Author: Autumn
•11/07/2009 01:16:00 PM
OK, so I am a little late, big shock there. I had a pretty wonderful week, though it was marred by one day of intense dental pain. Lovely! Though it hasn't come back to that degree since, thank goodness.

Of course the biggest and best parts of my week was meeting my BEDA buddy Becky and spending time with her and her friends. It was AWESOME. There was of course a small amount of initial awkwardness, but it didn't last long at all, which it easily could have. I don't know about Becky but we seemed to get along together pretty seamlessly. I second what she said about the cruelness of getting on together so well but not living near enough to do anything about it. There are more details about our fun on her blog, as well as pictorial proof! I can't wait until a week from today when we meet up again to see Rent in Des Moines.

This past Tuesday my dad and I went and saw the Broadway tour of White Christmas. I wasn't quite sure what to expect or how closely it would follow the movie I love so much, but it was pretty wonderful. The thing I love most about the movie are the actors: Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Vera-Ellen and Rosemary Clooney. I knew they wouldn't be there, so I wasn't sure what would be left over. But Irving Berlin wrote a lovely little score and the cast I saw was pretty great.

Of course the moment we were seated I scanned the cast list for names I knew, and there weren't any Broadway people I recognized, but one name still jumped out and shocked me: Lorna Luft. Aside from the fact that she's JUDY GARLAND'S DAUGHTER I don't know much about her, but that was enough for me and I couldn't wait to see her. She played Martha Watson, the housekeeper at General Waverly's inn. The character had a much larger part in the stage show than in the film. She sang and danced, even had her own number, and they threw in a smattering of a romance with the general. Lorna was pretty incredible to see and was definitely my favorite of the night.

I always enjoy going to the theatre with my dad because he is the only one in the family who shares my passion (obsession really) with musical theater to any degree at all. My sister likes Wicked and only Wicked. My mom enjoys going to shows, but overall she can take 'em or leave 'em. Everyone knows how I feel, and my dad is somewhere in the middle. He has a decent knowledge base, and has no problem accompanying me to many shows. He is the one who took me to my first New York Broadway show when I was 15, The Phantom of the Opera. THAT was a magical night. So being at White Christmas with him made the experience that much better.
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Author: Autumn
•10/29/2009 03:51:00 PM
I'm back baby!! And I'm ready to TILT.

Free Book(s) - I have a new job working for an independent rare book seller. I found it randomly on Craig's List. It's been a great job and I'm enjoying it. We just got a big collection of 5,000 books from some estate, and as a perk our boss is letting us pick three free books each. It's hard, but I picked my first one this week. It's a 1958 copy of Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray. It's not especially valuable but it's illustrated, with some lovely color drawings of each character. I love it. (I took the pictures quickly myself, so forgive the poor quality.)

Finding Friends From Forever Ago - We're talking my best friend from 1st grade. My mom said we did everything together as kids, but we moved the next year and I haven't spoken to her since. But this past week she found me on Facebook. How crazy is that? I know social networking can get irritating, but it can be pretty damn cool too. It's early on but I am excited about reconnecting with her.

Discovering a CD you want exists the day before it's released - Virtually no waiting! I LOVE the song "Falling Slowly" from the movied Once. The movie was decent, but the soundtrack is one of my all-time favorites. I love the style and the voices of Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova. I swear I've searched for more by them before with no success. Then through Pandora I happened upon them. They've formed themselves into a group called The Swell Season, and they released a new CD, Strict Joy, Tuesday. I found this out Monday. So I only had to wait half a day to buy it. The CD is a little different than I was hoping, but it's still good.

Friendly encouragement - I wrote that last blog post mostly to explain my absence in Cyber-land. I wasn't really going for pity or sympathy. But I got it. All the comments I got were so sweet. And yes, I may be more dependent on comments than I should be, but don't feel like you have to comment on my blog. It's cool. Thanks again everyone.

Upcoming theatre fun! - Next Tuesday I am going to see White Christmas with my dad, and then Saturday the 14th I am meeting my BEDA buddy Becky in Des Moines to see Rent. Everyone knows how big a Broadway musical geek I am and I can't wait because I've never seen either show live. Woot!

That's it for this week folks. Thanks for playing.
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Author: Autumn
•10/24/2009 03:43:00 PM
So this is my new blog site. Welcome.

I found a great free background this morning and I really LOVE how it looks. Though I do miss the three-column format of my old blog. Oh well, small price to pay for something that really feels like me.

I was really touched by all the responses I received to my blog post yesterday. You're all wonderful. It is nice to know that I am not the only one who feels like that about blogging sometimes.

And despite how pitiable I may have sounded in that post, I am doing well. I love my new job and that makes working at Chili's easier. I plan on staying in Omaha through the winter; I am NOT moving in December AGAIN. And in the spring I get to decide where I want to go from here. I just had a wonderful vacation to PA and NYC last month where I got to see two of my most favorite people plus Ingrid Michaelson, and indulge in passion/obsession for Broadway musicals. AND as I am writing this I am listening to Rockapella sing "Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego?" Life doesn't get much better than that.

I hope to write again soon.
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Author: Autumn
•10/23/2009 09:59:00 AM
I promise. I really am. I was doing so well blogging for a while there, and I was enjoying the Things I Love Thursday tradition I had going with my BEDA buddies. But a couple of things happened.

First of all, I did get a new, better second job that I will talk about at a different point. So I have been busier, but happier.

Second, I felt like I had run out of things to say. Whenever I live in Omaha, I essentially turn into a reclusive hermit who only leaves the house to work. I have never maintained any friendships in Omaha, and every time I live here I always have the mindset that it is temporary so why bother making new friends. I am friendly with a lot of people I work with, but I have never tried to take it outside of work. I am trying to do better, I went out with my high school best friend a couple of weeks ago and I am hoping we will continue to spend time together. I have a couple other friendships I am cultivating too. It is hard with my schedule because most people work days and I work six nights a week. But the point is that I don't really do anything outside of work anymore but read and watch Netflix. I really don't think that would make for an interesting blog.

And the other thing is I got into a mind frame that nobody cared. Other than my BEDA buddies, I didn't feel like anyone read my blog, or my Facebook or my Tweets. Not to belittle my BEDA buddies because I love them, but it was hard to think that no one who I'd actually met cared to follow up on me. I don't know if it's actually true, but it was how I was feeling. To a degree, it's still how I feel.

So I stopped, but I really miss blogging. Maybe I am just writing for me and a following of three, but I can handle a small but wonderful audience. The point is, I am trying to get out of that technology funk, and I am working my way back into the blog world.

It's interesting though, how sometimes all the technology that is supposed to keep us connected to everyone around us, can make us feel more alone than ever.
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Author: Autumn
•8/28/2009 09:27:00 AM
So I'm only half a day late now, which is a bit of an improvement right?

Ingrid Michaelson's new album Everybody - Yay! I have been waiting for her to put out a new album forever. I have listened to it multiple times and, I don't LOVE every song, but mostly like them all and LOVE many of them. I can't wait to see her in concert in Philadelphia with my EEB next month.

Jamie Cullum - On the music track, I am also lately a fan of this guy. He has a really great voice and I love his style. I got a couple random tracks from an old roommate and liked them enough to track down a full album at the library. Now I want more! I really like his music.

My parents' fancy electronics - One of the perks of living at home. My dad has the equivalent of Tivo, and a DVD recorder. So I have been recording and saving all the So You Think You Can Dance episodes from this past season. Then this week when I had the time I went through and recorded just my favorite routines onto a DVD so I can go back to them whenever I want. It's great!

Flip n tumble bags - I don't remember howI found out about these bags but I love them. They are more expensive, cute reusable bags. I bought a couple for me out of curiosity and one for my mom as a Mothers' Day present to ease her into the reusable bag idea. (since it was her favorite color it really helped). They hold a lot, have a comfortable shoulder strap and are just fun.

Dinner with dad - My birthday is this weekend and my dad will be out of town. Tuesday we both didn't work so we spent the day together and it was a lot of fun. We went to Lincoln with the dog and took his boat on the lake and swam. Then he took me out to The Olive Garden for an early birthday dinner. It was delicious food and very enjoyable day. Thanks dad.

sheer anticipation - I am just getting so excited for my trip in September to see my EEB and go to NYC. The plane ticket is my birthday present, which is a huge help. I need a break so bad. Steph and I have so many plans, I don't know what will actually happen. But we are going to NYC for the weekend to squeeze in as many Broadway shows as we can, we are going to see Ingrid in Philadelphia on the way, we want to go camping for one night, and then the two of us and my old roommate Audrey have to get together to commemorate our Birthday Bitch Bashes from last year. I can't wait. I can't wait. I can't wait.

Side note: I forgot to mention this when I was playing catch up, but I never reported back on my July monthly goal and I never made an August goal. My reasons were twofold: I still haven't finished my July goal and I had no ideas for my August goal. No good ones at least. So the new plan is to have that blasted journal finished and up-to-date before my trip out east in mid-September. Then I will hopefully have some new ideas to put into play and start that whole thing up again in October. PLEASE PLEASE give me suggestions, or a dare or something.
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Author: Autumn
•8/23/2009 01:51:00 PM
I have been a bit remiss in blogging lately, partly because I started working more on Thursdays and partly because I haven't felt like I had anything to say. Right now my life consists mostly of work, which I hate, and books, which I love, with a few other things sprinkled in here and there. Here are some points of interest:

New work shoes - GOOD - Finally! I have to wear all black slip-resistant shoes at both of my jobs. The pair I have are going on a year old and while they are very comfortable, the top layer is peeling off and there is zero slip resistance left on the bottom. I ordered some shoes through work and they FINALLY came this week. They are designed to look like Chucks, but all black and meant for work. I love them. They are so cute, and they are fairly comfortable too.

$5 on $50 - BAD - Now I try hard not to do any waiter rants on my blog. BELIEVE ME, especially lately, I could go on and on. With the deteriorating economy people are cutting back, I get that. But more and more people are leaving less than 10% when they had a problem-free meal, choosing to cut back on just the tip instead of cutting back on the bill first. I get paid $2.13 an hour people, which barely covers my taxes. What I've noticed is for some reason, people who spend around $50 are the worst. I don't know why. With $40 I can usually count on at least 15%, quite often 20%. The higher the bill, the more it varies; that's when you see things like $2 on $60, $15 on $70. But something about $50 and the nicest family feels inclined to think $5 cuts it. It's a strange trend.

Fire by Kristin Cashore - GREAT - I was lucky enough to get to borrow a copy of the ARC from Becky *thanks again* and I think I might have loved it even more than Graceling, but both were equally amazing and I can't wait for Cashore's next book. She is a very talented writer. We have to discuss this book at some point Becky and Christina.

The Time Traveler's Wife movie - GOOD - I loved this book, and I was curious to see how it would be handled in the movie. The stars were Eric Bana and Rachel McAdams, both of whom I like, so it was looking promising. I thought all things considered, they adapted it pretty well. It's not the book of course, and they couldn't fit everything in, but I enjoyed the end result. I didn't love it, but I liked it. Definitely worth seeing once Nicola.

Top Chef - GOOD - The new season just started, and I haven't even gotten a chance to watch the first episode yet, but it is recorded and waiting for me to watch on Monday. I love this show, don't ask me why. I can't cook at all, and I wouldn't eat most of the food they make, but I love it anyway (I've even played the computer game, which is quite fun).

Bad people associations - BAD - I am only mentioning this because I want to know if anyone else has encountered this. I used to work with this girl a couple of years who really just got on my nerves. She didn't have the best work ethic and frustrated me to no end. At present, there is a girl I just started working with who is the spitting image of her. Same height, hair cut and color, voice and even the face to a degree. Enough so that everytime she talks I can't get this other girl out of my head. And now I have this irrational dislike of a girl I don't know because of a bad experience two years ago. I feel bad, because it's not her fault. And I'm not mean to her, I just kind of avoid her. Anyone else ever have this problem?

Cat stalker - UMM... - My sister headed back to college for the fall. She left her cat behind again. Who has decided that without Lindy around she gets to be my new shadow. She scratches on the door (both bedroom and bathroom) if I close it on her. She sleeps on my pillow every night and generally just sheds all over my bed. She's lonely and I feel sorry for her, but she's NOT my cat.

And ... that's all I remember. I had a mental list but those always disappear. And this is long enough as it is. I work another full day this coming Thursday but I will try to turn in something.
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Author: Autumn
•8/06/2009 03:28:00 PM
Holy crow, I can't believe it's Thursday again already. I would have completely forgotten were it not for noticing Becky's post. This is going to be a relatively short list this week, but happy Thursday all!
  • Friends who know just what to say - I was feeling a little blue earlier this week, letting myself get overwhelmed. But after I spent about an hour on the phone with one of my best friends I just felt so much better. Problems are still all the same, but talking to her just calmed me down and made me happy. I hate that she lives so far away and that I haven't see her in over a year and a half. I miss you Chelsea!
  • Continued BEDA buddy bonding - I still love these three girls o' mine. We've been trading book reviews, and lately books. One of us got an ARC copy of Fire by Kristin Cashore which is a companion to a book we already all love and we've been passing it amongst ourselves. I am also planning hopefully to go see Becky who lives only a few hours away from here so we can both catch the Rent tour.
  • New phone - I got a Samsung Glyde a few months ago and my excitement quickly dwindled as I realized how awful the phone I was stuck with was. The poor calibration alone made it a daily nightmare. But my sister let me use her new phone credit to get an LG EnV Touch which I already absolutely love. Thanks sis!
  • Unexpected radio play - I rarely listen to the radio of my own volition. But at work they keep it on satellite radio. Last night was a bit of a frustrating night, but at one point I realized they were playing Ingrid Michaelson's latest single, "Maybe", which I hadn't heard on the radio yet. It got me all excited and happy.
And ... that's all I can think of. If more comes to mind I'll add it before the day's out.
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Author: Autumn
•8/04/2009 12:28:00 PM
This was an interesting book, very different from what I was expecting when I picked it up. These are a couple of quotes from this book that struck me - one observation from the beginning of the book and one from the end.

"She could never go undercover, the lovely Lila, and because of that she had my sympathy. Boys watched her constantly. Girls watcher her, too ... She was defenseless against her own beauty. She could never show up anywhere and just be." p. 22-23

"Beauty is a cruel deception, true. But the greatest tragedy of all is letting invisibility win. It's choosing to give up the thing you want because you think you don't deserve it." p. 245
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Author: Autumn
•7/30/2009 06:13:00 PM
I missed posting last week because I was out of town and spent all that Thursday in the car. Then time got away from me and I decided to just wait until the next Thursday. Which is today.

It's been a week since my family reunion trip in Utah but I am still going to focus on that. I had a wonderful time, much more than I expected. I love my family but all of us together like that was a gamble; it's been a couple years. There are a couple of things I learned on that trip.

Raquetball - I don't know if that's how it's spelled, but it's how I spell it. I LOVE it. I had never played it before but the condo resort where we stayed had some courts, along with tennis and a pool and other stuff. I played some tennis and that was fun, but I've never been that great at it. But I am actually pretty darn good at raquetball and with practice I could get better. I played around with my dad as a bit as he taught me the rules and tricks, and then with him and my brothers. I had a lot of fun playing for real with my sister-in-law because we were pretty evenly matched. I want to play more raquetball now that I am home.

Auntie Autumn- First off let me say that I fought this name. I said they call me Autumn, or Aunt Autumn, but please not auntie. But I lost that battle quickly. So whatever. But I actually really enjoy being an aunt and now that I've spent time with them, I love my nieces and nephews. I have learned that it still in no way gives me any desire to ever have kids of my own. I like playing with them for a bit but still being able to pass them off to the actual parents. And now that I am home and it's been a week, I miss them.

Catching up with college friends - I have tried to keep up with all my friends from college, and things like Facebook and blogs help with that. But it's been a couple years since I've seen some of my friends from my days on the college newspaper. I caught up with a few who live out in Utah. We went out to dinner and just hung out talking about "the good old days." I had such a good time. Katie, Season, Amy and Lance: I am so glad I got to see you all!

Geeking out over music - We've all done it. And while I promise I do listen to more than just musical soundtracks, I have been geeking out over musical soundtracks lately. I am still addicted to Next to Normal and I am finding it hard to listen to anything else. I can listen to it multiple times a day every day. But the main instance I had in mind was about one little line from one song in Andrew Lippa's The Wild Party. It is a song called "What Is It About Her?" sung by Brian d'Arcy James and Julia Murney. I enjoy the whole song, but there is this one line Brian d'Arcy James sings that freaks me out in a good way. I will seriously skip back about 10 times each time I listen to the song just to hear this one line. I don't know what it is about it that affects me so, but once is never enough. I compulsively HAVE to hear it again and again.
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Author: Autumn
•7/15/2009 04:30:00 PM
So tomorrow is Thursday, of this I am aware, but I will be getting up really early in the morning and driving from Omaha to Ogden, Utah, and I will have neither the opportunity nor the inclination to blog. So I am moving things up a day this week.

I have mixed feelings about this upcoming trip. Family vacations can always be interesting. The family dynamic changes and tensions can rise more easily it seems. That being said though, the whole family hasn't been together in several years and I think it could be fun. My brothers and their wives are bringing their munchkins down and we are all converging in Utah.

I am not good with children. As a group I don't like children. I take them on a case by case basis and I can handle one maybe two at a time. But there are going to be five little people there, all of whom are related to me. I find this very daunting, as all five are pretty much strangers to me. I haven't even met the newest one yet. We'll see how it goes. My parents think they are going to love me. Something about kids finding the one most resistant to them and zeroing in.

I am so excited about getting a break from work. I don't know that I can actually afford a week without working, but it is imperative at this point for my mental health. I'll take the trade off. A whole week away from dealing with idiotic customers and people who think I'm expendable because I'm "just a server."

There is a pool where we're staying, hiking, all sorts of stuff. I'm really looking forward to spending a lot more time outside. It's something I enjoy more than people think, but don't do very often when I'm home and working.

Also, I am super excited to get to see some girlfriends of mine that I've only seen once or twice since college. There were three girls I really wanted a chance to see, and luckily for me they all know each other since we all met working on our college paper together. So the four of us are going to get together one night while I am out there, and I can't wait.

I will have Internet access out there, so I will keep y'all posted on how the week goes. That is assuming I survive the drive out there tomorrow just me and my sister in a car. I usually listen to one musical soundtrack right after another on road trips and she likes Wicked and nothing else.
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Author: Autumn
•7/09/2009 03:44:00 PM
It's Thursday again, and I have had a pretty enjoyable week. I haven't been working much, which helps I think, but also makes me pretty broke! Oh well.

Tweets that are exactly 140 characters - I love it the most when it just happens to work out that way, but if I am close I will try to readjust what I wrote the tiniest bit to try and get it exactly there. I don't know why but I feel the smallest of thrills when I do that. I'm neurotic.

Birthdays - I had two big birthdays in my life this week. My father's was yesterday and we went boating as a family and had a nice dinner together last night. One of my closest friends from college turned 25 the day before on Tuesday. She lives in Washington but I sent her 25 individual birthday cards in the mail to celebrate. Happy birthday Dad and Chelsea!

Plane tickets - Southwest Airlines was having a two day sale on airfare that ended yesterday. My mom noticed it and told me about it. So I got a round-trip ticket from Omaha to Baltimore in September for a pretty good price. This is the first step for my New York City trip with my EEB! I will stay at her house and then we'll take a train up to NYC for the weekend. I can't wait, and it feels nice and real now that I have the ticket.

That one CD you can't get enough of - I have a lot of music, especially musical soundtracks. You all know that already. But I go in phases. There will be a soundtrack that I will listen to over and over for weeks or months and it's all I want to hear. Then I won't listen to it for months to a year and become obsessed with something else. It's fun. Right now I CANNOT get enough of the soundtrack to the musical Next to Normal. I love it so much and I listen to it practically every day at least once. It was up for best musical this year but didn't win. If all goes well I will get to see it live in September. Love it.

Other things:
  • Finding a movie you love but don't own yet in the $5 bin
  • Having so many books you want to read that you can't always decide what to read next
  • Talking to far away friends on the phone, even for just a minute or too. It just cheers me right up.
  • Pre-ordering things off Amazon and knowing they'll (usually) arrive on your door the day they are released.
  • Spending more money on Amazon just to get the free super saver shipping
  • Re-adjusting the books on your bookshelf to make room for your latest acquisition
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Author: Autumn
•7/06/2009 02:31:00 PM
Alright, so it is July 6 and I am just now posting my goal for the month. I know. But I decided this month to mix it up. Instead of avoiding something for an entire month, or even doing something every day for an entire month, I decided on a project I have been putting off that I now have to get done by the end of the month.

Last year for my birthday a close friend bought me a journal that was Wicked/The Wizard of Oz themed. It's the neatest looking book and I really like it. I knew right away what I wanted to use it for, but I have yet to put it into action.

By now everyone knows that the thing I am probably most passionate about in live is musical theater. I am not a performer by any means, but I am a most ardent and appreciative spectator. Sitting in a dark theater watching a musical (or a play too) unfold on stage is my happy place.

Since this journal was sort of tied to Wicked, I decided I would use it as a record of the shows I get to see. I already save all the ticket stubs and Playbills, plus I have taken several pictures in front of the more significant theaters. My plan is to keep track of dates and theaters and notable performers and my general thoughts of each show I see.

Before I get to the present though, I wanted to start with the more significant shows from my past. Any show I've seen in New York, including my first Broadway show ever when I saw The Phantom of the Opera the summer I turned 16 with my dad. I have all the information collected, I just need to take the time to put them in the journal.

So my goal is to be completely up to date by the end of the month. I won't say I am going to work on it a little bit each day, I know I never would, but a fair chunk each week until it's done.

NOW, I need suggestions for future months. I have a few more ideas up my sleeves, but that won't last forever and I really want to keep this up. So I will take dares (except for the potato thing Dad, I won't even try to give those up), suggestions anything you have to offer me. Let me know!
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Author: Autumn
•7/03/2009 12:33:00 AM
Holy cow, it has been July 3rd for half an hour now and it only recently occurred to me the significance of it being July. June flew by in a flash and that means another month where I SUCCESSFULLY completed a goal. Nothing chocolate (pretty much nothing sweet) for an entire month.

I really honestly thought this was going to be my toughest challenge yet. And lo and behold it was not at all. I've made the occasional mention of this over the past few weeks, but I am still shocked. Giving up sweets was so easy. A lot easier than I think it should have been. I am addicted to sweets and have a hard time rationing myself.

But it seems like the moment I made that decision and took dessert of the table completely, it left my head completely. I didn't even really miss it. I didn't get any huge cravings I had to engage in epic mental battles to overcome. I was fine. I still am.

Once July hit and I realized my "trial" had ended, I didn't run out an binge on anything. I allowed myself a nice glass of chocolate milk tonight at work, and it was incredibly refreshing, and that's all I've had. For now, that's all I'm going to have.

So I've decided to keep it up. Not as a goal or for any great length of time, just because I've learned I can. Chocolate milk is back in my life though, I really do love that stuff. And if dessert comes to me I won't automatically turn it down: Ice cream with friends here, a piece of someone's birthday cake there. I just don't plan on seeking it out for awhile yet; I'll let it come to me. Ben, Jerry, I'm so sorry. I still think we need to take a break.

Oh, and information on July's goal will follow in the next day or two. Stay tuned.
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Author: Autumn
•7/02/2009 03:14:00 PM
It's Thursday again! And I am in a much better frame of mind than I was when I posted last. My situation has not changed, but I have changed my outlook on the situation. I'm doing what I can to change it and I just have to let it all go. But hooray for Thursday.

Fireworks - I haven't seen any yet, but I know I am in for a big treat this weekend. I have to work the 4th, but the 3rd is when the excitement happens in my family. We go to Rosenblatt stadium in downtown Omaha as a family and with another family we're all friends with. There is a fun baseball game and then when it gets dark they let everyone out onto the field and there is a pretty spectacular fireworks display. I had so much fun last year and I can't wait. There is just something about fireworks that is just innately joyful. Just try to not cheer up when you watch them.

New swimsuit - I love to swim and be in the water, but that activity usually requires a suit. I have no problem wearing one, but I always have the damnedest time trying to find one. I really stopped trying, and it's been about eight years at least since I really had a decent suit. But I went out today and tried to find one, and it took a while but I did. It is so cute and now I can go to the lake with my family and swim on some upcoming vacations. It's great.

Taking an idea and running with it - Sometimes I get these flashes of brilliance where I come up with a perfect idea. At least I always think so at the time. My good friend's birthday is coming up next week and a couple of weeks ago I came up with something to do for her that for all I know no one's ever done. I can't get into details because she reads this, but I am excited about it and I just went crazy and had a lot of fun getting it all together. She had better like it, or at least realize that the concept came from a good place!

So You Think You Can Dance - I full out love this show. I can't get enough of it. The variety and the caliber of talent on that show astounds me weekly. I love learning about all these choreographers that I, a person with 3 or 4 left feet, would never have known otherwise. I just love being a witness to all the creativity and talent on that stage. I can't get enough.

I had others too, but I can't remember what they were now. I'll have to save them for later I guess.
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Author: Autumn
•6/29/2009 10:25:00 AM
OK girls, I dropped the ball this week. I let Thursday pass me by completely loveless. I apologize. I partially forgot, but mostly this was a pretty loveless week comprised of work I didn't enjoy, tips I didn't make and very little time off. Not a good week for me at all. But here are some bright points I pulled out of it.

Vacation presents - I guess I'm getting a little old for my parents to bring something back for me when they go out of town, but since I am back living at home for awhile, this tradition has been resurrected. It's nice. My mom is so sweet and tries really hard to get into my head (a scary place for anyone really) and find me something I'll like. These last couple trips they've taken she's (and my dad too) brought home some really beautiful jewelry that suits me perfectly. All silver and simple, one necklace that's a turtle from Hawaii and some Celtic jewelry from Seattle. I'm really grateful for her efforts.

Solitary days - My one day off last week was Monday. My sister had left for some camp thing, and my parents didn't get home from their trip until that night, so all day I had the house all to myself and no place to go. I think I had contact with a couple of store clerks and that's it. And I love and need days like that. I like my social time too as well (as a server you have to) but I need equal parts of alone time to function. It was just what I needed before a week of smiling at customers who were rude and who feel like they can spend all this money on food but because times are hard cut back on the tip.

Word Verifications that aren't words - I have been noticing a trend lately with word verifications. First off they're popping up everywhere! I remember when they were mostly just on Ticketmaster. Now they're on all the blogs and e-mail accounts and Facebook. And they aren't words anymore! They are gibberish. On the one hand it can be funny, on the other frustrating. I was trying to get on something or other yesterday and their font was so screwy I could hardly make it out, and since it was futile to decipher a word, I finally gave up. But mostly some of the ones I've seen just make me laugh!

Anyway, this week is looking to be much better, and I expect to blog on time and with a much improved outlook. Happy next few days!
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Author: Autumn
•6/18/2009 08:33:00 PM
Oh man, I am the last one of my new Thursday group to get to this today, oh the shame! Oh well. It brings me to the first thing I love.

Friends who push you - I already mentioned how great I think my BEDA buddies are last week, but it's nice to have people who get your competitive dander up in a way. I always have good intentions but all my life I've struggled with the follow through aspect. I am a procrastinator, and didn't fully feel like blogging today, but just knowing that my other three gals have posted made me get my butt in gear and write this post.

Small personal successes - So I have sworn off chocolate in June (and essentially all sweets) and it has been going surprisingly well. I don't know exactly how to explain it, but it's like when I made it so it was not even an option, I thought about it less. I can't count how many times I swore I was going to cut back on sweets but never did. But the moment I turned it into a goal and publicized that goal, it was easy. I even survived the ultimate test last weekend when a table gave me a piece of their German chocolate birthday cake and without even pausing I took it home and gave it to my mom. Go me! - I love this Web site. Aside from all the awesome fonts and type I can't buy, they have all these great desktop backgrounds. I switch mine up every month or so, but I have a whole folder of backgrounds all from Veer that I just love. Definitely check it out.

Kristin Chenoweth - It is finally my turn for her new book at the library, and I haven't even started reading it yet and I am excited about it. My friend SEJL already read it (She and I are both huge fans of Cheno), and she said as you read it you can tell it's her voice. I am pretty sure this is one I am going to want to own.

My sister - Now I am living at home right now, and my sister is home from college for the summer. Being thrown back into that sibling dynamic with the parents around has been tough. My sister and I are two very different people who have very few opinions in common (except we both love Wicked). We fight a lot. But when our parents are out of town it's like this switch flips. The dynamic changes from siblings to something more like roommates. We go out to dinner and hang out and it's so much fun. I was feeling down the other night, and she took me to see a movie to cheer me up and it was great. The movie was funny and ridiculous and just what I needed to step out of my head for a couple hours.
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Author: Autumn
•6/11/2009 10:43:00 PM
April may be over and my blogging may be lagging, but I still communicate with my BEDA buddies pretty much daily through Facebook and Twitter. These gals are great and I enjoy interacting with them online so much and learning from them.

I don't think any of us are ready to go back to blogging ever day (Yikes!) but we have decided together to start blogging again once a week. We stole the idea of Things I love Thursday from Nicola, who got it from another source, but keep looking for a new installment each week from me and my BEDA Buddies: Nicola, Becky and Christina.

The Tony Awards - OK, so I didn't actually get to watch them this year, and that part of it really sucked. But I still love them. I look forward to June each year for that reason. I love that Broadway gets a night to recognize the incredible amount of talent all crammed into one portion of NYC. I love that all these current shows on Broadway perform and are watchable on YouTube for years to come.

Changing my shoes after work - I don't care if I was at work for an hour or 10. The feeling when I get to my car after a serving shift and take off my work shoes and slip on a pair of flip-flops is unbeatable in that moment.

Planning a trip - Taking trips is pretty great too, but I love the beginning stages of planning a trip when you are so excited and have so many ideas and plans about what you are going to do. You haven't yet remembered how poor you are so in your head the sky's the limit. I'm planning a trip to New York City in the early fall with my best and favorite traveling companion, SEJL, and I cannot wait.

Tables that remind me why I sometimes like serving - I've been going through a frustrating period waiting tables where I just feel burned out and sick of what I'm doing and I feel like I'm not good at it anymore. But then I had a couple of tables this past weekend that were just great and things flowed between them and me. One in particular told me before they left that the service had been fantastic, and I just really really needed to hear that.

Cassandra Clare's Mortal Instruments trilogy - I read all three books (City of Bones, City of Ashes and City of Glass) one right after another and just fell in love. I am not a critical reader, I just either love the plot and the characters or I don't. I cared about these characters and I am sad they only have three books. But then after I finished I found a great deal on the first two (I already bought the third) and now I own them all! More happiness.
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Author: Autumn
•6/04/2009 07:56:00 PM
This is a couple of days overdue, but all my BEDA buddies have been blogging today so it works out anyway.

For June I decided on a goal that was very important to me and something I really needed. I have decided to go an entire month without chocolate! That's right ladies, you heard me. Chocolate has always been a weakness for me. I don't go totally overboard, but I can't ration myself. If I buy a single candy bar I eat a single candy bar. If I buy a bag of chocolates I eat a bag. It's frustrating.

I've figured out that for now I am an all-or-nothing gal. So I am cutting myself off completely for a month. To see if I can do it and to prove to myself that I have that power over my "addiction" if you will. Depending on how that goes, I plan to gradually re-introduce it back into my life.

I am on day 4 of no sweets and it is going surprisingly well. It's like knowing it's not even an option makes it easier to go without it because I don't think about it as much. I feel good about it, but it is only day 4. Let's hope the next 26 go as well.
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Author: Autumn
•5/31/2009 11:41:00 PM
It feels so weird to be blogging right now, because I went from posting every single day to not posting at all for nearly an entire month.. This is strange.

Swearing off soda was so easy and yet so hard at the same time. Like I said at the beginning of the month when I set the goal, it is only recently that I really started drinking a lot more of it. But I have such easy access to it now. I get all the free soda I want at both of my jobs. And sometimes a cone cup of sprite or whatever is really refreshing, and water doesn't always cut it.

So of course the moment I decided to cut it out, I wanted it. When I grabbed my cone cup and looked at the soda machine, getting water (or occasionally lemonade) was a lot less appealing when soda was not an option.

Oh well, I resisted all temptations and didn't have a drop of soda all month. Mission accomplished. Though I did end up drinking a lot more chocolate milk.

Tune in tomorrow for June's goal. It's a doozy.
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Author: Autumn
•5/01/2009 11:54:00 PM
I am determined to continue with my monthly goals. If I succeed in May that will be two months! I actually decided on May's goal last week, but I almost quit before I started tonight.

My goal for May is no soda. At all. I did really want some tonight though. I was at work and so thirsty and water just was not cutting it for me.

I never used to drink soda much as a kid. Root beer with pizza and that was about it. I don't come from a family that drinks a ton of it. But then I started working in restaurants, where you basically get all the free soda you want while you're working. Bad news.

And then for some reason when I moved to Pennsylvania last year, I just started drinking a lot of soda. It was like I flipped a switch and just wanted soda. Weird stuff too, like I went on this grape soda kick for a month or two. That got old fast though.

So no soda will enter my system all month long. It's OK though, my all-time favorite drink is still chocolate milk, which I would never even attempt to give up.

And this makes 29 consecutive days in a row, so this is technically a BEDA blog to make up for missing April 1st. If I blog tomorrow that will make 30 consecutive days.
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Author: Autumn
•4/30/2009 11:09:00 PM
In case you aren't all in my head, that title is to the tune of The Four Seasons song "Bye, Bye, Baby (Baby, Goodbye)", which is a great song. So go back and re-read/hum the title to the appropriate tune. Done? Thank you. Moving on.

OK, now I have to listen to my Best of Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons CD while I write this. Alright I'm ready. I feel like a little kid who is stalling before he goes to sleep; I've been to the bathroom, heard a bedtime story and had a drink of water, there's nothing left but to go to bed. Or BEDA in this case.

Once again it seems I am the last of my BEDA buddy group to do a post like this, but I'm OK with that. I really enjoyed reading Becky, Nicola and Christina's posts first before writing my own. Honestly, I felt really touched reading all of them and I feel pretty lucky to have been part of this.

I happened upon BEDA by accident and decided to be a part of it on a whim. I had heard of Maureen Johnson through my best friend the YA librarian, but had never read any of her books. Sorry! But I've since rectified that by reading Devilish this past week. And I am in line for Suite Scarlett at the library. I am very grateful to both her and Jordan Cwierz for conceiving BEDA; they really are sort of our BEDA parents. MJ even commented on my first BEDA post offering encouragement.

Personally, BEDA was good for me in many ways.
  • It got me writing more again, which I haven't done a lot of since graduating college.
  • It forced me to think more to generate blog ideas.
  • It also forced me to finish several half-written posts from months and months ago that might have remained unfinished for years.
  • It got me out there more reading other people's blogs. I follow my college friends, but I don't often go out and find random blogs to read. This changed that.
  • I wrote some posts I really thought were great. Not all of them, that is for sure, but some. There are a few toward the beginning of the month that y'all should go back and read. Definitely.
And then there were my BEDA buddies. I will repeat what they have all said, and that is how eerily well MJ did at matching up at least our group. We all have a lot in common so far and it's great. I really enjoyed getting to know the ladies in my group and reading their blogs and "talking" to them.

I know we've only known each other a couple of weeks, but I get the feeling the end of BEDA won't be the end of us. Between our blogs, Twitter and now Facebook, I hope these online friendships we've begun will continue. I'll keep reading ladies if you will (well, even if you won't)!

Thank you all for a wonderful month of blogging.

P.S. I've been told that since I missed April 1 and 2, I should continue into the next two days to make up for it. So stay tuned, I just might do it depending on my schedule.
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Author: Autumn
•4/29/2009 11:38:00 PM
Tomorrow is the last day of BEDA. I don't work at all, which is good because it means I have time to figure out something really good for my last BEDA blog entry. I hope. So since I worked two different jobs today and just got home, I am going to use today's entry to report on my two monthly goals.

First off is BEDA (Blog Every Day April). I didn't find out about BEDA until April 3rd, so I lost two days at the beginning. But beginning April 3rd, I have produced some sort of blog entry every single day. They weren't always interesting or great, but they exist. I can't believe I did it, when before I was posting once a week max, most often less.

I do have to admit that I am probably not going to be much better once BEDA is over. I do want to do better, but if I have nothing to say of any import, I won't say anything that day. I am looking forward to that part.

So I get a big pat on the back for BEDA.

Second, here I made a personal goal for April about not going out to eat. I am proud to say that I succeeded in the goal to the letter. I did not spend a single dollar on food or drink outside of a grocery store. I went out to eat a total of three times the entire month. I went out once with my dad, once with my mom and once with my mom and sister (Yeah, I have no real friends in Omaha).

I am pretty proud of myself because this was hard. If you read the post I linked to, you'll see that going out to eat is how I survive. It's easy and I can grab it on my way to/from work. What did I eat all month? I don't really know. A TON of mashed potatoes for one thing. Each afternoon before work if I had no idea what to eat, I made mashed potatoes. So many potatoes were sacrificed to this project of mine.

So overall April went well for me, as hard as it was. I am tempted to start making a new resolution each month to see how I do. Small exercises in self control, which is something I often lack.

For now though, I am definitely getting Chinese on Friday. I miss that stuff!
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Author: Autumn
•4/28/2009 10:33:00 PM
Look. It's right there at the end of the word.

My name is important to me - my full name: Autumn Lee Hill. It flows so well, but it almost sounds made up. Like a stage name or a nom de plume. Take out the middle name and it sounds like a housing development or a housing complex, especially if you pluralize my last name.

When I was a child I had an aversion to my first name because I went through this phase where I wanted everything personalized, and my name wasn't always easy to find. I felt the frustration keenly. But I quickly got over it. It's not so rare that people mispronounce it or get confused, but rare enough that people pause and remark on.

Yes I do get a lot of dumb jokes, mostly from older men when I am waiting tables, and no one seems to be able to spell it even though it's a noun, but these are fairly minor irritants.

But I highly doubt losing my first name will ever be an issue. The part of my name most in jeopardy is my last name. It's a pretty great last name. Short, simple, easy to spell. Another noun. I have no intention of changing it. Ever.

I could spout out all these feminine ideals as my reasons, but I won't. While I do consider myself a feminist in many ways, that's not truly the reason I want to keep it. I don't even know if I could tell you the reasons why it is so important to me; it just is.

Part of it is that I have spent about a quarter of a century now trying to figure out who Autumn Lee Hill is. I still don't have a full handle on it, and I don't see a reason to try and change who I am and start the process over again just because I get married.

Now this might be a moot point altogether. I really have no strong inclinations toward marriage. I have nothing against marriage; most of my friends are all married and seem happy. I just can't really see Autumn getting married. It's just not me. Who knows? I know my parents hope I eat my words and tie the knot someday.

I once entered into a mock engagement with this guy I worked with. I honestly don't remember how it came about. One of the first things I asked him was whether or not he would have a problem with me keeping my name. When he said he was OK with it, I knew I'd found the perfect "fiancé".
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Author: Autumn
•4/27/2009 02:34:00 PM
I have an announcement to make.

I already posted that there is a new car in my life. Over a week into the relationship things are going well. I am getting rid of that new car smell I don't like and making my Rav my own. There was only one problem. My car needed a name, and it was really bugging me.

Now I didn't grow up in a family that named cars. I wasn't even aware people did it until I got to college. My first semester I had a roommate whose car was named Clyde. Her family also had an old Bonneville, so they named their cars Bonnie & Clyde. I thought that was pretty cute.

I didn't have a car my freshman year, so naming my own wasn't an issue. I didn't think about it again until that summer. That was when my parents helped me get my first car: a 1998 Honda Civic.

I was working at a restaurant over the summer, and there was this busboy who firmly believed in naming cars. He had a whole reasoning behind it that I no longer remember. He was insistent I name my car, and I had nothing against the idea so I did. I named her Isabelle, Izzy for short.

Then the summer after college I was tired of Izzy and ready for something new. I didn't set out to get a Land Rover, and that was probably one of the larger mistakes I've made to date, but I won't go into how or why that happened here. Long story short, I traded Izzy in for Murdock: a 2002 Land Rover Freelander.

Since Murdock was a bigger car, he just didn't seem like a girl to me. A Land Rover felt like it had to be a boy car. I wanted to name him Hannibal, but after the main character in The A-Team not Hannibal Lecter. I knew no one would think of the right Hannibal if I did that, so I stuck with The A-Team and named him Murdock. I should NOT have named my car after a crazy person.

That brings us up to the present. I am assuming you've all figured out by now that my announcement pertains to my new car's name. It does. I was having a problem because I really wanted to name it Ingrid, but it just did not feel like a girl. I toyed around with a few butler-type names like Jeeves and Godfrey, but driving in my car it just was not a Godfrey.

Someone, I think my mom, mentioned this name in casual conversation, and it just clicked in my mind; it fit. So after that very long introduction, I am announcing that I have officially named my car Otis! Woot!
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Author: Autumn
•4/26/2009 11:25:00 PM
OK. Correct me if I am wrong, but isn't it true that practice makes perfect? Shouldn't you get better at things over time? That's the way it works for normal people right? Right. So it's just me then.

Tonight did not go super well at the restaurant, and lately I've felt like I've lost my touch a bit serving. It's probably in my head, and I don't feel it every shift, but I still feel it sometimes. Mostly I just blame it on working in La Vista. Everything was much better when I worked in Omaha itself!

But it did get me to thinking about my athletic history. Now I am not the most graceful of people. In any way. I get along OK, but I don't dance through life. I stumble, trip and run into lots of walls and sharp corners. Let's just say I am not a natural born athlete. I can catch decently well if I am focused, but that's about all I have going for me.

Anyway, the reason I was thinking about sports tonight is because with many such activities I tend to get worse the more I practice. Once summer when I was in high school my mom enrolled me in a tennis camp that lasted a couple of weeks.

The first day the adults in charge (coaches I guess) told me I was a natural. I was doing well and feeling good. But as the camp progressed, I just got worse and worse the more we played. By the end of the camp I was just awful at tennis. And I didn't understand it.

Also bowling. It's not technically a sport, but it's another fine example of my ability to unimprove (I'm getting a red line for that word, but I say it is a word). Now I took a bowling class in college and I didn't have the same problem as I did with tennis. I actually improved over the course of the semester.

However, outside of that, I have found that the more often I bowl the worse I am. If I haven't bowled in a long time, I tend to do pretty well. But if I bowl several games, or if my bowling excursions occur closer together, I get a lot worse.

Why is that? Does that make sense to anyone? I have accepted that I am quirky and a little weird; that doesn't bother me. But I just don't get that. Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?
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Author: Autumn
•4/25/2009 11:27:00 PM
What I like about this image is that it has that one way sign in the background, which is very prophetic. I think others like me will agree: Once you fall in love with Broadway, there's no turning back.

I've made it pretty clear that I love musicals. I LOVE musicals. As in I am OBSESSED with them. I have been for about a decade, if not longer. I remember when I was 15 and my dad and I went to New York City just the two of us and he took me to The Phantom of the Opera. I can pinpoint that incredible experience as the moment I was hooked. From there on out it was just love love love love love.

I get asked a lot which ones I like, and that is such a hard question because there are so many and that is a lot to bombard someone with when I know they just want a short answer. So I decided to give you an idea of how much musicals consume my life. I'm going to provide you with a couple of lists to peruse at your leisure.

First off cast albums. To put this in perspective, iTunes says I have 116 albums that I've classified as musicals. Some of these are only one song, but you get the idea. I've collected these albums through various means throughout the years. And as with any collection, there are "pieces" I prefer above others, albums I don't listen to so much anymore. I decided to group them by the people who wrote the music and lyrics because it made sense as I was doing this and I think it is just as important to know who wrote the song as it is to know who sings it.

OBC/OOBC: Original Broadway/Off-Broadway Cast, BR: Broadway Revival, L: London

Full Albums:
Adam Guettel: The Light in the Piazza (2005 OBC)
Alan Menken, Howard Ashman & Glenn Slater: The Little Mermaid (2008 OBC)
Alan Menken, Howard Ashman & Tim Rice: Beauty and the Beast (1994 OBC)
Andrew Lippa: The Wild Party (2000 OOBC)
Andrew Lloyd Webber & Charles Hart: The Phantom of the Opera (1986 OLC)
Andrew Lloyd Webber & Tim Rice: Evita (1979 OBC & 1996 Film)
Arthur Sullivan & W. S. Gilbert: The Pirates of Penzance (1981 BC)
Benny Andersson & Björn Ulvaeus: Mamma Mia! (1999 OLC & 2008 Film)
Charles Strouse & Martin Charnin: Annie (1977 OBC)
Clark Gesner: You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown (1999 BR)
Claude-Michel Schönberg & Alain Boublil: Les Misérables (1985 OLC & 1988 Complete Symphonic), Miss Saigon (1989 OLC), The Pirate Queen (2007 OBC)
Cole Porter: Anything Goes (1987 BR), Kiss Me, Kate (1953 Film & 1999 BR)
David Yazbek: Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (2005 OBC), The Full Monty (2001 OBC)
Duncan Sheik & Steven Sater: Spring Awakening (2006 OBC)
Elton John & Bernie Taupin: Lestat (2006 OBC)
Elton John & Tim Rice: Aida (2000 OBC), The Lion King (1997 OBC)
Frank Loesser: Guys and Dolls (1992 BR)
Frank Wildhorn, Don Black & Christopher Hampton: Dracula (2005 Concept)
Frank Wildhorn & Jack Murphy: The Civil War (1998 Studio)
Frank Wildhorn & Leslie Bricusse: Jekyll & Hyde (1994 Concept & 1997 OBC)
Frank Wildhorn & Nan Knighton: The Scarlet Pimpernel (1998 OBC)
George Forrest & Robert Wright: Kismet (1955 Film)
Harvey Schmidt & Tom Jones: 110 in the Shade (2007 BR)
Henry Krieger & Bill Russell: Side Show (1997 OBC)
Henry Krieger & Tom Eyen: Dreamgirls (2006 Film)
Irving Berlin: Annie Get Your Gun (1946 OBC & 1999 BR), Easter Parade (1948 Film)
Jason Robert Brown: The Last 5 Years (2002 OOBC), Parade (1998 OBC), Songs for a New World (1996 ONYC), 13 (2008 OBC)
Jeanine Tesori & Dick Scanlan: Thoroughly Modern Millie (2002 OBC)
Jerome Kern & Oscar Hammerstein II: Show Boat (1951 Film)
John Du Prez & Eric Idle: Monty Python’s Spamalot (2005 OBC)
John Kander & Fred Ebb: Chicago (2002 Film), Curtains (2007 OBC), Kiss of the Spider Woman (1993 OBC & 1993 Other Cast)
Jonathan Larson: Rent (2005 Film), tick, tick…BOOM! (2001 OOBC)
Jule Styne & Stephen Sondheim: Gypsy (1959 OBC & 2008 BR)
Laurence O'Keefe & Nell Benjamin: Legally Blonde (2007 OBC)
Leonard Bernstein: Candide (1989 Cast)
Leonard Bernstein, Adolph Green & Betty Comden: Wonderful Town (1999 L Studio)
Leonard Bernstein & Stephen Sondheim: West Side Story (1961 Film)
Lin-Manuel Miranda: In the Heights (2008 OBC)
Lisa Lambert & Greg Morrison: The Drowsy Chaperone (2006 OBC)
Marc Shaiman & Scott Wittman: Hairspray (2007 Film)
Mark Hollmann & Greg Kotis: Urinetown (2001 OOBC)
Mary Rodgers & Marshall Barer: Once Upon a Mattress (1996 BR)
Matthew Sklar & Chad Beguelin: The Wedding Singer (2006 OBC)
Meredith Wilson: The Music Man (1962 Film)
Michael John LaChiusa: Marie Christine (1999 OBC), The Wild Party (2000 OBC)
Paul Gordon: Jane Eyre (2000 OBC)
Richard Adler & Jerry Ross: The Pajama Game (2006 Br Rev)
Richard Rodgers & Oscar Hammerstein II: Oklahoma! (1955 Film), The Sound of Music (1965 Film), South Pacific (2008 BR)
Sherman Edwards: 1776 (1969 OBC)
Stephen Bray, Brenda Russell & Allee Willis: The Color Purple (2005 OBC)
Stephen Flaherty & Lynn Ahrens: Lucky Stiff (1993 Studio), Once on This Island (1990 OBC), Ragtime (1998 OBC), Seussical: The Musical (2000 OBC)
Stephen Schwartz: Wicked (2003 OBC)
Stephen Sondheim: Assassins (1991 OOBC & 2004 BR), Company (2006 BR), Into the Woods (1987 OBC), Merrily We Roll Along (1993 Cast), Passion (1994 OBC), Sunday in the Park With George (1984 OBC), Sweeney Todd (1979 OBC)
William Finn: The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (2005 OBC)

Partial Albums:
Frederick Loewe & Alan Jay Lerner: Brigadoon (1954 Movie), Gigi (1958 Film)
Jason Howland & Mindi Dickstein: Little Women (2005 OBC)
Jerry Bock & Sheldon Harnick: Fiddler on the Roof (1971 Film)
John Kander & Fred Ebb: Cabaret (1972 Movie)
Jonathan Larson: Rent (1996 OBC)
Lucy Simon & Marsha Norman: The Secret Garden (1991 OBC)
Maury Yeston: Nine (2003 BR)
Mitch Leigh & Joe Darion: Man of La Mancha (2002 BR)
Peter Allen: The Boy From Oz (2003 OBC)
Richard Lopez & Jeff Marx: Avenue Q (2003 OBC)
William Finn: A New Brain (1998 OOBC)

Also, I wanted to list just a few of the voices of Broadway that I have come to love so much. Many of these albums I got because of who was in them, and grew to love the rest of the music later.

Leading Men: Adam Pascal, Anthony Crivello, Brent Carver, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Douglas Sills, Hadley Fraser, James Barbour, Mandy Patinkin, Matthew Morrison, Norbert Leo Butz, Norm Lewis, Raúl Esparza and Robert Westenberg

Leading Ladies: Audra McDonald, Bernadette Peters, Donna Murphy, Joanna Gleason, Julia Murney, Kelli O’Hara, Kristin Chenoweth, Laura Benanti, Lea Salonga, Linda Eder, Marin Mazzie, Patti LuPone, Sherie Rene Scott, Stephanie J. Block and Sutton Foster

There, that should give you an idea of what a big part of my life this is. I hope you are duly impressed/afraid/jealous! And I didn't even list which shows I've seen and where and when: I keep a list of that too.
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Author: Autumn
•4/24/2009 03:28:00 PM
As Becky and Christina did already, I am stealing this survey from Nicola, who said she stole it from Book Travellers Inc. Apparently we are a group who all love books. Yay!

Bookmark or bent page?
Paper clip actually. I started it a few months ago and love it. There was a learning curve where I scratched a few pages :-( but I worked out the kinks.

Have you ever been offered a book?
Not really. I guess it depends what you mean. I've received books as presents from friends before. That's the closest I've gotten to being offered a book.

Do you read in your bath?
The last bath I took had Strawberry Shortcake bubbles and a rubber ducky. I don't like baths, so no. But with me water and a book is just asking for trouble.

Have you already thought about writing a book?
I did for awhile in high school, after I took this great creative writing class. I even had a plot planned out. I was going to write a modern version of the Good Samaritan story, and apply it to this project I had to at my parents' church. I even had some of the characters and little plot devices worked out. I got excited about it again briefly in college when I found a Samaria Road not too far from there. But it faded quickly. I bet I have all that on my computer somewhere still.

What do you think about books in several volumes?
Bring it on. When I love a book, I go through withdrawal when it's over, so going back in again is perfect for me. Just looking over at my bookshelf now I see a lot of groups of three or more.

Do you have a cult book?
I guess Harry Potter would be my biggest cult books that I read. I got sucked in like everyone else.

Do you like to re-read?
Yeah. When I was younger I had this one book, I don't even remember which anymore, that I read over and over, at least a dozen times. Couldn't get enough. That's my record though. I do re-read books, especially if it's a series where a new one is about to come out. More often I will go back and just re-read sections of books, parts I really liked.

What about meeting or not with the authors of the books you've liked?
Never thought about it much. I think getting some of my books autographed and meeting the authors would be cool, but it's not so much a priority.

Do you like to talk about the books you read?
Yes and no. I love to recommend books to others, but I've never been big on in-depth discussions. Like I don't think I would like being part of a book club. It takes me back to the two semesters I spent as an English major and reminds me why I switched to journalism.

How do you pick your books?
Recommendations of course. I like to walk into a bookstore and just browse. I take notes and then go home and then look them up. And Amazon. I will go to the page of a book I liked and check out all the links there to other books and lists and I have found some great books that way.

Something you read, hard to confess?
Sometimes I don't like to tell people I read the Twilight books. I love them, but there is such a hysteria surrounding them now that I don't like to be grouped as another obsessed fan. I'm not. I read them before they were such a phenomenon.

Best places to read?
Anywhere cushy. I like taking a book and a blanket to a park and lying under a tree. Otherwise just in bed or a really comfortable chair.

The ideal book would be...?
That is not a simple question. Is there such a thing as an ideal book? All I need is an interesting plot and characters I don't want to say goodbye to by the last page and I'm content.

Read over people's shoulders?
With newspapers sometimes, never with books.

TV, computer games or book?
Books, then computer games, then TV. But I am guilty of indulging in all three to a degree.

Read and eat?
Shouldn't, but do sometimes. More read and munch. I don't read while I'm eating a real meal.

Read with music, in silence, whatever...?
It depends. I can listen to jazz or classical or anything without words and read. Anything with lyrics and I can't focus on both. I sing along and get distracted from what I'm reading.

Not a fan. Half my love of books is the actual physical packet of paper. I wouldn't give that up.

Borrow or buy?
Both. I love libraries a ton, but I love owning books. Oftentimes I end up borrowing a book from the library, then liking it enough that I buy my own copy after that.

What book are you reading now – which one is coming next?
At the moment, Devilish by Maureen Johnson (our BEDA guru!). Up next is either The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd, Bound by Sally Gunning or Graceling by Kristin Cashore.

Have you already dropped a book?
Literally? All the time. I'm such a klutz. I do occasionally, but not too often. I remember the first time I read the 5th Harry Potter I couldn't get into it. It starts slow. I went back a year or so later and then had no problem reading it.

What's the first book you just fell in love with?
As a kid? My earliest favorite was Princess Furball by Charlotte Huck. I still have a copy and bought one for my first niece shortly after she was born. Great illustrations. Later I loved The Boxcar Children and, of course, The Baby-Sitters Club.
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Author: Autumn
•4/23/2009 11:30:00 PM
A couple of weeks ago I went to the grocery store with my dad. It was a pretty routine trip that included an excursion down the cereal aisle. We came to an agreement that some Frosted Flakes sounded good; I myself hadn't had them in a long time. They're quite delicious.

Well I automatically reached out for a box of Kellogg's Frosted Flakes, and I had it in my hand when I noticed my father had gone in another direction. Toward the dreaded bags of off-brand cereal.

Well, not dreaded so much as just a place I have never ventured. Don't ask me why but I ALWAYS buy name brand cereal. I never had a bad experience with bag cereal, though I don't remember ever eating it much, I just don't buy it. I never have. I can't give you a single logical reason why.

People can be very particular about what brands they buy. I am no different. There are some things where I just go for the cheapest and couldn't care less about what brand that happens to be, but some things, like cereal, HAVE to be name brand. There are other times where I always buy the off brand over the name brand because I like it better.

Like milk. I will not drink some of the national brands, like Roberts and Blue Bunny, because I think they have a weird taste. My favorite brand of milk is Wal-Mart's Great Value brand of all things. For me it is the most consistently good-tasting milk around. There are others I will drink, but that's my favorite.

For my mom, she almost always goes for the least expensive, like most moms, but when it comes to whipped topping, she always buys Cool Whip. That is a brand she is very loyal to. I was going to ask her for others, but she's asleep now. Oh well.

Oh and cream cheese: I only buy Philadelphia cream cheese. And as my mom has learned recently, I have to have Idaho potatoes. Although with that I lived there for four years so I feel I'd be unfaithful if I bought potatoes grown elsewhere.

The brand issue tends to escalate with soda. I've especially noticed this working in restaurants. While most people don't care that much, there are people for whom it is Pepsi or nothing, or Coke or nothing. I can't count how many times I've heard, "I'll have a Pepsi." "Coke OK?" "No, I'll have iced tea."

And for most of those people, if I gave them a Coke and told them it was Pepsi, they would probably be none the wiser. This came into play at one restaurant I used to work at regarding Dr. Pepper v. Mr. Pibb. We all got tired of correcting people about which one we had, so when they asked for Mr. Pibb we said OK and gave them Dr. Pepper. No one ever once said a thing to me.

What about you? What brands are non-negotiable for you?
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Author: Autumn
•4/22/2009 04:29:00 PM
Hello, my name is Autumn and I'm an addict. My weakness is movie captions; I can't seem to kick the habit. And I'm not trying that hard, so that could be the reason. It's pretty rare that I watch a movie and don't turn the subtitles on immediately.

*Note to reader: I am vaguely aware that there is a difference between captions and subtitles, but I don't care and will be using the two words interchangeably throughout this post.*

I remember when I realized how dependent I was on subtitles. It was a couple of months ago. I was watching a movie before I went to sleep, a bad habit I'm aware but I don't care. And I pressed the subtitle button per usual, and it had Spanish and something else, Korean I think, but no English. And I was so irritated. And then I had to stop and realize that I was irritated due to a lack of captions. Wow.

It's hard to remember where it started. I think watching foreign films like Life Is Beautiful first got me accustomed to reading captions and watching a movie at the same time. After awhile you get so engrossed you don't even realize you're reading them.

From there I started turning them on briefly to catch dialogue I hadn't heard or understood the first time. I'd rewind the movie a bit, turn the subtitles on and watch the part I hadn't heard to see what they were saying; then I'd turn them off again.

At some point I jumped straight from that to full on watching every movie intentionally with subtitles. And there are pros and cons to doing this.

I am much more of a visual person than an audio person. My retention when someone is talking to me is much less than when I read the same information for myself. So for me I get more out of a movie when I see what is being said as opposed to just hearing it.

Plus there are a lot of actors out there with accents I can't always decipher and others whose diction just is not good. And I like knowing how characters' names I like knowing how they are spelled; it makes them more real.

Something else I've noticed is that there are many movies where characters in the background make comments you'd never hear naturally, but are included in the movie's subtitles. It's quite interesting.

On the down side, you miss more facial expressions and such. No matter how fast you read, you have to look away from the action to read the captions. I remember when I was watching the BBC's recent version of Sense and Sensibility. I love the scene where Edward proposes to Elinor, and I really liked it in this movie. I watched it once with subtitles, then turned them off and watched it again without so I could watch their faces more closely.

I'm not really going anywhere with this. I still use captions almost all the time, and as I said it's not like I'm trying hard to stop. But admitting it aloud is a start, and I guess I was curious if anyone else is in the same boat as I am.
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Author: Autumn
•4/21/2009 12:09:00 PM
I was just downstairs finishing lunch with my mom and glancing through the paper. After I read the comics I glanced through this day in history and famous birthdays. As I read the birthdays, here is what my commentary to my mom was.

Me: It's the queen's birthday today.
Mom: The current queen?
Me: Yeah, Queen Elizabeth II.
Mom: She's 80 something, right?
Me: Yeah, 83.
I look farther down the page.
Me: It's Patti LuPone's birthday today!!!
Mom: I don't know who that is.
Me: She's a huge Broadway star, I love her!

Yeah, I don't know what that says about me. I mean I know I'm not British, but still. I got way more excited about Patti's birthday than the queen's. And it doesn't seem wrong per se, I guess it just makes me laugh. I will always get more excited about anything Broadway than I will about pretty much anything else outside my family and friends.

And hey, Patti was the original Evita, plus she's won two Best Actress Tonys and been nominated for three more so she is most definitely Broadway royalty.

So happy birthday to Queen Elizabeth II.
And happy birthday Patti!!
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Author: Autumn
•4/20/2009 10:49:00 PM
I just love alliteration.

I am the last of my "support" group to do this, but at least I'm getting it done. Most of you know that I've suddenly been posting on my blog every day because I committed to BEDA: Blog Every Day April. It's been hard because I don't always have something worth saying.

But our BEDA guru and creator, Maureen Johnson, came up with the concept of BEDA buddies. Anyone who was interested gave her a short summary of themselves and she took the time to pair us up. I figured why not and just from what little I've learned of my buddies so far I am glad I did it. She really took the time and effort to match us well.

So this post is to tell my new buddies a little about myself. My buddies are Christina, Nicola and Becky and I put links to their blogs on the left side of mine. I did it for my own convenience, but this way any of you who want to support them with me can.

I am 24 and I live in Omaha, Nebraska. I just moved back in with my parents right after Christmas, so I really understand your feelings on that Christina. As interesting as moving back home can be, my parents and I get along well and I am blessed to be here (And no I am not just saying that because my dad reads my blog). It is giving me a chance to get caught up financially and figure a few things out.

I have my bachelor's degree in print journalism, which is an industry I am now being forced to watch die. It makes me really sad. I enjoy writing and a bit of design work, but my specialty and passion is copy editing. And don't judge by my blog because I don't edit my own work well.

Right now I am waiting tables while I try to figure out whether I want to copy edit or become a librarian and pursue my MLS. I would like to find a way to do both.

I love to read, and I always have. I read a lot of historical fiction and YA literature (ever since that Children's Lit class I took in college). I love to watch movies, especially old musicals from the '40s and '50s.

I am obsessed with Broadway musicals. I said my passion is copy editing, and it is, but musicals are my PASSION. I can list so many shows, their songs, their leads, who wrote the music and lyrics. I know NAMES. As I write this I am listening to the 1984 original Broadway cast album of Sunday in the Park With George with Mandy Patinkin and Bernadette Peters.

Now this post is getting too long for my taste. If any of you who know me feel there is something I should add, do so. If you have any specific questions ask them.

Oh and click here to go to my post where I list 25 Random Things About Me, which I finally broke down and filled out when it was going around Facebook like crazy.
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Author: Autumn
•4/19/2009 11:11:00 PM
I think we all know that Murdock and I had a very unhealthy, codependent relationship. I don't think it was working out for either of us, but I had so much invested in the relationship that breaking away was very difficult. I was torn. I felt trapped; I was afraid I would be stuck with him forever.

But not anymore! Murdock is no longer a part of my life. I finally broke it off, and there is a new car in my life now. A car I have inexplicably desired since college when this guy I hardly knew had one and I rode in it once. A silver 1999 Toyota Rav4.

It's the same kind of car as Murdock was, just a different (and better) make. For some reason I really like those small SUVs: "cute utes" as someone dubbed them. Murdock was a Land Rover Freelander, but a bit bigger and a V6. My new car is a 4-cylinder, which doesn't bug me and means better gas mileage.

I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders with Murdock gone. We had a very intense love/hate relationship, but it was ALWAYS something with that car. I forever lived with the worry of what was going to break or die next with him. But every time I thought about trading him in, I couldn't do it because I did love my car in theory. In actuality he just kind of really drained me. Land Rovers are not cheap cars.

Now I finally have my Rav. Woot! Yet while I am excited, I feel like Murdock sort of jaded me. I was so excited and in love with that car when I first got it. And it proved to be one of the biggest mistakes I've ever made. And I have no problem with mistakes, but along with the excitement is the worry that if I picked this car out there must be something wrong with it. I can't shake the paranoia that after Murdock I am forever fated to get screwed when it comes to cars.

But I am trying to shake that and even if this car has problems, they will be a whole helluva lot cheaper to fix than 'Dock's were! Now on to the photos. Oh, and the name is coming but I am having trouble deciding whether this car is a boy or a girl!

The profile.

The face. Grrrr.

And these are my dashboard friends. The duck has been with me since high school, in every car I've ever had. The voodoo doll is a thing between Steph and me; it protects me. And the turtle is an old air freshener that no longer freshens the air but is still cute 'cause it's a turtle.
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