we have really been ahead of the game this year in that we’ve been doing lights, moving scenery and props in and out of the scenes, and even incorporating some costumes, for the past week. So I think it will go more smoothly than tech usually goes for a show of this size. At least I’m hoping so. We start at 9 AM and go until we’re done. People usually bring lots of food so we can fortify ourselves when we’re not on stage. 🙂 I probably won’t be in full costume tomorrow–just some pieces, but will start full costume next week. We’ve got a pretty quick change between “At the End of the Day” and “Lovely Ladies”–just “I Dreamed A Dream” is between them–and the LL costumes are fairly elaborate.

IV.

Speaking of LL costumes–yesterday I made my hat! I’ll have pictures up later, but basically I took a star hat frame and added a ribbon, feathers, and a cluster of flowers. It’s so adorable. I love it! Maybe I should’ve been a milliner?

V.

Pope Francis’ first encyclical is out today. Read it here. It’s been called and encyclical written “with four hands”, because B XVI began it, so I’m really interested to read the final result. (Which I will do after this is up) In other church news: two new Saints! Bl. John Paul II and Bl. John XXIII are going to be canonized. Rock on!

VI.

Books I read this week: Kisses from Katie; started Jane Austen: A Life In Small Things, and Love Walked In.

VII.

Monday and Tuesday are my annual testing-palooza at the resort (AKA Nationwide Children’s). Let the fun begin! I’m sure most of the tests will be fine; I’ve been feeling great. But one never knows.

Seven Quick Takes Friday Vol. 21

7_quick_takes_sm1

I.

(And, again, I’m writing most of this on Saturday. So that’s the “today” :))

So doing Les Miz has been sort of Adventures in Costuming. I’ve bought bloomers, a corset, lace fingerless gloves, and now, the piece de resistance, a hat. Not just any hat.Jane Austen hat.  There is also a lovely trimming set that I ordered with ribbon, flowers, and feathers in colors to match my corset. I’m going to be an awesome lovely lady, I’m just telling you that right now.

II.

For the factory sequence I don’t get to wear a lot of fun stuff, except my Williamsburg mob cap! I love this thing. I think I look cute in it. We’re totally friends. That is also being worn in Look Down, too, I think. I could be wrong. Need to find out. The corset and Jane hat, sadly, are Lovely Ladies only wear.

III.

Today we actually ran Act I of the show off -book and onstage. It went amazingly well, given that there’s so many of us and it’s the first time everyone was off-book, and we were moving set pieces in and out. The first act is definitely the more complicated act so it was good to see this initial test work so well. Of course there are still things that need cleaned up, refined, and generally improved upon, but it was a good day’s work.

IV.

This story makes no sense to me: Raise tuition so you can increase financial aid? What? Kent State, this is sort of mad.

V.

Books I read this week: iWoz, Operation Instructions, finished Doctors of the Church, and re-read the Cecile and Marie-Grace American Girl books. Yes, I re-read them. Don’t judge me.

VI.

Tonight I plan on watching the film version of Possession, a great book I read when I was in Florida. If you haven’t read the book, please do so! The movie has Gwyneth Paltrow, Aaron Eckhard, Jeremy Notham and Jennifer Ehle, so that cast makes me happy without even seeing the film. 

VII.

I had a column up at Suscipio yesterday! I’ll have a separate link about it in a minute, but you can jump ahead and read it here.

Catholic Women’s Almanac No. 29

Grateful::

  • air conditioning
  • the pool that is only a few steps from my house
  • my WDW hoodie for after swim. I always get chilly when I come in the house after a swim session. And come on, it’s got Sorcerer Mickey on it!
  • a ginger ale scented candle on my counter
  • the friends I’ve made in the Les Miz cast
  • getting to teach CCD in the fall. So excited about this.

What I’m wearing::

A Talbot’s blue paisley print full skirt; a blue t-shirt, black flats, and a jade bead necklace.

Reading::

B XVI’s Doctors of the Church (I’ll probably finish this today); Love Walked In; Anne Lamott’s Some Assembly Required (Normally I wouldn’t be reading her books, since I am conservative and she is so not, and lets you know it in her writing, but it was a Duck’s Cottage book club selection–I’m in their mail order book club–so I’m reading it. When she’s not freaking out about conservatives I do like her writing and she’s pretty funny.) Also re-reading Pride and Prejudice.

In the CD player::

It was Josh Groban’s newest CD this morning, but that’ll change later today. 🙂 In the house it’s the Benedictines of Mary’s Angels and Saints. 

Praying::

For my friends’ houses to sell

Health and fitness::

Let me tell you, blocking rehearsals in a hot theater burn calories. 🙂 So I have one of those tomorrow, and then we start running the acts straight through on Saturday. Planning on going for a swim tonight since it’s 90 degrees here…yikes.

Linkage::

Oh, UK, please do this!

Around the house::

Dusting the living room, vacuuming, and sorting through the items that are stored in my end tables (They’re mission style, so they have a sort of open area under the table top where I store things) and deciding what I really need to keep in there.

Plans for the week::

Tonight: Port access and dinner w/ my mom.

Wednesday: blocking rehearsal and music rehearsal. Full slate.

Saturday: We’re running Act I of Les Miz, AKA, the only act I’m really in 🙂 (I’m in the epilogue–aka, the finale–of the show. But nothing else in Act II)

Sunday: Act II of Les Miz. (AKA, I get to sit in the audience, watch, and read. 😀 ) Also my parents’ wedding anniversary and my grandma’s birthday!

Seven Quick Takes Friday Vol. 20

7_quick_takes_sm1

I.

Welcome summer. Officially. 🙂 It’s 88 degrees here (well, it will be.It’s not, currently) and will be about 90 all weekend so Emily has plans for A/C, shorts and swimming. What about you? Also, it’s June and we’re almost done with June, so I need to read Mrs. Dalloway this weekend: “Life, London, this moment of June…” Mm. Good stuff.

II.

Both my parents had birthday this week–they were born three days apart, same year, same city. I think that’s awesome. Dad’s was on the 19th and Mom’s is tomorrow. Their wedding anniversary is next week, on the same day at my grandma’s (mom’s mom’s) birthday. It’s a busy time for birthdays around here, I’ll tell ya. But then we’re done until my brother’s in September.

III.

I was talking to a former colleague of mine whose wife is pregnant with their first child. We were talking about the baby’s gender; did they want to know, did they know and they just weren’t telling, etc. I find this sort of fascinating. I don’t think I’d want to know; I’d want like that one massive surprise in the delivery room. But I wouldn’t be all annoyed if I found out beforehand (I’m pretty good at reading ultrasounds at this point in my life. Well, OK, not baby ultrasounds, but abdominal ultrasounds. Same diff, right? Humor me.). So, Colleague seemed pretty sure they were having a boy. So me: “Do you know you’re having a boy, or are you doing an Emily’s dad from 1981 where he bought the child a male teddy bear and was sort of disappointed when his firstborn was, indeed, a girl?” Him: Oh, we know.

Back in 1981, ultrasounds were not that super duper. I don’t think my parents wanted to know, anyway. But yes, there was a teddy bear named Coach, who had a t-shirt that said COACH (hence the highly original name) and a whistle around his neck. I think my dad wanted me to be a boy. But Coach lives on, to this day, with me. Sans t-shirt and whistle. I don’t think the whistle even made it out of my infancy…

Oh, what technology has wrought. (Although, I know, the ultrasounds can be wrong…)

addendum: Dad read this and said he never wanted me to be a boy. Just clearing up the record. 🙂 

IV.

It must be funny anecdote day over here on da blog. So here’s a bit of a conversation I had  with a Francophile friend yesterday:

Me: My high school teacher described Robespierre as “someone you wouldn’t want to take to prom.”

Mary: But he could recite poetry in Latin!

Me: I don’t think that helps.

Mary: It does!

Me: Um….no.

Mary: Whatever….not that I would ever date Robespierre.

These are the kind of conversations I have with my friends.  Although I am sure that almost twenty years later, the fact that I remember this bit from Mr. Liptrap’s College Prep World Studies Class should be a credit to him.

V.

Rehearsal over the weekend is actually fairly light, at least tomorrow. We’re blocking parts of Act II, and I’m only in one part of Act II, so I can get there early with my Tim Horton’s iced cappuccino and read some Jane on my iPad mini while people die gloriously onstage. Sounds like fun to me, anyway. Oh, and I get to try on a corset! “I’ll make it fit!” I’ve never actually worn a corset, but I have no doubt that I will not have Scarlett O’Hara’s “18 1/2 inches” of a waist. Ohhhh, no.

Sunday we have a music rehearsal–most of Act I–and then I’m celebrating my parents’ birthdays with them at some sort of dinner post-rehearsal.

VI.

Tomorrow night the “over 21” members of the Les Miz cast are going out for dinner and karaoke. I’m hoping they have the Carpenters or Simon and Garfunkel on the karaoke list. I love to sing “Rainy Days and Mondays” at karaoke.

VII.

And to round this out: books I read this week: Strange Gods, The Bad Catholic’s Guide to the Catechism, The Art Forger. Also made progress on B XVI’s Doctors of the Church  and St. Catherine of Siena’s Dialogues. 

Catholic Women’s Almanac No. 28

Thankful for::

(I’ve lost track of my numbers, so we proceed, sans numbers!)

  • the rain
  • new books
  • a great vacation with my dad
  • both my parents, who have birthdays this week–love you guys. 🙂
  • That my parents have been married for thirty four years.
  • a good ENT appointment
  • saintly intercession
  • swimming pools
  • hot dogs (really, I love them in the summer. They’re my go-to meal an awful lot)
  • Hot coffee on early rehearsal days

Wearing::

A blue green dress from Shabby Apple, from their Parisian collection. I do love this dress an awful lot–it’s got a sort of t-shirt material top but then a flouncy skirt. And black flats with it, and starfish earrings.

In the CD Player: :

Sarah McLachlan’s Illusions of Bliss

Reading::

  • Strange Gods, by Elizabeth Scalia
  • The Bad Catholic’s Guide to the Catechism
  • Pride and Prejudice
  • Doctors of the Church, Pope Benedict XVI
  • A School of Prayer, Pope Benedict XVI

From the kitchen::

Rehearsal really messes with my cooking. Like I said above, hot dogs are a lovely go-to meal. I also did a great summer pasta dish with bowtie pasta, cream, lemons, and cherry tomatoes on Sunday, which was totally delightful. Tonight and tomorrow I have rehearsal, and Thursday I’m having dinner with my parents. But I’m pondering some salmon over the weekend, and lots of salads.

Praying::

About a lot, actually. I was never one of those people who prayed for “everyday” things,  like, “Lord, please let me find a good prom dress!” But this past week, I sure have been–for costume pieces, for virtues, for all sorts of everyday things. They’re being answered. I’m really happy about that. That doesn’t mean that I’m going to be praying for dresses to magically appear. But yeah, those everyday things–I’m seeing the value in asking for intercession about them now. Also, my drive to rehearsal is about 30 minutes, so that means I get in one full set of rosary mysteries during the drive. Prayer time, baby! 🙂

Praying for my friends who are trying to sell their houses; for other people’s special intentions; and for my own. Also: Went to confession on Saturday. (Fist pump.)

Web wanderings::

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/theanchoress/2013/06/13/a-chanting-coffin-maker-mother-dolores-the-gift-of-agape/

Plans for the week::

Today: Blocking “Master of the House”

Wednesday: Chorus music rehearsal Act II, so I don’t have to be there until 8:00 pm. Time to make a real dinner! Score! Dad’s birthday.

Thursday: lunch w/ dad, dinner w/parents

Friday: Nothing. Yet.

Saturday: Rehearsal @10:30, then cast dinner/karaoke outing! Mom’s birthday. Mass.

Sunday: Rehearsal from 2:00-3:30. (I think) Then parental combined birthday celebrations.

Seven Quick Takes Friday Vol. 19

7_quick_takes_sm1

I.

(Note: So I started writing these on Friday. So “today/tonight” was yesterday. “Tomorrow” is today.)

OK first off–there’s a giveaway going on, kids! Go here and enter.

II.

In all the Disney writing up (and more is coming. I haven’t even talked about EPCOT yet.), I forgot to mention some more excitement! I will be teaching first grade CCD at my parish next year. I am so excited about this. Originally I had planned to be a teacher, but switched my college major after about a month and a half. So, so excited about this.

III.

These wonderful nuns were featured into today’s Wall Street Journal. Do you have their CD yet? These are truly wonderful nuns. Check out their website and order a CD!

IV.

Excited to go to a restorative yoga class with friend and cast mate Bethany tonight. I just love these classes and haven’t been in a long time. I just may fall asleep. Not that anyone would mind. I don’t think.

V.

Rehearsal tomorrow–music for Act II, which will be really easy because the “over 25” women are only in two numbers in Act II. But the over 25 men are only in one, the finale! So I get to sleep in a bit. 🙂 Sunday blocking the end of Act I and rehearsing a few of the Act I scenes we blocked previously.

VI.

I learned how to make blog buttons this week. I am really proud of my mad coding skills. 🙂 My dad is a computer scientist, so I taught myself some HTML way back in the 90s when he was studying it for work. I remember keeping the huge textbook balanced on my lap while I typed code into our ancient PC. Those were the days…(the button I created is on the sidebar!)

VII.

I’m re-reading Mastering the Art of French Cooking. It may be time to remake Cucumbers in Butter. I mean does that not sound awesome? Everything is better with butter anyway. 🙂