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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

end-of-year Tag

Here's an original tag by the author of "Oh crud!", "The Whoops Factor revisited", "One, Two, Go!...and there's just one thing", " 'Hysterical Laughter' is my favorite quote", "CRUNCH is the new normal", "For the Win!", "Nom-nom", and other sundry works of genius: in short, none other than Bethie.

Please feel creepily compelled to steal this tag.
Remember: Bethany knows where you live and she may hunt you down, and POUNCE....and then ship you off on a freight train to Detroit.....


Funniest moment: good grief, one can't really choose, can one? Likely something to do with the movie:

- "Ahem! Audience, quiet please, we are about to make a major mistake!" (Joseph)

-"Dallan, stop talking on two! That's Bethany's job!" (Sophie)

-Adriel's enthused gestures in the background: "Sorry! I was explaining something!"

-Phillip trying to whip around in the climbing-out-the-window scene, when Eva enters, and catching his pistol on the table while his vest pops up in the back :D

-The Key Episode (hehe Eva! :P )

-of course, the oar snapping off when Eva tries to push off from shore, while the crew struggles helplessly in the blackberry vines

-"You're trying to make it look like I actually LIKE her or something!" (Joseph)

then there were other priceless moments at rehearsals for Top Hats:

-Eva's impersonation of the 'dozen bored dancers', combined with my mention of "we'll cut out the 'charming little pieces' line"

-Dallan's infatuated grin, chin on hands, whilst gazing at me across the table on stage

Other funnies:
"Zesty mint flavored fake blood! And Tic-Tacs..."
"Here's an opportunity to sound lame, let's not take it"
"There is rain puddled right under my sleeping bag." "Well you'll have a water-bed!"
"Oh right, I'm supposed to act shot now!"

classic Epic Times: surreptitiously handing off stage weapons before Top Hats, the Hazelnut Incident, 46 hours without sleep during NaNo whilst blasting music successively louder, swimming in a mountain lake, filming a scene after midnight, seeing a bison walk down the road towards us, trying to prop up the tent for the movie with a twig, white-balancing with the back side of a sheet of music for the score for the film using the light from a candle!

FIRST: program successfully written and compiled, mp3 player, Macintosh (LOVELOVELOVE), film shown at film fest, feature-film accepted to film fest, time to read Hitchhiker's, play directed, all-nighter, theatre audition, time at public school, time liking math, BIG birthday party, physical manifestation of anger on unrelated inanimate object, novel almost completed, friend's novel published, song to mean something personally, standing ovation, tip for a waiter out of own pocket, really nice pocket knife, time in semi-finals at robotics regionals

Most nostalgic songs: the entire soundtrack for Road to Freedom!

Best group hug: at the end of my birthday party, or maybe after filming the ball scene.

Favorite memory: TOO MANY!! birthday party, premiere of Road to Freedom, cast interviews day, RenFaire, Halloween weekend.....

Major Hits: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Eddie (laptop), raw tofu, trenchcoat, Gaelic Storm, folk dance, Montana, C++, goats, robotics, t-shirts, ivy, blogging.

2009 in review!

Here goes for the epic review of the year 2009!

January--April: I, with a mostly-highschool-aged cast and crew from C-town filmed the epic movie 'Road to Freedom'. I wrote the script in the fall of '08, but we wound up adjusting lines down to the last shoot :P
Historical costumes (Revolutionary War-era), an elaborate plot, lots of sets, and other such things made this truly a 'life-work', hehe.

Huge amounts of good times, and memories of unrestrained hoots of laughter as actors tried to remember their lines, the oar snapped, the lamp went up in a blaze of light, the camera was forgotten, the candles burned down over many-hour shoots, people forwent important engagements in order to get to the shoot, the hapless boom-rigger let the microphone droop into the actor's face, the long-suffering actors 'died' again and again as the Director grew ever pickier, the actress tried to remember which costume she ought to be wearing, the cameraman climbed on top of a podium with the $1000 camera to get the best shot, the dancers rehearsed their dances (to their own humming, sometimes), people dragged themselves to shoots whilst on the verge of death, the cast and crew battled rain, cold and hail (and irritating sun) to film the outdoor shoots, actors spilt root-beer over their costumes ("I thought it was EMPTY!"), and other pleasing little adventures occurred.

February: half the cast including myself came down with flu, we filmed the first major scenes of the movie, I 'pulled a Bethie' and added in a 24-hour fast-film competition with the local film festival, and participated in robotics competition (über-geek-out).

May 1st: we filmed the ball scene for the movie, which involved about a dozen extras in addition to most of the cast and several crew members. As the Director (me) was one of the dancers, another facet of interest was added to the few days of craziness in preparation for the epic scene.
The scene took seven or eight hours to film, although most of the cast peeled off earlier than that: the insane crew of about six people gave a standing ovation to each of the others as they left......Without aid of caffeine, in fact on the effects of adrenaline only, I managed to bounce with energy throughout the whole grueling shoot. We wound up with a group hug and (at least on my part) a profound sense of 'freedom!" hehe.

I finished up editing in May, and on June 6th about a hundred people were treated to the world premiere of Road to Freedom.

Middle of June: I became part of the blogging world!!

At the end of June we went off on our road trip to Montana and Wyoming, coinciding with my 'style change' to Western.
Various incidents on this trip have been posted about at length here on the blog, for your reading enjoyment :)

Of course we have a few ongoing things, like folk dance, 4-H, and the continuing Education Saga. In September (two days after school starting), I registered at the local high school for a few classes, to the eternal surprise of the die-hard homeschooling part of me.

At the end of the summer I embarked on yet another theatre business project: 'Two Top Hats and a Spy', as written by my compatriots. Rehearsals for that took all the fall through Nov. 21st. It was my first time being director of a theatre production rather than a film, hehe. We produced a very nice show positively imbued with 1930s atmosphere.

In November I was crazy enough to participate in National Novel Writing Month: 50,000 words in 30 days. Note: do not attempt to do NaNo in the same month that you have a show! It tends towards insanity. I got within about a thousand words of my goal: my stats page showed an exponential growth in the last few days of the month: I pulled a few all nighters (46 hours without sleep, I do believe). A snapshot of me at the end of November would feature me tapping madly at laptop as 1930s French swing music played on iTunes (a holdover from Top Hats).

In December, with my life returning to sanity, I decided to go for the gusto and add in another class at CHS: Advanced Algebra, in hopes of being able to transfer to College Algebra by the next semester. The catch being that I had missed 3/4 of the semester-long class! This resulted in some classic geek-out moments, like a few days when I was trying to work through the math book (to catch up) at the rate of four hours a day.

I also auditioned for Romeo and Juliet at C, and got a part as a dancer in the ball scene. Plans to participate in robotics in between rehearsals are still looming large for the new year.

Somewhere in the fall I decided that computer programming would be a good thing to acquire, and promptly got a few imposing volumes out from the library. Have not gotten very far with that, but programming remains one of my favorite hobbies.

The second style change came (subtly) in the fall, and Bethie now sports a rather darker image with overtones of extreme geekery. Trench coat and lots of important stuff in pockets.

Ongoing projects include trying ever harder to make people laugh, attempting to become still more geeky, mostly failing to rendezvous with buddies, and taking pride in keeping everyone guessing about what is actually going on in my head.

Monday, December 28, 2009

in which we race madly about

Woke up far too early this morning....could not get back to sleep...then there was a noise outside as of a cat squalling, or maybe the death-shriek of a mouse....THEN I became hungry and came downstairs to find that despite the dark it was nearly 7.

Perhaps slightly hysterically funny from lack of sleep, I engaged in a hysterically funny chat with a buddy which had me laughing aloud (alone in darkened kitchen) at points. This started the day off right, as it were. I then contended with the ridiculous cold (getting hay for the goats). I made a pretty sight: sweats, trouser (pant? hmm) legs rolled up, feet encased in battered Crocs, trenchcoat over all, flying out around me as I beat a hasty retreat from the driveway from whence I had intended to stage a 'nice brisk walk round the neighborhood' before discovering that my nose would freeze off.

OH YES....trenchcoat...I finally got one...heHEE....definitely adds to the image! :)

Spent the day doing math sporadically, and doing some housework on Eddie. Such a sweet computer (proud smile on my parental face). Organizing files is so much cleaner and easier than doing so on WIndows.

Yesterday we spent a grueling few hours shopping for t-shirts and such, then came home. Daddy stated that he was going to town (other direction from shops) and I became noticeably excited. "Are we going to the CO-OP?!" "Do we need to go to the Library!" "Borders!!"
One knows one lives in a small town when the big excitement for the whole WEEK is going to the grocery store, library and Borders Books.
I spent a long time in Borders poring over the programming books...nice big thick ones....IN the trenchcoat of course :)

Aaaand I promised fun stuff coming up on the blog....eventually...hehe :)

About 4 pm I noticed that Fiona-goat was very, very much in heat. This precipitated a lot of frenzied phoning about, racing to and fro, and finally packing her and Starlight into the car (on the back seat on a tarp) to take them down to the buck in Alpine. Long exhausting drive in terrible fog. However we really do know that at least Fiona is in heat so yay! Such is the life of the goat-herd.
Goats have such marvelous timing, what with the fog tonight, possibility of snow tomorrow morning, dentist appointment tomorrow AM, and my dad trying to get to a movie tonight (which he did get to). Busybusy.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

first final farewell to 2009! (i.e., there will be more!)

Okay folks, we're going to have some fun stuff going on here at the blog in the final days of 2009 (I just have to figure out what it'll be ;)

First off we have a tag off of Facebook. Feel free to take it! I'm probably notnot going to tag anybody though :)
Later in the week expect an epic-sized post recapping this year's major events according to me ;), hopefully polls, and other fun stuff: feel free to make suggestions!!


Stayed single this whole year?

Were you involved in something you'll never forget?
Good grief yes. Filming 'Road to Freedom' was the biggest...also doing NaNoWriMo! Learning programming! Going to public school... Robotics! Trip to Montana! June 1st, 2009!

Dyed your hair?
Yes actually, henna :)


Do you hate anyone?
(trying to think: ) I don't believe so.

Do you have any regrets when it comes to your friendships?
Maybe one or two, nothing major

Did you have a cake?
yes i had to MAKE it! (carrot) but for my party Eva baked me one :)

Did you have a party?
HECK YEAH!! Epic party-in-grass-seed-field-
at-night! Dancing! Music! Food! 'A nice vintage' (sparkling cider, lol)! Frisbee! Glowsticks! Skipping, 5-in-a-row! Group hugs! Siamsa! "We're-dancing-on-the-cups!"

Did you get any presents?
Yes ;)

Oh, really now? Really?

Did you change at all this year?
Yes, several times.

Did you change your style?
twice at least! Three times!

Were you in school?

Did you drive?
Yeah. Right into the flowerbed, hehe

Did you own a car?

Would you change anything about yourself now?
Hmm. I don't think so. (ain't I modest?)

Was 2009 a good year?
Oh yes!

Do you think 2010 will top 2009?

Kissed in the rain?
No, sadly.

Had your heart broken?
Ergh...I don't think so. Beat up a lot, though :)

Painted a picture?

Wrote a poem?
OH YES!! Best poem I ever wrote, and only one other person has read it. ' . '

Told someone you were busy when you weren't?
No..not yet....

Lied about how old you were?
Yep! RenFaire, I was trying to buy a knife >:-)

IN 2009 I...
Broke a promise?
Maybe...I don't think so..


Hid a secret?
Oh yes.

Pretended to be happy?
Dear me yes!

Slept under the stars?
Does camping count? Because I did a lot of that...

Kept your new years resolution?
I don't think I made any last year!

Forgot your new years resolution?
No :P

Met someone who changed your life?
Yes. Meh. Lots.

Sat home all day doing nothing?
Sadly yes.

Pretended to be sick?
No. I don't need to PRETEND! hehe

Lost something expensive?
Thankfully no!

Learned something new about yourself?

Tried something you normally wouldn't try and liked it?
Well I will try almost anything so does that count?

Made a change in your life?

Found out who your true friends were?
I think so....through THEATRE BUSINESS of course! :)

Met great people?
SO MANY!!! I think half of my close friends I met in the past year-ish. I LOVE YOU PEEPS! <3

Stayed up til sunrise?
Natch! NaNo! 46 hours without sleep!

Cried over the silliest thing?
not really silly...haven't cried in a while....and I was enraged at the time, wanted to punch something (and DID)

Had friends who were drifting away from you?
It started before 2009. But yeah. Not many thank goodness!

Had a high cell phone bill?
only during theatre business....

Spent most of your money on food?
a good bit...try buying a chunk of raw tofu for dinner in town! :P

Gotten sick?
Flu twice, a cold, and flu-ish in the summer...

Liked more than 5 people at the same time?
No! :)

Would you start this year over again?
Hmm....knowing what all would happen? Yes, but it would be a lot of work! As in, hundreds of hours of filming and editing!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!...and the big robotics post!

Hope everyone had a nice Christmas! Yesterday was our third day to go into town for supplies food-wise, hehe. Delivered a few gifts on Wednesday, bought hay, etc. Christmas Eve was deeply foggy all day, and turned icy later which helped in the decision not to go to Midnight Mass, somthing I've always wanted to do. Went to an evening church service, opened a few presents and I went to bed late. Before going to bed I heard a couple of owls hooting at each other outside, and a third one maybe half a mile or so away :)

Woke up late also, to sunshine and the smell of bacon wafting upwards, a great rarity...natural bacon is rather pricey.

Had lunch at grandmother's house, outside in the sun at the 45th parallel! Good times.

Just spent an hour or so on the Autodesk website, being annoyed by the apparent impossibility of registering. Finally got that all straightened out, then found that their software is only compatible with Windows, I'd have to partition Eddie's hard drive to run Windows (which has to be BOUGHT of course!) in order to run the software (animation, helpful for robotics stuff). Rowr.

And about that robotics stuff: I keep promising an in-depth post on what exactly I am talking about when I wave terms like "build season", "regionals", "what on earth is a lugnut", "FIRST", "ship date", and "scouting" around in the aluminum-shaving-filled air.

Sooooo....FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition in Science and Technology) is a nationwide organization. They have several branches including Lego-league robotics competitions for middle schoolers (such as I helped with a few weeks ago) and FRC (FIRST Robotics Competition) for high schoolers.
My dad is the team coach/leader for our team so I tend to get sucked into the madness :P

I went to a competition in CA at the age of 13 and sort of got hooked...this will be my third year on the team to some extent.

The kickoff (Jan. 9th at an early hour of the morning) consists of the teams from all over the state coming to La Sells auditorium (goaded by coffee) and watching a live streamed broadcast of the kickoff in New Hampshire (where the founder Dean Kamen has his lair). The stream tends to go down sometimes but that's all part of the fun, hehe. Role-call: all the teams that made it over the dangerous high mountain passes and such give rousing cheers and so on.

There we learn what this year's 'game' will be: whether our robot will have to be designed to herd balls, go up ramps, throw things, or etc. We also listen to a lot of inspiring speeches by Kamen and Woodie Flowers and all those folks as to why we do this, the benefit that engineering is to the world, "gracious professionalism", and how we are going to have the best season ever. Then we all head over to the other university building to collect the kit of parts: the "Kamen tote" and the "Flowers tote" (Woodie Flowers, another beloved founder) and pack the industrial-strength wheels and metal and motors into the van and head out to school for the first day of the build season: planning.

Please note that I am not mechanically-minded in the least. My role on the team has pretty much been confined to 'scout': at the 3-day competition in March I do the whole PR bit with the other teams, convincing them that our team would be a good partner (the games are always played in alliances of three teams)--teamwork is one of the big goals of FIRST. I also do random stuff like team buttons, graphics, etc. This year I'll hopefully be helping more with the build, you know, holding bits of metal whilst people drill them :) Also doing the work for Chairman's Award (animation, essay, etc), and more communications/facilitation stuff like figure out accommodations for the competition and so on.

Competition: AKA 'regionals'. AKA three days of insanity. WHOOHOO! Portland (2 hrs away) is our regional...50 scout to interview those fifty teams (ME)...'The Coliseum' in Portland is rented for the three days...we go up early Thursday morning. Thursday is more or less practice, repairing robots that have glitches, that sort. Some teams pack up the bot at the deadline and are still tinkering with it (saws, drilling, soldering, you know, light little adjustments :P ) on Thursday. Thu. is also scouting heaven, not too stressful: I try to get around to all the teams by Thursday night and have some form of database up and running, be it ever so humble (notebook, last year. Laptop this year, hopefully).
We spend the night in Portland usually but funding is an issue this year. We may have to commute from home (groan!) but I'm looking into an offer of free housing in Wilsonville (friendly robotics team/supportive town = :)

On Friday the intensity reaches a whole other level. There are three areas of concern: The field, where 6 robots (and attendant teams) compete at one time. In the stands we have much-maligned and under-appreciated but very-important scouts watching the teams and jotting things down on clipboards. Music blares louder each day. The pits are the third and most chaotic area: big, big conference room downstairs, full of 50 teams (an average of 20 people on each team), their robots, and whatever their 10x10 assigned homebase has been decked out with (clock, table, toolkit, etc). Noise, noise, noise. Announcer saying who's queuing up next, scouts and team members hurrying to and fro, horrible metallic screeching sounds (remember the last-minute repairs?). Usually several 'bots on their little carts (gotter save the wheels) being shuttled out to the field.

This is when the harried scout feels the insanity. Most teams have 5-8 scouts, or people who can become scouts at moment's notice. That is because most teams have 20 people or so: for the last two years we've had about 5. That's usually the driver down in the field, a human player chucking balls (last year), and so forth. My first year I was THE scout, the one-and-only scout added at the LAST minute because there were so few people. Frantic. We didn't really need the scouting info that year because we didn't do too fabulously but I came back last year resolved to do even better. Had more people to help thankfully: and our team did very well. More on that later.
Yes, by the end of Friday it is essential to have full tabs on every team there: in other words, did their bot break down? Or stall on the field (even worse)? Do they pull a lot of fouls? Do they have a fabulous human player? Are they scoring a lot in each game?
Friday night the scout with full info (laptop with program and info input) rendezvouses with the driver to plot strategy for the final day of competition.
Saturday morning everyone is unbelievably pumped: the first half of the day is qualifying matches for the semis and finals in the afternoon. Scouts firm up alliances: in the afternoon the top-ranked teams go on to finals and get to choose their alliance partners. Last year we were ranked very high all competition until late Saturday morning when we had a series of mishaps. We were still getting courted by a lot of teams, I was in contact with the top-ranked couple of teams and getting things lined up. For the top teams, Saturday lunchbreak is stressful beyond imagining: go over your notes one more time, rank your top 15 teams or so, in case you can't get your first pick; agonize one more time....send your team captain down to the field after lunch with a piece of paper with team names on it.....collapse helplessly in the bleachers.

Last year we were ranked about 16...barely missed being able to chose our partners. We were hoping and praying to get chosen by the top team but the selection process allows #1 to choose #2, and so on. We got picked by a lower-ranked team, who also selected a team that I'd marked down dismissively. Thus placed on a weak team, we nevertheless played in semi-finals, where we played several games. There was an issue with the floor, and static electricity interfering with our remote-controls. Our team had conniptions in the stands as all of the teams on our alliance, by a crazy fluke, stalled from the static, and the 2-minute match went on, and the judges did not call the match (it had been happening all morning and they'd had to keep replaying matches). Needless to say, we lost resoundingly. We were positively livid with panic as they proceeded to have a long interlude....finally announced a rematch!! (getting adrenaline just remembering...)

I think we tied that match...lost the next one...the aforementioned weak team bailed, their robot was down.....that surely has to be the saddest thing that can happen. We got eliminated fairly quickly but there was such a great sense of relief that at least we'd had our chance, the judges hadn't gone with that failed match.

Late Saturday afternoon are the awards, creativity in design and that sort, and of course first place awards for the winning three teams who go on to the nationals in Atlanta. We've never gone, but one year we went to another regional in CA and finished about 4th...very fun stuff :)

And then the first game-hint came out yesterday.

It is supposedly a hint as to what this year's game will consist of. Last year's hint was a picture of a fish, for a game played on a slippery surface ^_^ There are already pages of speculations on ChiefDelphi, the hang-out place for FIRSTies. There seems to be a consensus that the game this year may involve soccer balls, possibly on some sort of raised pathway. That CAD-designed pic is now my desktop on Eddie :)

So! There is the run-down on FIRST and why I will be insanely busy between Jan. 9th and Mar. 6.

Hmm, this really sounds like I'm insane, doesn't it? FIRST is complicated beyond belief at first glance....sounds like a cult to outsiders :)

EDIT: Come, join us in the madness!!

Friday, December 18, 2009

holiday fun-ness

Now don't pounce on me for not saying Christmas, because I hate Happy Holidays as a greeting; it's just that the whole season from Thanksgiving to New Year's is one big round of one festival after another.

Let's see: First things first. Auditions for Romeo and Juliet went well (my week has been very, very busy). On Monday I gave my monologue which went pretty well, and did the dance audition which was VERY easy. Tuesday did not go so well: we did read-throughs and I was given a very small part, so I figured I wouldn't get a large speaking part. Did not go to call-backs on Wednesday; that night, however, the cast list came out and I'm a dancer in the ball scene. Fun stuffs! Hopefully the rehearsal schedule won't be too evil, and I get a pretty dress and get to be pretty much involved. I'm back in theatre business, I'm so happy!

Let's see. Wednesday afternoon I went to another (unrelated) theatre meeting; came home and spent four or five hours baking yummy stuff for various social engagements this week. The power had gone out in part of our kitchen: phone, light above the sink but fortunatley not the stove. Probably mice, chewing through wires. My dad was not enthused about crawling under the house; "You know, whenever there's an earthquake you just know that there was somebody under their house fixing we need anything from the grocery store?" Hehe, that's a bit of a combination of his words with mine :)

Anyways, he and I managed to pretty much wreck the kitchen what with making cookies and pralines and Walnut Chocolates (ground walnuts mixed with powdered sugar, dipped in chocolate) and all sorts. There was an uncalled-for amount of hilarity :) As he spreads chocolate on the walnut-cake with a knife I ward off the waving knie-tip: "Almost poked me in the eye there!" "We're untrained, unskilled and dangerous." I was still up and cooking at ten PM...unheard-of.

Yesterday was bio and math and that sort....then off to goat 4-H club in the evening. I came down with a cold sadly; but it's not too bad. I'm going to a piano concert tonight, tomorrow is the first event of the local chapter of Improv Everywhere, (a tea on the sidewalk) and I need to do some Christmas shopping ;)

I'm really looking forward to sleeping in this vacation!! And rendezvousing with neglected friends :)

Monday, December 14, 2009

I'm being eaten....

by algebra...the teacher was complimentary "There's some good work there, for not having had the class"....
I spent much of my Friday night working on algebra...particularly one problem which took me 45 minutes. Then on Saturday, with no snow in evidence but some very nasty driving conditions (read: solid sheet of ice on road) we got to the robotics meet at 11 AM. Believe me, the LEGO League robotics competition is a placid picnic compared to, say, the Portland FRC regionals! Fun though :) There was only one other person from our team, and only two other FRC (high school) teams there, but there was no shortage of help.
Me dad had planned to not stay any longer than necessary, but I decided I'd rather stay for 5 hours than go home and tackle the algebra! Most of the time I was working in the back rooms where the judges interview the teams on various aspects of their robot, teamwork and that sort. There were some other FRC peeps there, from Philomath mostly, and we had way too much fun in the intervals between groups of FLL kids coming to be judged.

I may have commented on this before, but geeks for the win!! At regionals in March I always notice how nice just about everyone a scout I come into contact with a LOT of people and they are sweet and nerdy and funny (good combination, by the way).

Hehe, this year I'm finally on something of an even footing: engineering stuff is still out of my league (what's a resistor?) but at least I am not so entirely clueless. C++ is the code used for a lot of the programming so that helps :)
Chatted with aforementioned awesome nerdy people....Hitchhiker's science....math ("fun when you understand it")....admiration for my stock of batteries in pocket, and little 9-volt flashlight (SO cool..robotics people are unfailingly intrigued). Way too many jokes and fun for volunteer hours ;)

Then last night I was eaten by the algebra homework that I had so thoughtfully left til the last; also memorized my twenty lines of Shakespeare for the audition today. That's in a few hours o_O

On the subject of geeks, geekery and nerds, neeks, beeks, brains, and other intelligent things: let's talk. I think most of us would admit that we have tendencies to one or the other. Girls are afraid (really? are we?) of being thought nerdy....intellectual..."guys don't like girls who are smarter than they are"....all that jazz.
Lads: weigh in! Are YOU secretly afraid of being thought nerdy? What about nerdy/geeky girls? I have it on good authority that geeky guys like geeky aware that 90% of the few crushes I have had have been on nerdy fear not, thou'rt not despised by the entire female population...just the despicable cheer-leading type....give me the good programmer over the football quarterback any day! ;)

Let's get a nice big happy forum going in the comments, folks! hehe...tales of geekery...

Friday, December 11, 2009

from the heart of the Frozen North!

As I speak we expect it so begin snowing any moment!
The weather has been amazingly cold for the past few days....I know 8 degrees and 20s/30s in day sounds mild for you hard-core Northerners, but it is unheard-of here!
The Mary's River is frozen over where it intersects with the Willamette, and that has NEVER happened before.

This morning it was clear and sunny, but when I came out after B block math class it had clouded over ominously and at the end of culinary there was an announcement that the winter formal dance tomorrow might be canceled. I'm not going to anything this weekend very crucial, so I'm all excited :) We stopped at the feed store to pick up some chicken feed and I've never seen it so busy.

Yesterday in math I managed to get myself into the wrong room for about half the class period...looong painful turned out okay fortunately. They all headed into the computer lab...I stayed behind to talk to teacher...then went to the computer lab where we had been the day BEFORE...wondered occasionally why the teacher never showed...they were in a different computer lab..there was another class there, but after two days I still didn't recognize the kids in my class darned FUN!'s really hard to come from homeschooling to large public school....oh wellz
Then today we had a test...there's a lot of review stuff right now, in prep for tests in sync with local community college which grants college credits....I've got SO much of the book left to work through...weekend plans include math, math and more math....

Tomorrow morning I've got a robotics meet of sorts...actually it's for helping the local elementary-age kids with their lego-robotics competition....looks good on your application for the Chairman's Award. I shall have to post about robotics, because it it a large part of my and my dad's year, January through early March.

A note about the film of the play, and Road to Freedom: I am currently in limbo on the video of the play, the recording we got was very unsatisfactory and I'm trying to get hold of a better recording, if that goes through I might get them done by after Christmas break but with trying to catch up with algebra and such I really can't make any promises, and in January life gets slightly insane. Road to Freedom could go out at any time however. I'm sorry, I will need to charge for the copies, shipping and the rough cost of the DVD, shouldn't be too bad though. If you feel comfortable with giving out address, feel free to pop me an email (goatgirlbethie at gmail dot com) and we can work something out. I will try to post clips here eventually, but I imagine the upload times would be rather ghastly on my end, my DSL is slow.

Merry Christmas everyone, it is really beginning to feel like winter! :)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

definitely neeky

Oog. Brain fry.

Took my first class in Advanced Algebra today, muddled through as best I could and came home and spent four hours solid, going through the book from the beginning. I have a definite love/hate relationship with math!

The couch by the fireplace, and adjoining table, is covered with nerdy/geeky/neeky books: Algebra 2 (from school), Algebra 2 which I checked out from the public library over the weekend, biology textbook, beginning programming book (thick), programming book by the developer of C++ himself (also from the weekend library trip), biology and math notebooks, Eddie (okay, computer not book, but it's got my bio. notes and the notoriously buggy compiler Xcode on it), bio definitions in lil binder, Hitchhiker's book 4. dad said I couldn't really be a geek, I don't look geeky

Weather continues very cold and dry. Was down to about 11 F last night.

Folk dance on Sunday night was AWESOME, I do wish we had it more often than every two weeks.

The blog needs a Christmas header/ TIME...

Listening/watching rerun of Bill Cosby show, absorbing the humor from the other room :)

"Now mind you, I'm very cool. I don't know what I'm doing; but I'm very cool."

Friday, December 4, 2009

coooollld weather!

Was so terribly thrilled at biology class yesterday to be able to offer two AA batteries for the camera so that we could take pictures of our cell models. Preparedness for the win! The Boy Scouts' motto should have been mine: "Be prepared": after all, everyone knows that girls always carry quantities of random crud in their purses! I have a purse, and it has a large stash of stuff: blue tape, gloves, hand warmers, and a secondary stash of all the stuff in my pockets. But with my pockets alone I could subsist for a looong time. Might have to resort to eating the band aids, but whatever.
culinary. we didn't cook, did book work, watched video (REALLY boring, haha) etc. My team (four peeps all told) always sits together, back row, and the lads (two boys and two girls) are rather exuberant, shall we say? Katie and I try to squelch them at intervals...anyways, Nate had a rubber-band...he and Katie, who is older, have a love/hate relationship, he asks me if I have a rubber band and of course I did, in me pocket....he said he wasn't going to shoot it...i forked it over...he took aim and i promptly snatched it back....Katie and I exchanged was hysterical. there was pencil-stabbing going on, mostly without the teacher's noticing. I wound up confiscating his final rubber-band..i love those things...

At school today I went over the whole school and part of the grounds, hunting up math teachers. I had previously decided to, if possible, join the College Algebra/Trig class which is in the spring term. To the office to sign up, then off to find the teacher. Found that I likely wouldn't be able to do it after all, so it was back to the office and off across the school to hunt up the Advanced Alg. teacher. FInally found him on the other side of campus overseeing the delivery of some oranges for one of the sports teams.
As it stands, it looks like I'll be starting for the tail-end of the Advanced Alg. class, through the end of the term, and then (hopefully) going on to College Alg. GULP!! but just think...College Credit!!

other stuff:
my dad thought he was growing a goji berry (little asian thing) last year...he planted the seeds..nursed them up from the soil...tendered them through the rigors of life..only one survived. I kept saying it looked like a hot pepper September it developed little hot peppers....clearly identifiable as the Bolivian Rainbow he'd had in the pot the year before.

bread is epic in our house.
my dad has always been a connoisseur. he used to drive up to Portland to buy good stuff. wonder bread or equiv. is not allowed in the house. of course he's tried to make it but no luck. last Christmas we got a book on artisan bread in 5 mins. a day and all heck broke loose. the recipe requires a really wet dough that sits about menacing people for a few days before being baked. it then has to be put on a baking stone (the pursuit of which item down isles of Bed Bath and Beyond is a whole other chapter). and let to would crawl eerily forth...down the side of the pan...into the sink...into the woodstove...he'd usually get it in the oven around 10 pm, it was quite exciting....and always the wondering, would it turn out??

hum-ty-hum....made a header for Carpe Diem....took a walk...struggled against the freezing weather. There were places in the shade that never thawed today.

The weather is getting very interesting....supposed to be low 20s tonight, looks like Sunday through Tuesday will be coldest, 18-19 at night and barely above freezing in the day...yowps!

Me: (talking about the upcoming cold) I bet the lake freezes.
My dad: Oh boy! We can fall into it!


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Happy Advent!

Hoo boy. Long post coming up.

First off: I did not win NaNo. :( 42,618 was the final count.

*A big than you to everybody who commented and supported the frenzied author during the time of need, you're the best!! :) *

The weekend was ghastly. I went for 46 hours without sleep.

My second all-nighter on Sunday night did not go well. I decided to hole up in the pantry because my room doesn't really have a door and my parents would probably have heard the tapping at the keyboard.

The parents did not go to bed til kind of late so I sat up in my room writing notes on paper. Then I snuck downstairs with the utmost furtiveness and ensconced myself in the pantry.
I soon learned that it is very very hard to use a laptop without any other light in the room. I ventured forth in search of a lamp; failed to find one (this was about 1 AM). FInally I absconded with an electric candle-thing which worked passably. I also learned that it is almost impossible to read pencil by the light of the little flashlight I had taped to a baseball cap, miner-like.

Went out to get carrots, cheese and bread, and of course more coffee. I have come to simply loathe coffee, chiefly after the first all-nighter.

I kept banging away at the keyboard, engaged in a lot of sprints and word-wars on the NaNo forums where a small group of nocturnal peeps attempted to up the lagging word-count.

As I gulped down more coffee I had an occasional qualm about how much caffeine one can ingest before effects set in.... o_0

Around 4 AM I was dead, absolutely dead. I think I may have been falling asleep for nanoseconds between words. I believe I was beginning to hallucinate slightly. I left the pantry to go to the bathroom or maybe get some more coffee, I forget which. In the hallway I encountered my mom. She did not see me at first (I was so disoriented that I had turned into the wall believing that the hallway ran the other direction). She did however see the light coming from the pantry which I had failed to turn off. FInally saw me and made me go back to bed.

I got four hours of sleep and faced the next day with renewed energy (sort of). Went through school in a daze. Wrote crazily all Monday.
Around 3:30 that afternoon I had a rather brilliant idea to have another character come into the story. This did not boost the word count as much as could have been hoped however.

I degenerated into having one of my characters reminisce over how she did NaNo one about ten pages out of that...every fifth word might have been spelled right.
Parents made me go to bed at 9:30 or so; truth be told, I was not unwilling, I was exhausted.

The story is maybe 75% complete at this point. I'm fairly happy with it, there were some rather nice scenes and quite a lot of side-splitting humor. I'm fairly attached to my characters. Won't have much time to work on it though :(

Other stuff: Yes, happy Advent! Can't believe it's so close to Christmas! The excitement is filtering through from Kendra, I think :P

Theatre news: I'm likely going to audition for Romeo and Juliet at CHS!!! I'm really excited. Auditions are December 14 and 15, the show is at the end of February. I'd love to have an acting part but I don't know if I can fit it i, I'd really like to do robotics at my dad's school and it's during the same time-window. Might be able to do tech or costuming or something though. I have to memorize some Shakespeare for the audition.

Weather: is awesome. COLD and sunny. It started to frost almost as soon as the sun went down yesterday, and there are rumors of impending snow at the end of the week! I love this weather, I ought to move to Montana or something :)

Hay bales: I had to move a 60-pounder today, and I had the brilliant idea of backing up to the trunk of the car (where it was) and rolling the bale onto my back, holding it by the strings.

Yahoo: I got yahoo IM, me address is bethie_forty_two :)

2012: Shardhana left a comment inquiring my views on 2012....a very thought-provoking subject, hehe. Let's just say I am attending "2013" ;) I don't believe it will be the end of the world, BUT I think there could certainly be unknown repercussions, for one thing I've heard about solar flares picking up then, who knows. I don't know if that could result in some form of EMP which might knock out power/communications, in which case we would be in rather epic trouble.
I'm not worrying about it too much. Would love to see the movie, though! :)

Monday, November 30, 2009

another all-nighter

yup. dead.

like 36 hours with no sleep, right now. it'll be a long night.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

no sleep

Pulled an all-nighter. Was going to go to bed at midnight (did, in fact) but then realized that I was going to be awake for a while anyways, weighed a few more considerations and went for it with a mug of coffee and Eddie.

I was forced to write in the spare bedroom above the kitchen, and in utmost secrecy, lest I fall afoul of a parent, who would doubtless insist on bed.

Got pretty chilly around 5:30. Very foggy, frosty. Not one wink of sleep did I get, but my word count is up to 24,046.

Actually am not suffering much: was able to stay awake in church. However things are striking me as way too funny and I look ghastly.

Please say hi, somebody!!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

pretty much insane right now

cAffEine and over 11 hours of sleep last night, went into town with my dad and Eddie (laptop) and got some writing done whilst taking stuff to the recycle, books to the used-book store, Co-op, Staples for a laptop cover and rubber bands and a flash drive.

Have been writing sporadically all day.

word count is over 15 000.


around 3 i decided to go for the caffeine.

view my progress here!
cheer me on, kick me, hug me, rub my shoulders which are REallY sore for some reason, comment please!, make my a cup of cyber-coffee, etc.

Thursday, November 26, 2009


Lol. So I was going to just reply to Einar's question about slugs in a comment...but then I decided, why keep everybody else out of the fun?

Einar said, "Ok, I gotta ask: "And then the slugs came"?
Please explain, this one has me up at night."

Here are some explanations for the more abstruse quotations in my sidebar.

"Alright, let's try that from the top...ready? One, two--oh and there's just one thing..."
-the Director

Most of these are from the filming of the movie. It became a local joke that Bethany (the Director) would say One, Two, oh Eva be sure and say that line louder...and Dallan don't breathe in the mic....okay, all ready? One, two.....we're going to try and do this...[actors sigh and start laughing] It was supposed to be One, Two, Go but never was. "You will get to three eventually..." which threw me off and I said Three, one time.

"...the Director's having a heart attack--she's turning purple..."

"He hasn't eaten his entire script yet, only part of the cast list..."
Oh dear yes. Phillip was eating his script at one point...I can't remember who actually said the above quote, I believe it might have been Sophie.

"Please do not leave your scripts at the set. I do not want your scripts!!"

"SCRIPT!! Where's my script?"

"That is the wrong script. "

There were several editions floating about. Director's Copy, Revised Edition, Scenes 3 and 4 (final), Final-final edition!!, etc.

"The Lord's Regents call for conditional surrender!"
"What are your master's terms?"
"That, uh, uh, I don't remember my line!"
[Director] "Yes, you can throw the rock at him!"
"That's firing on a flag of truce!" [talking about it later] " was a little rock, too. " "Oh yeah, 'CRUNCH'!" "Only a flesh-wound!"

Filming of an earlier move, "The Rose of Gondor".

Oar: *CRUNCH!!* Eva, who broke the oar: *shriek* Director: *hysterical laughter* Eva: Do we have any Superglue? Dallan: I think we're going to need that stick now! Phillip: Oh I'll start whittling!

the oar broke. Need I say more?

Director: Please do not push him into the pie. Or the candles.

Trying to to "push" a ruffian out the door of the tavern, without injuring the ruffian or the pie.

"You're the Director, NOT the engineer!!"
-Joseph, when I was trying to prop up the tent ridge-pole with a twig

Ooh yeah. Road to Freedom again: the ridge-pole of the army tent was sagging onto the heads of our six-foot actors. I suggested that it needed a wedge.

"Bloopers are more funny if you've seen the movie." "Bloopers are more funny if you were IN the movie." "But if you ARE the blooper, well...."

conversation at the cast party.

-*hysterical laughter from Bethany watching the day's footage*
-dad: It sounds like it must be one long "bloop"!

Director: I'm sorry, your face is just a little too big in the screen.
Phillip: Oh I'm sorry. I'll make it smaller.

"The reason I'm making a chewing sound is because I just put a carrot in my mouth"
-my dad

yeah, he answered the phone and it was one of his friends, he was still chewing on a carrot.

"...and then the slugs came."

**!!!!!!! Yes! the slugs came!
My dad, again. He was having some sort of sock issues. Couldn't find any, or some such. There is a long story here. The Sock Crisis of '09.... Anyways, he got his socks dirty mowing the lawn or somesuch (I think) and left them outside to dry, overnight. On the gravel by the garage door. Next morning: "The slugs have been walking all over my socks!" Bear in mind that the slug is Oregon's state animal. In talking about it later, and trying to sort out our ideas about the Sock Crisis, my dad memorably said "And then the slugs came."

"In Oregon there's the sizzle and then the drizzle"
stolen quote.

"Oh LOOK! A muskeg!"
"I don't get it about a muskeg! Muskegs do not have any moving parts!"

Trip to Montana last summer: I was in search of muskegs. They are little boggy cold ponds. I wanted to see one. I sure did...every half mile it was "Oh look! A muskeg!"

"Oak floors start out pink, and then they turn strawberry blonde, and then blonde, and then they get a henna rinse, and finally they get dreadlocks."

Yes, I said that. We were talking about the benefits of wood floors.

Who needs caffeine when you have adrenaline?

...discussed the agricultural prospects (which were no worse than usual....

"Well shame on you for being so amusing"
-Eva, to Dallan

"...we have to contend with the whoops factor..."
-me, again

This is something that I say a lot. The Whoops Factor is very often present in the background of my escapades.

"No comment! We are not taking questions at this time. "-as I come downstairs with my hair wrapped in a plastic bag

Yeah, I'd just done a henna rinse, and put a plastic bag over my head to keep the henna in for the prescribed time, and did not want to deal with people's exclamations below-stairs.

"Now this is an opportunity to sound really lame, let's not take it."
-Eva, whilst writing a script

"Quote of the day for Bethany: Crud!"

"I didn't get trapped, I got comfy [in the attic]."

I was hunting out some tent-bags in the attic and almost got trapped under some stuff. I got real comfy there on those bags.

"Bethany, it's not funny! Don't make it funny!"
after he managed to spill a cutting-board full of carrot-rounds on the floor.

"Dear...we aren't playing with ones...."
-Eva, as I try to palm off "two ones" in a game of Liar--I don't play cards very often....

"...the Tektonic Plate Theory of sheet-migration..."

have you ever noticed that sheets go one way and blankets go the other, and you are left cold in the middle?

"Don't die, Bethany! Don't die!"

I rather think that was Josiah, after I said something or other.

"We're in the Towel Rebellion of 2009...the Storming of the Laundry Vent....Bastille Day [Excuse ME, that's bath cabinet day!]"

The Towel Incident. Nuff said.

"Uh-oh. Bethany has her evil look on."
-Eva, at rehearsal
"Wha..? No, this is just my normal evil face is my normal face."

and just for fun, here are two more quotes off of my Facebook page:

Backward hats lead to trench coats, trench coats lead to evil glares, evil glares lead to the dark side.

haha, that was from Halloween. You remember, when I was being 'sketchy'.

"Let's not poke Fate in the eye with a rubber chicken."
-Adam, at one of the rehearsals.

I rather think I'd just suggested doing something even more crazy than the things we were already attempting to do.

That's not even including all the Guide quotes I could rattle off. Let's leave with this gem from Ford Prefect:

No, we're not home and dry. We can't even be said to be home and vigorously toweling ourselves off.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Preparations begin for Thanksgiving! I've had the menu planned out for days, today I got up early and made pie-crust. When I came back from school I tackled the pumpkin pies. ONE little squash, that was all: it made five pies!! Good grief. Midway through the festivities we ran to town to get more cream and go to the last farmers' market of the season. At the Co-op there were a grand total of 4 cartons of Lochmead cream left, where there are ordinarily several brands. I snatched all but one :)
Cleaned up the kitchen whilst listening to 30s French swing (thanks to Top Hats!).

I am very busy working through my C++ book; finished the first chapter yesterday. Wrote a program to solve for the length of the hypotenuse. The really great thing there was that the original program used a set value for each of the opposing sides, but I made it a user-interactive program by applying what I'd learned in an earlier to chapter to allow the user to set the lengths of the opposing sides!
hehe, for those of you who aren't programmers that sounds ridiculously abstruse, and for those who are it is a definite no-brainer, but excuse me if I'm more than a little excited ;)

Am making a pot of black rice to go with the lovely chanterelle mushrooms I got at the market. Tomorrow I'll do the potatoes, vegetables, salad, etc. My grandmother is doing the bird (chicken), cranberry sauce (two types) and some other things. Can't wait.

And because I'll be too buy to do the traditional "thankful" post tomorrow, here's some things I'm grateful for.

-Food. I don't have to worry too much about where the next meal is coming from. Heard Michael Savage on the radio today, he said something very true: go back a few generations in your past and you will find someone who lived near starvation. Unthinkably true.

-family: I have reasonable parents and it is awesome. I know that doesn't sound very complimentary but you know it is if you've ever had to deal with unreasonable family members.

-mah budders....I have some pretty awesome friends. This time last year I didn't feel like I had many friends; now I've got lots :) Due mostly to filming the movie, and a few other things. Love you peeps! And starting blogging last June: thank you guys, you really are awesome!! :) -hugs all round-

-the weather this fall! We've had a lot of sunny cold weather which I dearly love.

-music. I never really went in for listening to music until this summer when I got an mp3 player. Started off in the summer with country; progressed to Celtic, Celtic-punk, and etc, moved on to Pink Martini, various esoteric foreign groups, and am now in French jazz from the early 20th century. And of course Beatles, Paul McCartney, and more Beatles.

-the NASA grant that our robotics team got: we can afford to go to regionals!

-the situations that have developed in the past year.

-TIm McGraw. LOVE Tim McGraw.

-the fact that I have to (oh dear) find room in the refrigerator for FIVE pumpkin pies

-Eddie. My Mac. What a niiice computer.

-the fact that I'm thankful......

good night folks!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


got a tag from Olive Tree, thanks! :)

Do you like to write? ooh yes!

Favorite books? well go look at my profile why don't you...right now it's Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy, all 6 books in the trilogy :)

Do you compose music/write songs? not much.

Do you like poetry? Love to write it sometimes, mostly when I'm feeling emotional. I don't really like reading most poetry, except Tolkien and Danzibar's stuff :)

Love someone so much who made you cry? yes.

Broken a bone? Nope. I did sprain my toe once though!

Been in a police car? No. There was the one time my friends were talking about how we'd bail each other out of jail with the random crud (lip balm, $3.25, rubber bands and such in my pockets.

Been on a boat? yep. Ferries mostly, and also the model of the Mayflower, and a house boat once. I've crossed the English channel

Fallen asleep in school? no.

Did you sing today? nope

KFC, Popeyes or Church's?!

Chick-fil-a or What-a-burger? the author came from another part of the country I think ;)

Starbucks or McCafe? Starbucks.....I don't think I've ever been in the one on our town though....if I went in, it would be for the wi-fi.

What's your favorite time of year? awk! hard one...summer...fall....winter if it's sunny...spring, not so much.

Do you ever talk to yourself? oh, but of course! I did tell you about the one time I had a latté and was gibbering to myself for hours.....

Do you have a favorite treat you like to buy on occasion? Seattle Chocolates! oh and raw goats' milk. Or maybe those awesome organic cinnamon rolls that Sunrise Bakery makes YUM

Do you believe the Bible is the literal Word of God and is infallible? yes! although I have to say, I have trouble accepting parts of the Old Testament :'(

What's your favorite sport? riding....if I had to take a sport in school, I'd go for wrestling, I think.

What color is your iPod? I don't have one. If I did, it would be green or silver. My SansaClip is red.

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go? England, of course. Mmm...Glastonbury in September...or in the snow...or White Horse Hill on the night of the full moon in summer

If you could go to any fictional place, where would you go? Awk! Middle-Earth of course!

Do you love to write or do you just like writing? love.

What do you want to be when you grow up? maybe a writer....or something in the theatre or film area....farmer...Montana organic cattle-rancher...then again, computer programming looks better and better...

Favorite animal? goatems!

Favorite song? far too many to name. Right now I've been listening to a lot of 30s swing by Django Reinhardt...Limehouse Blues was the overwhelming theme for Two Top Hats :) Then there's Gaelic Storm....anything by Gaelic Storm...or Flogging McGraw!!!! <3 (Just to see you smile, He's only Jesus, Everywhere) ....Copperhead Road....Band on the Run....Back in the USSR...Mamma Mia...Dancing Queen...Una Notte A Napoli....

Do you like school? Not really. depends on which part.

Are you a people person? yes!

Do you like to talk? Less now than I used to. love to talk with my friends.

Favorite food? cheese!!!! pasta! carrots! pizza (homemade...or from Big River restaurant, now that's classy), pecan pie, apples, raw goat milk, really good hazelnuts

Hobbies? hobby is such a petty-sounding word....specially for the high-brow things I do in my spare time. Reading, computer programming, fencing (when I can), writing of course, theatre, film-editing, gardening

Favorite author? Tolkien, natch

Favorite weapon? AHHH! Oooh yeah! *insane laugh* That's depends on how much time you have...I always carry a Kershaw flick-knife with me but that's more of an omni-tool. Now for choice I'd go with one of the big hunks of metal i have lying around....nice sizable straight hunting knife. For sheer style I'd go with a sword...probably a rapier or sabre, something light enough to wield easily but with a nice amount of power behind the slash. Maybe a short-sword.
For real-life defense I guess guns would have to figure into things. Prob. a small-calibre handgun of some type. And there are things to do with a piece of wood that would make you cringe. Actually anything can be used as a weapon.

Is this a fun tag, or are you getting bored? I like!

Do you like Hannah Montana and all those girly people and movies like High school Musical? CACK no. Perish the thought.

What are you scared of? being sick. not being able to defend myself. economic and societal meltdown.

Favorite flowers? Roses. IVY.....

What is the expression on your face? Usual in-front-of-computer face, getting bumps over my eyes ;)

Color of your eyes? sort of grey-green. used to be blue.

Who are you going to tag and why? aww darn, is it over? :(


Kendra because we are eerily similar and she likes tags :)
Einar because he's one of the handful of people who regularly comments on my blog
Eccentric Simplicity because I know her in real life AND because I can never ever ever spell her name/website right, lol
Gwyn because I still haven't done the awesome tag she gave me a long long time ago...heheh
Ophelia because she had an awesome post about edged weapons the other day!

I'm not going to bother to go tell all you peeps that you've been tagged, let me know if you did it tho :) and other bloggers, feel free to do this tag too!

I really have to make my own tag! The "Bethany Tag"!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

we're done!

Ooog...where to start!

The show went very very very well.

Friday night's rehearsal (all 4 hours of it) went....that's all I can say, it went.....we had to deal with the fact that we had left it until 24 hours before the show to figure out the whole sword-fight deal. Finally decided to go with the sword-versus-pistol deal. I was in bed by 11 but was still awake at 1 AM :/

Yesterday morning, without enough sleep, I had to deal with various situations before dress rehearsal. I was able to locate a back-up for tech, as our techie was, sadly, laid low by illness. Hammered through lighting, stage crew, audio that morning: all without our main actor. Insurmountable problems prevented his being there. I had to deal with locking up the Grange afterwards and had such good times doing that. The dratted hasp on the shed door where the main key is kept is sticky in the extreme: I wound up punching it with my arm and elbow which got some attractive scratches. Note to self: always try kicking an obstacle before punching it.

Laid low at home for the duration of the afternoon. The show went perfectly, that's all I can say. I was horribly afraid I'd mess up my first lines (I had the first lines in the whole thing) but I didn't. After the dancing scene (Scene 2) I was so thrilled that it had gone well, and Dallan and I were so busy high-fiving each other after his next scene that he almost forgot to go back onstage :P

No slip-ups, no lines forgotten. All in all a very satisfactory performance. props returned safely to original donors, Grange tidied, etc.

After the show a lot of people (older, mostly :) commented on how they recognized the Django Reinhardt music we played between the scenes and in the dance scene, and were so excited to hear stuff from way back then :) which I find incredibly exciting!

I am fairly exhausted. Now it's on to Thanksgiving, and finishing up NaNo, I think I won't be able to do it :'(

As far as video: my dad video-taped it, I'm not sure what the quality is yet. I'll be editing that in the next week or two, leave a comment or email me if you might like a copy, or a copy of the movie Road to Freedom. Please note that I may need to charge shipping, I can't afford it otherwise :(

Duct tape was the motif of the whole thing. I was taping audio cables and extension cords to the floor, dancers were putting tape on the bottoms of their shoes to avoid slipping on the wood floor, I was repairing a rapier-hilt with discreet amounts, after the show I was packing up and found myself carrying a mammoth role of duct-tape. I've never used it much but I am now a fan :)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

if anybody actually wants to hang around with a crazed theatre geek...

My day has been striped through with lurid melodrama. Actually that's painting the lily rather freely; but it certainly has been an interesting day.

Started off with me suffering the effects of yesterdays rehearsal. I am sore all over; I feel like I've been incrementally and gently ran over by a steam-roller. That ran like a silver thread throughout the events of the day. Started off to school at 10:30 as usual. On the way there I mentioned to my mom that it seemed likely Emily had had flu (she's been sick this week, as garnered from Facebook) and perhaps it was not such a great idea that I go to biology at her place this afternoon? My mom became worried and we wound up popping into my grandma's place (which is under construction) and I went upstairs to use the antique phone, as Grandma was out and we couldn't get into the lower part of the house. Got in touch, went off to culinary class. Nate was considerably subdued; his spirits seemed positively depressed. Poor fellow was starving himself for wrestling weigh-ins at lunch. Made stock with the turkey carcasses from the other day.

Off to biology: Emily hadn't had flu after all, yayz!
I was suffering from not enough sleep. Biology was hectic and long. I am in the interesting position of being the oldest (by a year or two or three) student there, and the most comfortable with the material we're studying, and the rowdiest. Which is crazy, as I am really not rowdy at all. They're just a very quiet bunch. I actually hadn't read much of the chapter in question, but flubbed through with no problem.

Off to my dad's school with Celi's mom. My dad then took me into town for yoga class, but not until we had stopped at the Co-op for some groceries. There was a posh Italian lady there passing out samples of fine olive oil and balsamic vinegar and such. "I feel pampered!"
There was another crisis in the milk isle when my dad collided rather emphatically with a lady who was going the same way rather swiftly. It was given to me to watch helplessly as this occurred, and then to choke in the background as he apologized.

I got to yoga class barely on time and hustled into a room absolutely full of people. There were about 15 teens there, when usually there've been only 4 or 5 at the most. Yoga class was good; my cargo pants did not help matters however. I actually do not have any sweat pants or equivalent....not handy.

I came out of yoga at 5 pm and was immediately plunged into another situation. My mom was waiting in the car and she thrust a cell-phone and address book into my relaxed, energized fingers. It developed that Dallan had called with the info that I could pick up the swords for the play from Phillip. This proceeding necessitated a few phone calls on my part. When I got to Phillip's I was confronted with a positive arsenal of edged weapons. "Here let me just run and get one other thing--" I finally decided on a pair of blunt-edged stage rapiers and a rather nice short-sword (to kill for!! It is awesome!) and longer rapier with a very snazzy guard. The back of the car filled with weaponry, we wended our way homeward.

Now there is an email on my inbox suggesting that we dispense with the sword-fight entirely. I should have got that's Tech Week, folks!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

a pearl necklace comes flying through the air...Dallan drops me on my head...yes folks, it's rehearsal

[EDIT Jan. 2011:]
This post is, without fail, every single week in my stats as a top-visited page. For some reason people have been reading this page more consistently than any other. WHY??!  Is there a link to it? Are you just attracted to the name? Or what? Please leave a comment, folks, this is keeping me up at night. =D

Wow what a rehearsal! awkgk

Got up at an early hour to take a test at the local community college, which I completely dominated. BEAST. With claws. And sharp teeth.

Rehearsal went was just really really crazy, more than usual.
There is one scene that I hate and loathe with a deadly passion. It's where Dallan and I are sitting on one side of the stage doing a mime bit, "in love", and he's giving me a necklace, and I'm all "Aww shucks how sweet" except it's all silent cause Adam is trying to come on and say his line. It's a painful scene to do because it is SO HARD not to crack various times he has appeared to be choking me with the necklace. Today we had a different necklace (fake pearls, those poppit things--but it is too short) and it actually was kind of strangling me, which did not improve the general situation of gasping with laughter, seeing the audience cracking up, seeing Dallan go to pieces, being aware that Adam was losing it. Augh. Then D was supposed to be gazing romantically at me and he was hamming it up: his chin on both hands, big cheesy grin, ahahaHAHAHA teehee *sniff* *gasp* sorry.

Adam: It's hard to concentrate, there's munchkins running on and off stage all the time! [Eva had brought her brothers along to practice their parts]

Then Dallan and I were practicing our swing dance and trying to put some more fancy stuff into it. We were trying to recall all the fun 'tricks' that we;d learned. We couldn't. "Let's dial 911--Phillip" was the general agreement. [He was our dancing instructor]. But we didn't; muddled through it and stuck in a rather snazzy bit that involves Dallan picking me up [over the threshold thing] and then dropping me into the splits, which is oh so much fun in my evil high heels. There was an interesting moment when he came very close to dropping me on my head.

Then there was the issue (which I did not want to address) of the absence of any form of swords for the sword-duel. I think we have that straightened out.

Also the no-curtain; dealing with sound effects; trying not to laugh.

There was the truly epic time when Brandon and I were onstage saying our lines and a pearl necklace came flying through the air towards us, from backstage. (It was, in fact, the same fake pearl necklace that had been choking me earlier.) Eva, doing Director down front, calmly said, "Continue. I'm going to go back there and kill them."

A few times back we were trying to work with the mics (which have now been dispensed with) and Dallan is backstage and I hear a scratch-scratch noise coming through the amps. (I thought it was Dallan touching the mic but turns out it was his dad scraping some paint. ) Eva says, "Okay the scritchy-scratch noise, not so much". GASP hahaha

Then there was the fake cigarette and the question of when, if ever, it should be brought out in the "Splendid....nomnomnom....evil grin" scene (haha, only the actors know what I'm talking about :) There was the consideration that it was better if it were not 'burning' a hole in Dallan's pocket in the meantime :D

The issue of finding a trenchcoat for Vivian [me] in the first scene.....also a hat....

Brandon grabs Dallan around the neck and drags him over to me [as per my anguished demand] to practice the dance again.

Adam: If must be done, tis better tis were quickly (or something like that) as we deliberate going through it one more time.

huykcg! Can't believe we only have two more rehearsals! panic!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I'm sitting on a very narrow and uncomfortable bench in front of our woodstove with Eddie [laptop] perched on my legs which are in turn propped up on a BEAST of an amp....there's a library copy of Life, the Universe and Everything [third Hitchhiker's book] on the floor.....another, smaller amp nearby.....Seeds of Change guide for the Freshman College Composition test next to me.....test tomorrow, ugh. And rehearsal tomorrow--yayz!

I need to get hold of the fencing swords for tomorrow's practice but goodness knows how I'm going to get hold of them.....

Went to a photo shoot yesterday with the actors from Two Top Hats....great fun and it didn't rain :) We poked round excellent alleys. Feet hurt now from wearing those hot but painful high heels.....

Placed an order at our splendid local library for a C++ stuffs! Just the thing to hole up with over Thanksgiving. I really really want it to come SOON....

Which reminds me: who besides me thinks it is sad that there will only be 4 people at the table for Thanksgiving? :( :( wahhhh!

Just went out to get the the dark and cold.....

Estoy muy occupado mañana.....sweet....I just said my first coherent sentence en español.....not really first, first after listening to erm erm what's the name of the CD set....oh yeah, Míchel Tómas....getting fancy with the option key, lol.....

And here's a cloud of Facebook words..... :) Who would have thought that rehearsal and awesome would be my top words? ;P

Friday, November 13, 2009

Friday the 13th

Interesting times :)

I had to rise at an unseemly hour in order to go to this craft show with my mom. I didn't want to go but had to in order to get to class on time. It was in an old grange, filled with middle-aged ladies and holiday crafts. I was outta there in about ten minutes. Went directly to culinary class.

After that I rendezvoused with Dallan [we'd previously arranged all the details] and started walking towards downtown. Fortunately the rain let up for most of the time. Eva had planned to join us but she called in sick alas. It seems like a lot of people were sick about three weeks ago, they all recovered, and now the next batch is ill. I do hope everyone is recovered by the show....

Anyways, we pottered around town for a while. Actually pottered is not really the right term, we walked quite briskly. On the train tracks, sometimes. Hit most of the literary spots in town: library, The Book Bin [used], Borders, Grass Roots which is celebrating their 38th birthday today. Actually the festivities were supposed to pick up around 6, so it should be quite lively over there about now :) Grass Roots is the splendid independent bookstore in town, a local legend.

There was a nasty sticky bit of business involving transportation. But we worked through it and I am glad to be off my feet, we must have walked over a mile.

Let's see. What else is new. C++: yeaahh, it would REALLY help if my programming book were more recent than Found a good tutorial online at and got the classic Hello World program to work!!!!! Awesome!!

NaNo: started working on it again! I still loathe my NaNo Stats page though....hehe.

Theatre: our rehearsal on Wednesday was good. We had a certified Awesome Techie on audio. Am still trying to work out the issues of feedback. And the receiver takes 6 AA batteries in its mouth and goes NOMNOMNOM then ooops low battery.

Theatre consumes my every thought. It's getting obsessive. I look at random attic-stuff and say 'OOH! Audio cables!". Today at the craft show I spied a STAGE at one end of the Grange. Small, but serviceable with two entrances and a curtain. Mmm.

And AWWKKH I just remembered that I don't have the music for tomorrow's dance practice....argh....

Today was Talk Like A Brit Day! [ declared by me :) ] I talked posh at intervals, lol.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Hello World!

Bethany's brain is going ngpgraxngraxxfshlkhhhkp, preceding a classic feeble squawk and death. [explanation: trying to understand Xcode]

Wow it's been a while :)
NaNo is at a stand-still, I'm way behind, and I don't really care. I still want to finish my story but programming is the new thing...yeahhh. I got out a book on C++ from the library the other day and have been plowing through it. Installed Xcode. Tried to get a simple "Hello World!" program to run and ran into road-blocks. Did a lot of poking around forums tenanted by programmers with names like "Hassan" and "FeralDruid-0n-WoW" and such ;)

Finally got it working [yes, it would help if the template I was using was actually for C++....heh]. SO exciting! :)

I have an audio system!!! We will ROCK THE HOUSE on the 21st!!!!!
[oh that's so awesome! I just discovered that my MacBook has a lil green light that goes on whenever you're in caps lock! :) ]

Yeah...Lavaliere wireless mics, on loan from the studio. They run on AA batteries so it's time to pack my pockets o_O

I feel SO DRATTED NERDY!!!!! :) *thumbs up* -congratulate me- *big evil grin*

Fear me, I am a programmer......

Thursday, November 5, 2009

good times :)

NaNoWriMo is my chief concern right now. My current word count is 3847 which is considerably less than my suggested count for today :( I really hope I can get caught up....I sit in front of my laptop, I'm like the Earl of Sandwich who so loved his card-games that he had people bring him bread and cheese at his table. 

The excellent Kendra has an excellent post here, on the controversial subject of Twilight. Yet another subject on which our brains run along the same un-worn grooves...

Culinary class on Tuesday was a débacle. We had a substitute teacher. Attempted to make mayonnaise from scratch. There was confusion over amounts, recipes etc. Our major problem was the fact that we pasteurized the eggs a little too long and they became soft-boiled eggs. What a day.

After culinary class on Wednesday I decided that the lovely sunny day ought not to be wasted. Schoolwork finished, I arranged to hang out with Dallan in town. We meandered [I like that word] all over, from Central Park to the riverfront, to farmers' market, etc. Bought eggs and tomatoes at market; talked in British accents for a while; discussed rehearsal, naturally. 

Rehearsal was fabulous:  people wore their costumes and it was amazing what a difference it made to their acting, they were hamming up up, it was awesome. 

Yesterday was very packed, first culinary class, then off to biology at the other end of town, yoga class which was splendid, home for a wee space of time then to goat 4-H club. We're meeting round this year, at peoples' houses. 

I knew there was going to be an incident of some sort: It was dark, raining, we got a late start, the directions were not epic. We went right past the house the first time. There was a fellow out in the [steep] driveway directing traffic. I came in late, was immediately plunged into a huge group of people, half of whom I didn't know and half of the people I do know weren't there. I was in a chair at the corner of the table, squeezed in behind the first row, lacking an agenda and jotting notes on my goat-glossary balanced on my hand. Things improved as the evening went along. Haha, specially when we went out to see their goat-barn and I was able to proffer the use of a flashlight which I had prudently packed in my jeans-pocket. 

Today culinary class was awesome: we didn't have a test after all, and we baked pies. Yum. 

Time for another blog make-over! 

Vote in the polls! Oh yes: my NaNo heroine's name is now Carissa, but her best friend does Not seem like a Megan.  :(  And the hero is boring. And the plot is nebulous at best. Meh. 

I'm still happy, folks! Good times! 

Sunday, November 1, 2009

all hallows' Eva [lol...couldn't resist]

November 1
Happy All Saints' Day, everyone!
I'm covered in alpaca spit, my calf muscles hurt, I was away from home for 24 hours, I wore high heels for way too long, it was an awesome-awesome weekend!!!

Started out on Saturday morning with market. Then to the Mac store where I posted the jubilatory post below this :) Yes, I am the owner of a MacBook Pro...getting used to the new keyboard o_O

Off to swing dance rehearsal which went well. We are getting pretty good :) Lisa and Felicity managed to nail the epic flip-over-the-back step, yayz! After that it was home for a few hours, packing, chores, before heading off to Eva's.
A side note here: the home-town team [the Beavers] won their game against UCLA!!!! It was evidently a close shave but still woot-worthy. U of O [rival team] won their game too: Oregon was well represented all round :)
Eva's family has 8 kids; it was a LOT more exciting than being at home :D When I arrived [in a rather pretty dress] they were in the midst of pumpkin-carving and the excitement [and pumpkin seeds] was thick in the air. I decided t ditch the pretty [and uncomfortable] dress in favor of jeans and t-shirt, and I actually never put it back on, lol

Dinner was frantic, in the tradition of Halloweens everywhere. We were going to make grilled cheese sandwiches, but there wasn't any bread. Settled on vegetable soup and canned chili and cheese and salad and potatoes. I had a potato...another potato....several potatoes...this wouldn't happen to be an abandoned potato, would it?
Then the younger element headed off for the nocturnal escapades, and Eva and her grandmother and I settled in with cups of tea and one ear fixed on the doorbell. Eva popped off to get a movie at one point. Then [near the end of the evening] I happened to look out and see people on the back lawn o_O It was about half of the family coming back :)
After seeing a batch of trick-or-treaters in mafia attire, I decided I wanted to be sketchy. Sketchy I certainly was. Borrowed a black trench-coat and baseball cap from Eva's folks. The rhinestone necklace added a quiet touch of insanity. My high-heeled black pumps added to the image. They also added to my trials going up the front stairs. Eva and I made one foray out up the hill, to be introduced to the new neighbors.

Later we watched the movie...."Imagine That". Very lame, please don't waste your time with it :D It was a bit funny in parts. Still had a good time :) Around 10:30 the family headed to bed. Eva and I talked for a bit and then decided we needed a midnight snack. Downstairs, very hush-hush, to have a bowl of cereal. Two bowls of cereal, in my case...I luv raisin-bran...
Back upstairs where we chatted about our various writing endeavors, and I mentioned NaNoWriMo in the most enthusiastic terms :)
Got to sleep around midnight, pretty good all things considered. We were sleeping on the floor and somewhere in the wee hours of the night I adopted the ancient family tradition if sleeping with one's neck on a rolled-up t-shirt.
I was up a bit before Eva [as is usual for me at sleep-overs] and meandered downstairs around 8 new time. Had a cup of tea on the porch. Eva's house has the most lovely view out over the valley. Beautiful clear morning. I poured more water on the tea-bag and did some yoga. Breakfast was a casual affair but tasty :) I only had the one tea-bag but I believe I had about 4 cups of tea all total. that an abandoned potato from last night??  

Off to church where I realized that Communion wine on an empty stomach [I'd eaten early and church was late :P] was possibly not the most brilliant idea ever.  (It was Eva's church, not the one I usually attend. Lutheran, hence the wine)
Potluck afterwards and some of the family, myself included, walked home in the sunshine which made me happy.
We had not been home more than about 15 minutes [enough time for me to scrounge another cup of tea] when it developed that there was an expedition to a local organic farm in the offing. I called home and got permission to go. Eva, her mom and grandma and another lady and myself all headed off [still in Sunday best]. The farm-store was closed but we went to the alpaca-farm and shop which was in the same area. 

Very cute alpacas....nice wool-goods in the store...darling alpacas....oh dear. Eva and I both got spat at by the darling alpaca. We were falling about with laughter and trying to wipe bits of partly-digested grass off each other, meanwhile resolving not to ever raise alpacas. We related the happy incident to her dad later. He observed that the grass had probably been around for a while since alpacas are [I think] ruminants. Eva mentioned that that was disgusting. Her dad said she was the one who'd brought it up in the first place. I, ever eager to display my wit, joked that the alpaca was the one who'd 'brought it up' first. Teehee.
Anyways, after the alpacas we decided to head off to the hazlenut farm. Samples. Yum. Hazlenut ice cream, an Oregon specialty. Even more yummy. It was 4 in the afternoon by this time and I'd intended to be home around 1. Oh well. My dad and I stopped at the Co-op on our way home. He'd brought the Mac [to show my grandma] and I was tapping away in the Co-op parking lot, and logged into the Co-op's free wifi. Happy day. I didn't get home til 5. I didn't go to folk dance was just too much and I wanted to stay home with my Mac. 

Speaking of which....there seems to be a consensus that I need to name it. I was thinking maybe Eddie [Guide stuff :) ] but do you have any thoughts? Something short and perhaps a bit cute. 

In short, my weekend was beyond awesome!