Friday, May 31, 2013

five things friday

Well, at the very least you'll always get a Friday post from me. :P
This week was crazy for me, since I worked 6-8 hours everyday Tuesday through Friday. Yeah, I had Monday off, but man it was a long week. Though apparently I'm a good employee, because I'm already going to be "promoted" to CSR, Customer Service Rep!! I was asked if I wanted to be trained for the position yesterday, and I wasn't sure at first, but then I realised that I was really happy to have been asked after only working at Pick 'n Save for a month!! I don't intend to be there forever, but I was thankful to get some super positive feedback on my job skills. The manager who hired me told me that I am so good with people of all age groups, and that's important, along with a host of other things. :D
And here are my five things for this week:

1. Nate and I will have been married for a year and a half on June 3rd. Hard to believe it's only been that long and already been that long, if that makes any sense.
2. It's already too hot outside for me on most days.
3. I'm excited for our friends' wedding tomorrow! It should be a wonderful day.
4. I hope to purchase a juicer in the next week or so; perhaps I'll share some juicing recipes on here.
5. I've been trying to read Cloud Atlas for almost a month now...I hardly have time to read anymore...

Saturday, May 25, 2013

sleepy saturday musings

I feel quite blessed to have gotten almost the entire weekend off of work. I was only scheduled for three hours yesterday and three hours today, plus I don't work tomorrow or Monday. Goodness, that was a nice surprise! I'm not entirely sure what will happen with the rest of the weekend; Nate and I are planning to fry brats tomorrow afternoon once he's done working, but beyond that who knows. Hopefully I'll finish planting my little garden, since I won't have much time the rest of the week.

Lately, I've been slowly feeling more inspired. This has been difficult, of course, because now I am working and my hours aren't the same from week to week. But a routine for home time will come back eventually, of that I am certain. My meal planning has suffered greatly, which bothers me more than a little bit, so I am working on that being the first thing I get back into doing. There will always have to be some room to move, though.

I am more a creature of habit than may be obvious at first glance. When I finally settle into a routine and something changes, I am very inwardly upset and shaken, and then I get irritable and utterly unsociable at times. At any rate, as I continue to get used to working outside the home, I'm also hoping I can meet a few personal goals, one being regular blogging. I sometimes have something to say everyday, but then all of a sudden there is nothing for weeks at a time. I hate that, and it is unfair to my readers.

Writing is truly one of my biggest joys, and I want to share that joy. I have also begun work on a novel, actually. As of right now, it is a Victorian steampunk tale, so we'll see where that goes. Honestly, it hasn't come far on paper, but there's loads of ideas whirling around my brain.

I do have homemaking goals for the month of June, along with a few other goals, that I will share in a later post, so stay tuned. And if you have any advice, I will gladly listen!

Friday, May 24, 2013

five things friday

Only in Wisconsin can it be 80 degrees one day and 40 degrees with a frost advisory the next. Sigh. Actually, that's most of the upper Midwest, I suppose. But anyway. It's going to be a chilly Memorial Day weekend! Traditionally (or should I say typically), Memorial Day itself is one of the hottest days of the year thus far, but I have a feeling that might not happen this year. At any rate, I hope I don't have to work, at least not in the evening. And without further ado, here are my five things, observations, facts, whatever-they-are for this Friday, May 24th.

  1. I got 12 blissful hours of sleep last night, thanks to going to bed early. I haven't felt so rested in a long time, but that'll probably change by the time I go to bed tonight.
  2. We got most of our vegetable garden planted on Tuesday evening! At some point I'll post a list of what we're attempting to cultivate.
  3. A good friend of mine (who was both a roommate and bridesmaid) is getting married on June 1st, and I'm excited to be in her wedding!
  4. I actually do like my job at Pick 'n Save; talking to people and being on my feet for hours at a time is mentally and physically exhausting, but my co-workers are awesome for the most part, and the atmosphere of the store is really good.
  5. The month of June is going to be super busy...I sort of just realised that. Ah well, welcome to summer activities!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

weekend roundup

Starting with going to Sweeney Todd on Friday night, Nate and I had a very good weekend. Perhaps I shouldn't say a good weekend so much as a relaxing and fun-filled weekend. This doesn't happen all the time. We always do something with a few friends, which usually involves a couple of beers and some excellent conversation, but we don't always actually get out.

This past weekend, however, was quite nice. And I'm not talking about the weather, even though that was definitely nice! On Friday evening, before we went to Sheboygan to see Sweeney Todd, we were attempting to find a place to get a fish fry that wasn't super busy since we only had an hour and a half. I had worked until 4, the play was at 7:30, and it took some time to get ready. Only to be expected, of course! Anyway, our usual Friday night haunt, Lynn's Creekside, was most likely busy and was the opposite direction of where we were headed, so that was clearly out. Our second usual haunt when Creekside is packed, Benson's Hideaway, was also the opposite direction, though it wouldn't have been as busy. So basically, we started driving towards Sheboygan in the hopes that we discovered some new place and wouldn't have to stop at Subway! (It's the only fast food I'll eat.) This was probably the best thing we could have done, because we came across a little place called Twisted Root just outside of Sheboygan Falls. It didn't look too busy, so we decided to at least stop for a drink and find out if we'd be able to order and eat right away. The waitstaff were wonderful and did rush us through, which only worked because it looked like we got there right before the evening influx of people. The food was superb, and so was my beer. As usual, I tried something new; this time it was New Glarus Black Top, which was a very dark beer, very full-bodied, and it went excellently with my fish and chips. Nate had his usual, an Old-Fashioned, but at Twisted Root, some of the bartenders know how to make them from scratch, which always makes for a better drink. All in all, we've decided it's a neat place and we'll have to go back. As for the musical, it was also excellent. See my previous post for a review.

Saturday was a typical Saturday; Nate hauled milk in the morning while I did housework. We went to a flea market/farmer's market and brat fry on Saturday afternoon, and hung out with a friend at Creekside for a while, and made it an early evening because Nate had to start work at 2 am. That worked out nicely because he stopped back home around 5:30 for breakfast. I made scrambled eggs and sausage. The eggs were farm fresh (I had bought them at the farmer's market), and man were they delicious. Then he went back to working and I went to church, which was an all morning affair because choir sang at 8:00, then I went to Bible class, and the confirmation service was at 10:30. It being Pentecost, I certainly didn't mind being in church twice! Not that I ever mind being in church twice, haha.

That afternoon we attended a confirmation party, where I was able to see a dear friend of mine who was in town since her sister was being confirmed. (I actually sat with them at the late service.) Jaimie, Nate, and I all sat in the sun and chatted for a little over an hour, during which time I tried yet another craft beer (this past weekend was a good one for trying new drinks!) from Furthermore Beer that was brewed with cracked black pepper. It was weird, but actually really good.

And on Sunday evening, we went to see Star Trek: Into Darkness, which was stunning and intense and I loved it. Perhaps I'll write a separate review, we shall see. But I'm definitely loving this reboot of the classic series. It's beautiful and quite heart-wrenching at times.

That was a long post to basically say that we had a great weekend, and I guess that's the start of our summer. :)

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (a review)

Last night my hubby and I went to see a stage production of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. I had wanted to see this since we received the season schedule last September, but then of course forgot all about it as is my habit. On Thursday morning, I was reading one of the local newspapers and it was advertised for this weekend. So basically I begged (only a little) Nate to take me to see it. We both had Friday night off, it was inexpensive, and I knew he'd enjoy it.

Yes, this is Johnny Depp.
This was the first time I went to a production by the Sheboygan Theatre Company, and I must say that I was impressed by the production as a whole. The high school auditorium they used must have been built with a small professional company in mind. The sound system was incredible; this is particularly of note to me as I do have a hearing loss which causes me to be unable to fully understand what people are saying/singing when recorded. (It's why I use subtitles or captions when I watch television.) The set that was made for Sweeney Todd was well made and versatile; never did scenes take long to change because no piece ever had to be moved off the stage.

The actors and actresses in this production were incredible. I have to admit that my first exposure to Sweeney Todd was through the film by Tim Burton starring Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham-Carter, so blood and an air of all things gruesome took center stage. (Yes, I like the movie; I happen to own it.) A friend and I did watch a DVD of the original Broadway musical with Angela Lansbury, which had a slightly more comedic feeling at some parts. I think what we experienced last night was somewhere in between the movie and the original. Definitely not as bloody (I mean how do you even do that on stage?), but not quite as comedic as I recall the original being.

Many people that I know just squirm when I tell them that this is one of my favourite musicals, and with good reason. If you've only been exposed to the Burton film, and you're not at all into Gothic horror, then you'll just be grossed out and bewildered. Fair enough, really. But the stage musical is superb. Musically speaking, it's actually very difficult. Stephen Sondheim writes technically challenging music. Wicked, anyone?

And then there's the story. First of all, the character of Sweeney Todd has been around for kind of a while. He first appeared in a penny dreadful in the Victorian Era. The original tale is available on Amazon for the Kindle here if you're interested. I have a paperback edition that I think has a few other penny dreadfuls in it. But I digress. The point of the story, or at least what I take away from it now (it was simply a Gothic horror tale at first), is that age old question on revenge: when have you gone too far? In the end, Sweeney's obsession with revenge, and Mrs. Lovett's almost fanatical love for Sweeney, get them both killed. Oh yeah, spoiler alert.

I could easily go more in depth with this story and analyse the entire thing, but I won't. If you get a chance, you should see it on stage, especially if the film bothers you. That, and you actually get so much more of the story when you see it on stage, since there are ensemble songs cut out of the film.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

a simple introduction

Most folks who are acquainted with me in real life understand that I have this compulsive need to organize anything. Unfortunately, this also ended up translating into my online life, meaning I ended up with not one, but four separate blogs. At first I was okay with this, but I slowly began to realise that perhaps it was not the best way to accomplish establishing an online identity. (Beyond the usual Facebook, of course.) I now have a personal blog, a book blog, a lifestyle blog, and a poetry blog. Whew. I don't really need all of those, do I? While I will most likely keep the lifestyle blog going, the others will no longer be updated; posts that would have been published in their various places will now be published here.

I will keep links to my other blogs as an archive of sorts, because I am proud of what I have written, and I'd rather not see those posts disappear into the internet past. But now is the time to consolidate. My life has become hectic and thus if I want to be able to record anything on the internet, it simply needs to be in one place.

Thus I give to you my new and improved (not really!) blogging happy place. Though I'm certain it won't always be a happy place, because since when was life completely happy? I mean, come on, we all have our ups and downs.

I hope you will join me on this new and hopefully not confusing journey. Though with a name like Alice in Faerieland, you can surely expect confusion!