Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Taking "be-ing" time...


The last several days have been difficult.  It seems that graduating from college is rather like coming home from a long, long, grueling travel.  That's it!  I feel like Bilbo coming home from his adventures with the Dwarves.  That must have been quite an odd thing for him if you pause and think about it.  He had gone from this quiet person who was more concerned with a good bite with tea, checking for his daily post, and the perfect bowl of pipeweed than anything else.  He is then swept away without so much as a pocket handkerchief, the put into danger, adventure, foreign lands.  He fights for his life.
Cornish isn't quite that crazy in the adventure that is the journey to a BFA however the bewilderment of finally being done must be quite the same.  I haven't the foggiest idea of what to DO with myself.  Obviously, I'm still working at my dear little theatre, but there is all this time to be accounted for.  I can finish knitting and sewing projects that have languished for months, and years.  I could spend all day watching movies and no one will get mad at me.  There is no more homework.  It's utterly baffling.
I have been out of sorts due to this change; crying spells, poor sleep, etc.  Sweet and kind friends remind me that this is okay.  There is no right or wrong way to feel about graduating college.  I am pleased to have finally accomplished this goal, but never really considered how it might feel.  You imagine it when you first start out, how the end goal will feel.  Ultimately it feels so very far away.  And it many ways, it is.  Four years away.  Before you know it, before you have time to turn around and draw a breath, there you are, standing at the cross roads seeking a new direction to turn.
Much of my life will remain the same.  I'm living in the same place, loving the same man, working at the same job.  Only there is more space for breathing, and feeling human, and doing life things.  If I sit down and start thinking about all of them, it gets a bit overwhelming, so I have compromised with myself.  One simple, super easy list each day.  Something out of the house, something around the house, something so easy you can't help but accomplish it.  When it's done, that's all one needs to do. Nothing more, nothing less.  Breathing, just allowing myself time to be.  Organising, ordering, cleaning, and arranging.  Little silly things that give me peace of mind and help me remember who I am.  

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Photo an Hour - Costume Load In!

7:30 am. 

8:30- checking email from bed where it is warm.

9:30am - grabbed a 70 full of darling kids headed to the art museum.

10am - reworking some costumes in the dye room.

11am- still dying. Watching water boil since there is a class in costume shop.

12pm - all clean!

1pm - LOADING IN ALL THE COSTUMES! Ack! Exciting!

1:30pm - Emily hugs the "show baby" as my eyes get a touch misty.

2pm - first look at our beautiful set.

3pm - costumes are all settled in to their new home.

4pm - Lunch (finally!) and going over to-do lists with the aid of some cider.

6pm - done with a meeting and time for silly hats. All is quiet in the costume shop.

7pm - finishing up last little bits while Pandora Radio blasts "90's Alternative" music.

8pm - snack and coffee break time! Double Chocolate + Stout Cookies!

9pm - um. Maybe time to go home...

9:30pm - all clean and ready for tomorrow! Good night costumes!

10pm - Lenora st is quiet and sparkly.

10:30pm - bussing home!

11pm - Greeting committee. Time for bed little monsters! 

Hope you have enjoyed a look into a day of a costume design student. We hit Tech this weekend! Whee and uffda! 

Xoxo,
Anna

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Still Kickin'


Hello darlings,

I am still here. England came and went and was wonderful. Cornish has swallowed me whole in her typical greedy fashion. 
I am working like mad on Neverwhere and still needing to post all about Europe.
Once again, bear with me and it will follow. 


Sunday, August 18, 2013

Oh Those Wildi Girls!

I prattle on in here a lot about family, Curtiss family, Millbank family, and some of the Wildi family, but I haven't shared stories about becoming "one of The Girls"

Karin and Mom


Ann

It's a story of mothers and their daughters, of cousins who are like sisters.  These Wildi Girls are the sweetest, silliest, most fun gals to pal around with.  Ann, Karin, and my mother, Emily are all cousins who (more or less) grew up together.  They live in three different states and see each other not nearly enough.  Last summer around this time, I was back in Illinois with these gals helping finalise saying good-bye to the house in Morrison.  (Posts here, here, and here)  It was not only very special to spend so much time with my mom, but to spend time with the women of the Wildi family.  I grew up very close to my dad's side of the family and have been steeped in all of it's lore.  I have cousins that I consider sisters and we've grown up together as well.  To sit on the porch in the August heat and listen to the ladies talking about family was priceless.  They tell stories not only of their girlhood, but also of growing up in Morrison, growing up together, and the adventures they had and have.  
Karin came out to Seattle several weeks ago to visit and surprise Ann on her birthday.  
Needless to say, it was a blast!  






Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Golden Slumbers


As I walked home tonight I realised just how much I missed a real summer.  Not in the sense that the weather has been a let down, but in the things I used to do as a kid.  I stopped for a moment, the street light shaded by an overgrown laurel, and looked up at the stars.  For the first time in years I could make out Orion's Belt and the Dipper.  And childhood came rushing back to me...
...Summer was waking up in the morning and pulling something on, carelessly -as children do- because all I wanted to do was be outside.  The sweet smelling damp from the night clinging to the soft blades of green grass, tickling my bare feet.  When afternoon came the water hose came out, filling up the long outgrown stiff plastic kiddy pool my parents had purchased from the drug store just up the block.  Sunlight dappled our faces as it streamed into the teal pool, glimmering turquoise in the shadows.
I miss the taste of water drunk right out of the hose, cold against my cheek, metallic against my tongue. I miss the smell of water drying on my skin, bits of grass and pine needles stuck to my feet and legs, musty and comforting all at the same time.  I miss the sound of the wind dancing in the towering pines that flanked the little outbuilding of a garage.
Summer changed and became lounging in the house shaped canvas tent that smelled faintly of tar and gunpowder.  Lying on camp cots, reading while the breeze whispered through the tent flap, just cool enough to read a book.  Summer became dozing under the apple trees, listening to cherries fall to the ground - "plop" - and setting traps for moles.  Stab a cherry on the end of a thin branch, bury it in a tamped down mole hill, and lie on the grass - still as statues - trying not to breathe, waiting for the branch to wiggle.  Holding our breath as the tiniest and pinkest of noses snuffled away the cool brown earth to wriggle at the sun.  Summer was running around in our Vietnam-era army fatigues after dark, with Storm trooper rifles that glowed red.  Hiding between the shadows of the fence and the neighbor's floodlight.  Sneaking up to the back deck where my father stood sentinel with a huge flashlight, sweeping the back yard like a guard tower in a war movie.
Summer was the scent of citronella candles burning on the back deck, late into the night as we played round after round of 21 or Gin Rummy, moths bumbling into the large deck lamp like drunkards.  Summer was turning off all the lights and lying on the deck watching the International Space Station pass over head, a tiny bright star that moved too rapidly to be a satellite, growing brighter and then dimming as it moved across the heavens.
Summer was endless glasses of homemade lemonade.  Syrup made from boiling lemon rinds and sugar water.  Eating strawberries dipped into sour cream and then into brown sugar, the red skins bursting inside my mouth, juice running down my chin.  Melons, honey dew, cantaloupe, watermelon, chilled in the refrigerator and eaten with greedy enthusiasm.
Summer was endless play time, staying up late because it was often too hot to sleep.  Reading books until the sun warmed you into slumber.  Slathering skin with sunscreen from a bottle with a little girl on the front, getting her panties pulled off by an overly enthusiastic puppy.  Soaking endlessly in kiddie pools, mud, utterly sodden grass and loving absolutely every second.
When I say I miss summer, this is what I miss.  The unencumbered summers of my youth.  The entire days dedicated to splashing at the beach.  The fading golden light that made pure magic of each day.
I do not smell the pine trees any more.  I smell cigarettes and fumes from endless cars.  I do not splash in a yard, despite being too big for the kiddie pool.  I take a shower at the end of a long sweaty day to wash the stink of the city off my skin.  I squint at the stars, so faded and dim against the light from the street, apartments, and bars, trying to see the velvet indigo of the sky above.  I miss how it was almost always cool at night and the frogs came out to sing me to sleep.  Now there are only sirens and raucous college students to lull me into slumber.  My hobbit heart misses the Shire.

I know there will a yard someday.  I know there will be another house.  I know I will have a place where I am the grown up who slices up the watermelon and makes lemonade.  Who walks up the little hill to the drug store to lug back the stiff plastic kiddie pool to splash around in.  Who slathers tender baby skin with sunscreen and splashes shrieking children with the hose.  Until then I hold the memories of childhood close, remembering their textures and sounds and smells.  Looking forward to the future.



Friday, August 2, 2013

On Being a Geek

So, Shaming.  Let's take a moment and talk about that.

There are so many kinds of shaming out there I can't even begin to count them.  Let's focus on geek shaming.  Not just girl shaming (which is really sad) but geek shaming, because I've been thinking a lot about it this week.

Because I am a woman, I am more aware of the girl shaming that goes on.  Fat shaming, skinny shaming, the list is endless because women can be vicious.  Geeky guys who think that girls can't also be geeks?  What. The. Heck?!  (The Doubleclicks have a brilliant response to that)  But we're not opening that can of worms right now.  That is for another, much longer, post.

I want to talk about geek shaming.

Recently my hubby was talking about getting a tattoo.  Of course, he wanted something that is incredibly geeky and this is why I love him.  So we chatted about tattoo shops and I mentioned one that I really enjoy over in Greenwood.  He pulled up their website and was looking through artist profiles when he came across one woman (it's an all girl shop) who "enjoys "vikings in loin cloth", Dune and an array of hobbit-nerdiness. Not in a multisided dice weirdo way, but more like an alternate universe way"  His response to this was to close the browser and yell at the screen.  I was very confused because I didn't take it personally.  So I asked him why he was taking her (seemingly innocent) comment so personally.  Of course the moment I asked that question, the answer stared blankly at me.  Because my sweet husband is one of those "weirdos".  My husband plays table top games, Magic The Gathering, D & D, Warhammer, the list goes on.  What right does this woman have to laud her particular brand of geekery over other geeks?

What right does ANY geek (or nerd) have to tout their brand of geek as more geeky than others?  To call other geeks "weirdos".  Have you forgotten what it was like in school?  We were ALL called weirdos.  We were the underdogs who got beat up because we LOVE weird things that the other kids didn't.  It was an amazing moment of revelation to realise that I too, had on occasion, held my geekery over others.  Shame on me.  Shame on you.  Shame on us all.  

We are geeks because we don't want to be like other people.  Because we want to be different.  Because we like different things.  Even if we can't understand why some people geek out over sports, fashion, etc doesn't give us the right to treat them as they treat us.  In fact, it should make us close our ranks and support our fellow geeks even more, regardless of what we all geek out over.  

I happen to be a knitting, costume history, fabric, sewing, LOTR, Dr. Who, Star Wars, TNG, Miyazaki, book geek.  My husband is a D&D, Magic, XBox, Video Game, science, reading geek.  Our kids, will be AMAZING.  They will be (hopefully) geeks like their (future) Mommy and Daddy.  We will raise them not to shame others, but to accept the differences.  After all, if we all liked the same thing, that would really get boring after a while.  

Darlings, don't shame others.  Listen to their passion for something you don't know about.  Watch their eyes light up and sparkle as they talk about what they love.  Understand that your eyes do the exact same thing when you talk about things you love.  Be a loving, accepting, open geek/nerd.  

xoxo,
Anna


Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Sunlight through Fog

Today Seattle is covered in fog.  The air hints of the fall crispness yet to come.  Weather like this makes me reflect on life, not really sure why, but it does.  This September will be the last time I go to college.  It will be my last orientation, my last few classes, the last time I get grades.  I don't know quite how to feel about it.  Certainly there is the feeling of elation, I'm finally going to get that pretty piece of paper with some calligraphy on it that tells the world I have spend over $90,000 and am now a completely qualified human being.  Then there is the apprehension.  How am I going to make a living?  How am I going to afford anything after this?  I need a car, and insurance for that.  I need a heart monitor, and insurance for that.  The list is endless.  I know I will make it all work out, I always do.  I just have to sit a worry for a spell first.
When one is a child, we spend all our time wishing we were older, bigger, stronger, faster.  Wishing ourselves into adulthood.  When one is an adult, you wish life were slower, simpler, quieter.  Wishing ourselves back to the peaceful simplicity that is most childhoods.  You don't worry about repaying your college debt, or buying a house.  These things simply are there for you.  It is the beautiful, dreadful thing of being responsible.  Or worrying over where the money is going to come from to pay for this or that.  You can sit around wishing your whole life away.
I'm not wishing I was a child any more, nor am I wishing away being an adult.  Today I do wish I knew what the future held.  I wish I could peer into it's depths and know where I'm going next or what I am doing after this chapter.  But then, what fun would life be if we knew everything to come?  Yeah, we might be able to be more prepared or something, but still.  You'd end up dreading things rather than being elated to have them.

So I sit at my desk and watch the crows quibbling on the rooftops and I reflect on where  I have come from and where I want to go.  I consider all of the ways to make the future my reality.  

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Neverwhere Design - Part One

I don't think I've written about my senior project for Cornish yet, so here's the beginning!

Cornish is doing a stage adaptation of Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere, and I have the honor and delight to be designing the costumes for it.  If you didn't know already, I am an enormous fan of Neil Gaiman's works (as well as his wife, Amanda Palmer's music) and was utterly over the moon with delight when Cornish announced what the show would be.
Neverwhere is a story about a Scotsman, Richard Mayhew, just moved to a new job in the big city of London, who ends up on the most peculiar adventure of his life.  He has it all, a beautiful (if controlling and stiff) fiancee named Jessica, a good job at a nice firm, and a smattering of friends.  What more could a chap want?
The more comes in the form of a ragged girl who appears out of nowhere, clothing torn, arm bloody, catalysing Richard to care for her.  She turns out to be from another place, London Below and leads Richard on an amazing adventure that ultimately leaves him asking himself; what does he want from life?  Is going to the pub, and marrying Jessica, and accepting the promotion to Junior Partner really all there is in life?  Is it really all he wants?
I can't tell you that, darlings.  You must read the book.

The world we're creating is based on inspiration of the layers that occur in life.  If you look across a subway platform, you can see several tracks, platforms, lines and layers.  Action could occur on a series of planes, each sitting on top of another.  London Below is a bit like that, it interacts with our world (London Above) but we don't always see it.  It lives in those odd people who live on the street.  The group of urchins who feel like kings and celebrate the little pleasures.  Perhaps in Below they are princes and kings?  You'd never know to look at them in Above.

For now I'll leave you with an idea of our main heroes.  The Lady Door, Richard Mayhew, The Marquis de Carabas, and The Hunter.

Lady Door

Richard Mayhew

The Marquis de Carabas

The Hunter

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

- Pick 10 of your favorite movies.
- Go to IMDb and find a quote from each movie.
- Post them here for everyone to guess.
- Strike it out when someone guesses correctly, and put who guessed it and the movie.
- No Googling/using IMDb search functions! Por favor....
- Since there are only 10, limit 2 per person



1. I cried like a baby, a hungry, angry baby.

2. It's a twisted sister! Twisted parts make it do twisted things!

3. You have witchcraft in your lips, Kate. There is more eloquence in a sugar-touch of them than in the tongues of the French Council.

4. Nonsense! Name a shrub after me. Something prickly and hard to eradicate.

5. That can't be good for the table.

6. Art in the blood is liable to take the strangest of forms.

7. We're navigators, we're aviators, eatin' taters, masturbatin' alligators, bombardiers, we got no fears, won't shed no tears, we're pushin' the frontiers of transcendental perception.

8. If you make money from war, you're scum. If you can't make money from bounty hunting, you're an idiot!

9. They've got a cave troll!

10. Time is what counts, Mrs. Hubbard, if we are to complete this inquiry before reaching Brod. I will therefore make my questions as brief as I hope you will make your answers, and the more often you can confine yourself to a simple yes or no, the better.

Ladies who Brunch

One of the delights of growing up is spending time with people in totally new ways.  My mom and I have had a lovely relationship throughout my childhood, but it wasn't until recently that we have started spending time together as adults.  We go out for brunch, we peruse antique stores, go shopping at the thrift stores for treasures.  China is our favourite thing to look for.  
It is really wonderful for me to get to know my mom as an adult, we're becoming closer friends and often dissolve into giggles like a couple of little girls.  It is a very special time for me.
Anyway, I thought I would share some of the snaps of a recent trip to Pacific Galleries Antique Mall which is a little beyond Seattle's SODO district.  Pacific Galleries is HUGE!  I've been in some large antique malls, but this one is so easy to get lost in.  They have a wide range of items from furniture, and home goods to jewelry, some toys, books, and interesting knickknacks.

I was particularly taken by this World War 1 era German helmet.  It's got little knob-like protrusions on either side, almost like you could clip something on to it.

Each avenue has it's own name, like a little city within a building, but I still got lost.

Pretty watercolour-like china pattern.  The fuzzy flowers are too funny!

Someone had put a little matchbox inside a set of nesting Asian boxes and collected the tiny, ripped corners of money.  I thought for one second that I had stumbled upon someone's allowance, but was then throughly amused by their collection.  Every time I see a torn off corner of a bill I want to start my own.  Only I collect too many things already.

My parents have been working hard on clearing some of the overgrowth at their house.  It has widened up the view considerably, and even this picture doesn't do it justice!  It is so very lovely there.

And what trip to the antique store would be complete without some tom-foolery?  Or Anna-foolery, in this case?  Mom and I had coffee, so I put my spoon on my nose.  I might be 27 years old, but I am resolved to remember how to be silly once in a while!

Until next time.

xoxo,
Anna

Currently: July

It feels like only yesterday I was done with school for the summer and impatiently awaiting the arrival of warmer weather.  Today I am trying to ignore how close August is, which means September and the start of school.  Not that it's a terrible thing; I am going to England AND graduating this year.  It just means the busy time is up next and I feel like I haven't quite exhausted the glories of summer.

I have been sewing a little.  Played with my stash of "fancy scraps" and came up with a little dress.  I have no idea what I'm going to wear it for but that is okay.  Something pretty for the closet costume stash.


Nathen has been wanting to take up Warhammer again, and I have been introduced into the world of assembling and painting miniature figurines, or minifigs as some say.  They are very, very tiny.  

There have been long, lazy evenings spent at my parent's house, sometimes with these rascals, sometimes just my folks.  Realising the upstairs has been too quiet for too long lead me to seek them out.  Naturally they were on the roof, inhaling the sweet scents of the evening and marveling at the sunset.  I love their appetite for being young and experiencing all life has to offer.  

Internship is going nicely, working on both of the Wooden O shows; Henry V and The Tempest, makes for one tired intern at the end of a hot day.  However the delight of air conditioning made the sewing much more lovely.


I got to visit my darling Jocelyn while she was house sitting for friends.  We played with the pup (whom we were NOT drumming on, I just caught her mid-gesture), pitied the cat, and sipped iced tea on the porch.  Delish.

Oh, yes.  The hair is, once again, happily in the land of purple.  It has faded quite a bit this time, into the fuchsia range, and I am letting it be for now.  I'm not a fan of pinks, but this one is on the raspberry side, so I am letting it be for now.

More posts coming, just had to squeeze in a little update.

xoxo,
Anna




Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Farewell Sweet Maggie

My step-grandma passed away April 28, 2013 after a long decline from Alzheimer's disease.  She came into our lives in 1991 when she and my grandpa married.  It was a second marriage for each of them, and it was much needed companionship.  She was a brilliant cook, often just cooking by instinct rather than from a recipe.  She also sewed without using patterns.  
The sad thing was that I never really got close to her until after she began to decline.  She wasn't a mean woman, just not the squishy milk-and-cookies kind of grandma.  She didn't want us to sit on the floor, roughhouse in the back yard.  I chock that up to the time she was born and raised in and not any form of malice or spite.  She loved us in her own way and we loved her back in ours.  

I will keep the sweet moments of dancing with her in the living room while Ella Fitzgerald serenaded us.  Giggling over the cute, silly things she said.  Kissing her utterly adorable nose!  
How much she loved my Grandpa.  


Mary Margaret Nightser Labouy Wildi 
1922-2013


There was a viewing, and many dear friends from the neighborhood she and my grandpa lived in came to pay their respects.  
My mother and neighborhood friend admiring Maggie's dress.


Mr. Parker and his sweet Mama!

Viewings can be weird for people.  Some people, like my fiancee find them morbid and weird.  This turned out to be a wonderful time with family and friends.  We told the best "Maggie Stories" and laughed until we cried.  It was wonderful.  We celebrated that she wasn't in pain any more, that she was at peace at last.

Maggie and her Georgie <3 p="">