Author: Autumn
•4/23/2011 11:41:00 PM
If you do not already know about them, you should take a look at Better World Books. They are a great organization, and they have been having a great Earth Day sale online this weekend.

Now I have followed their blog for a year or so, but have never bought anything online. I love online shopping, but I am a little wary about buying used books online because I am picky about condition. But I did buy a few on their site this weekend. And when I got the typical email letting me know my things had shipped, it was somewhat different from what I expected. It was created with the premise that my newly purchased books were writing to me, and I thought it was adorable and clever and fun. So here is what my new books had to say:

Hello Autumn,

(Your book(s) asked to write you a personal note - it seemed unusual, but who are we to say no?)
Holy canasta! It's me... it's me! I can't believe it is actually me! You could have picked any of over 2 million books but you picked me! I've got to get packed! How is the weather where you live? Will I need a dust jacket? I can't believe I'm leaving Mishawaka, Indiana already - the friendly people, the Hummer plant, the Linebacker Lounge - so many memories. I don't have much time to say goodbye to everyone, but it's time to see the world!

I can't wait to meet you! You sound like such a well read person. Although, I have to say, it sure has taken you a while! I don't mean to sound ungrateful, but how would you like to spend five months sandwiched between Jane Eyre (drama queen) and Fundamentals of Thermodynamics (pyromaniac)? At least Jane was an upgrade from that stupid book on brewing beer. How many times did the ol' brewmaster have one too many and topple off our shelf at 2am?

I know the trip to meet you will be long and fraught with peril, but after the close calls I've had, I'm ready for anything (besides, some of my best friends are suspense novels). Just five months ago, I thought I was a goner. My owner was moving and couldn't take me with her. I was sure I was landfill bait until I ended up in a Better World Books book drive bin. Thanks to your socially conscious book shopping, I've found a new home. Even better, your book buying dollars are helping kids read from Brazil to Botswana.

Eagerly awaiting our meeting,
(signed by the specific titles I had purchased)
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Author: Autumn
•4/22/2011 10:54:00 PM
I do not use Twitter as much as I used to. I follow 163 twitter accounts, and I probably pay attention to less than 10 of those. The ones I really care about are my friends and family, but sometimes I will take a look at the others in my feed, so I keep them. Here are a few I enjoy:

@DailyShowtune - This is one of my favorites. They post lyrics a few times a week from Broadway shows, and invite all their followers to guess what show they are from. It is fun. I do not know them every time, but I do most!

@FakeAPStylebook - As a former newspaper copy editor, the AP Stylebook was my bible. I still refer to it and keep to it when I can. I kept my resume in line with AP style. These are more spoofs on that, but they can be quite funny sometimes.

Most of the random twitter feeds I follow are Broadway shows, Broadway actors, librarians and YA authors. Here are a couple randomly selected samples:
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Author: Autumn
•4/21/2011 07:25:00 PM
  • TWO WEEKS until I am back East with my EEB. I. Can. Not. Wait.
  •  While I am in PA with my EEB, we are taking a day trip to Washington D.C. I just found out that the ONE DAY I will be there coincides with when my grandfather will be there. He lives in Los Angeles, and I have not seen him for over a year. I still have to work out details with him, but best timing ever!
  • Monday night pizza tradition with my mom - lots of pineapple, so delicious
  • Season 4 of 30 Rock on DVD from Target for $15
  • The 30 Rock marathon I have embarked on, even before I found that DVD, ignoring the movies I have checked out from the library that are due back soon.
  • I talked with my other best friend (I am fortunate enough to have two) for well over an hour this weekend, and we are planning a get together this fall. Somewhere.
  • One of my two classes is over, so now I only have one to worry about for the next two weeks.
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Author: Autumn
•4/20/2011 07:47:00 PM
Now why on earth is a single lady who has often stated her lack of interest in marriage writing about how to get married? Good question. I do not know how to get myself married. I do not want to know. However, I am well versed in getting other people married.

First, let me be clear that just because it does not interest me especially does not mean I have anything against marriage as a concept. I think it is great for other people; I am very happy for all of my friends and family who have gotten married. I would love it if everyone were allowed to get married.

Now then, do you want to know how to get married? Get ready. All you have to do is move in with me. It is that simple. I guarantee that within 3-6 months you will be engaged.

I am sure you are skeptical, so let us take a look at my success rate. It is at 100% when I live with just one other person. In college I had five roommates at a time, so it lessened my powers, but I would say 60% of them got engaged while living with me. Many followed shortly after, and they all followed eventually. I am pretty sure that at this point, EVERY SINGLE PERSON I HAVE EVER LIVED WITH HAS GOTTEN MARRIED (family excluded).

I call it my curse, though the others involved might see it otherwise. I did not pay it any attention in college. When you go to a Mormon university, having a semester pass without at least one person in your apartment getting engaged would be strange indeed. It was after I graduated and it kept happening that I realized I was the common denominator.

Now one could argue that I just make bad decisions about whom to live with by picking women who are in relationships, but I do not care to argue that point. I am cursed, and that is that. If you want to take advantage of it, just give me a call. Maybe I should start charging ...
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Author: Autumn
•4/18/2011 09:30:00 AM
Yes, this is going to be about music again. It comes up a lot here does it not? I decided to share with you my top 10 most listened to songs according to iTunes. Now I have not actually looked to see what they are yet, though I have a few guesses. I am hoping they will not all be from musicals, if only to prove to you that I listen to normal people music too. Because I do! It just ... does not cling to my soul and resonate in my blood the same way many musicals do. Yeah, it is that strong. So with no further ado I will let iTunes take over:
  1. Next to Normal (2009 Original Broadway cast recording) by Tom Kitt & Brian Yorkey
  2. "Falling Slowly" (Once soundtrack) by Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova
  3. Sort Of" (Everybody) by Ingrid Michaelson
  4. "Creep" (Radiohead cover, Live Sessions] by Ingrid Michaelson
  5. "The Fear You Won't Fall" (Unclear Sky EP) by Joshua Radin
  6. "Gravity" (Little Voice) by Sara Bareilles
  7. "Someone Else's Story (Chess in Concert 2009 live London cast recording) by Kerry Ellis
  8. "Lies" (Once soundtrack) by Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova
  9. "Poker Face" (Lady Gag cover, Glee: The Music, Volume 3) by Lea Michele & Idina Menzel
  10. "I Wanna Get Married" (Build a Bridge) by Audra McDonald
I am stopping myself from making comments on each song. I will let them speak for themselves without explanations or excuses. I will say that I did the entire Next to Normal album as one because otherwise that would be my entire top 10 list, as there are 37 tracks on that album. That would not make a very interesting top 10 list. The song I listen to most from that album though is "Superboy and the Invisible Girl," at over a 100 times. That is right. It is that awesome.
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Author: Autumn
•4/17/2011 11:20:00 PM
I think I have too many songs in my head. Do you want to know why? Because everything reminds of a song. EVERYTHING. Give me pretty much any phrase, any sentence, any word even and I will be reminded of a song title or lyric. I waited tables on and off for about 10 years. And EVERY SINGLE TIME someone ordered a Bloody Mary, the song "Bloody Mary" from South Pacific would run through my mind. Every time. For 10 years. Yeah.

I was talking to my coworker about this today because the problem keeps popping up when I read. I am in a readers' advisory class right now, so I have had to set aside all my YA to-be-read books and force myself back onto a diet of more adult fare. Blurgh. Every week is a different genre, and I am very ready for it to be over.

For historical fiction I read a book called Dream When You're Feeling Blue by Elizabeth Berg. The song, "Dream (When You're Feeling Blue)" or just "Dream" was stuck in my head all stinkin' week. I sang it constantly, pretty much anytime I thought about the book, mentioned the book or opened the book. It was not a completely horrible week because I really like the song, written in 1944 by Johnny Mercer. The only version I own is sung by Michael Bublé, and he does a good job with it. But I could not get it out of my head for the life of me.

For horror I read a book called Jane Slayre by Sherri Browning Erwin (and Charlotte Brontë). Which yes, takes the classic story of Jane Eyre and throws in vampires, zombies and a werewolf. You thought Rochester's wife was crazy before, just imagine how she is with more fur and sharper teeth. The main story is still the same, and all week long I had little desire to listen to anything else beside the Jane Eyre original Broadway cast recording from 2000. Which conveniently has my vocal soul mate singing Rochester. I love this musical a lot, and it was actually my first introduction to the story. I listened to at least part of the soundtrack every day while I read the book.

For nonfiction next week I just started reading Assassination Vacation by Sarah Vowell (thanks Becky!). Vowell goes around the country researching the assassinations of Lincoln, McKinley and Garfield. Part of that, is seeing the musical Assassins by Stephen Sondheim. A musical I already love. I own the 1991 original off-Broadway cast album AND the 2004 Broadway revival. The songs were running through my head all day at work as I started the book. I know I won't be able to listen to much else this week. In fact, I am listening to "Something Just Broke" from the revival as I write this. Great song. It might be a strange topic for a musical, but those are the ones I love the most.

This is my curse. I know too many songs; I have too impressionable a brain. Is this just me? Are there other people who share any of my neuroses? Anyone? Bueller?
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Author: Autumn
•4/16/2011 08:47:00 PM
OK, I didn't post yesterday--my first missed day (and hopefully my only one). I don't follow anyone on YouTube, so you weren't missing anything. I had a very full day of working two jobs, doing homework, finishing my book and having a much-needed, well-over-an-hour phone call with one of my best friends. So there, I do not feel guilty.

I also did not plan ahead well enough to have a guest blogger. But what I have decided counts is to have past Autumn blog for me. She's a guest in my eyes. As usually only present Autumn is ever allowed to blog here. Though I have issued a standing invitation for future Autumn to guest post on here should she ever choose to visit. So, there's that. I went back in my blog archive to one of my first posts, before BEDA existed and before I met my dear BEDA buddies. I am not going to let myself edit any of the writing. This is strictly a copy and paste job. Take it away past Autumn, and thanks for the day off.

POST TITLE: Having the good grace to laugh?
ORIGINAL POST DATE: 17 February 2008, 9:48 PM CDT

I was driving home from work the other day, and somehow my thoughts strayed to laughter. I love to laugh, whatever the occasion, laughing is just fun. But more than laughing what I love is making others laugh. There is a natural high involved in hearing a sincere laugh from someone as a direct result of something I said or did.

On that note, I wouldn't really say I am a funny person — I am no comedian. The times when I try to be funny are the times I most definitely fail. I had to recognize that a big part of the reason I make people laugh is because I'm such a klutz.

I have always been an extremely awkward person. I have many good qualities and abilities and all that, but grace is one thing I have never been blessed with. It has always seemed that, physically, things that seem to come naturally to everyone else never quite do for me. Things like, well walking, playing any sport and most especially dancing. I love to watch old movie musicals with the likes of Fred Astaire, along with newer shows like "So You Think You Can Dance", and part of the reason is that I have an immense respect (and envy) for how those people seem so at ease with their own bodies.

But going back to my earlier point, this extreme lack of grace leads me into a large number of interesting situations. Not a day goes by that I don't trip on nothing, run into everything and everyone, and have something I touch fall down three or four times in a row as I try to stabilize it.

If the only laughter I elicited was from people who were laughing directly at me because of something foolish I'd done, I doubt I would feel such euphoria. But I think the fact that I have grown past the point of embarrassment and reached a place of acceptance makes all the difference.

I know I'm accident prone, and even I think it's funny. When I manage to get poked in the eye by the lid of someone's baseball cap at work, I laugh as hard as anyone else because it is funny. I mean, what are the odds?!
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Author: Autumn
•4/14/2011 05:48:00 PM
This is the easiest day of the week for blogging. Let's see, what did I love this week?
  • Packages in the mail - I got a great care package from Becky (thank you!) this week, with a few little lip glosses and other awesome stuff. I also got some new books in the mail this week. I had to pre-order City of Fallen Angels, and to get the free shipping I got three other books too, including MJ's Scarlett Fever in paperback, to match my paperback copy of Suite Scarlett.
  • I have not had as much time to read my own stuff lately because I have to get through a book a week for my readers' advisory class. But for this week I got mine finished in three days. So I am squeezing in a YA novel before the weekend, Dash & Lily's Book of Dares, which is pretty great so far.
  • Both Les Misérables and Wicked are coming to Omaha in the next month or so, so I am in the process of finding theater buddies and buying tickets.
  • I am going out East in THREE WEEKS to see my EEB! It has been a year and a half since last we laid eyes on each other, which is too long. She is already planning some amazing things for while I am there. Including a day in D.C. with her and my old roommate Audrey. The three Birthday Bitches back together again!
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 DVD will be waiting for me in the mail when I get home from work tonight according to USPS, even though it doesn't get released until tomorrow.
  • Having yummy leftovers this week from the dinner I cooked Monday.
  • Honorable mentions: fun new patterned and colored tights, pigtail braids, compliments at work, 30 Rock from the beginning, blog comments (giving and getting)
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Author: Autumn
•4/13/2011 11:56:00 PM
Brain crack ideas eh? I have one to share right now. I know I have had others, but I am just too exhausted right now. The other problem is if I don't write them down or share them, they are often gone forever. Here is the one that I can remember:

There needs to be a database online for book summaries, including spoilers. Here is why: There are a lot of books that are part of a series these days. Trilogies and sagas abound. But they come out so stinkin' far apart from each other. I read a lot of books, and my long-term memory is not at its best. By the time the next book comes out I don't remember the details of what happened in the previous books. Then I end up putting them off until I have time to reread the previous ones, which doesn't always happen. I would love to be able to go to this database and bone up on the first books so that I can jump right into the newest one without feeling lost.

So, who is ready to take up the mantle of this massive project and get started? I would suggest starting with the City of Bones series by Cassandra Clare. PLEASE! I am looking forward to rereading the first three in that series, but there are going to be six books total, and I just can't do it every time.
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Author: Autumn
•4/12/2011 10:45:00 PM
I am skipping around and blogging about this topic today because it's on my mind.

I do not cook.

I can ... sort of. But I have never had the patience, and my repertoire is extremely limited. I do have one really good meal that I can make. But it is extremely not healthy, so I don't make it often. However, I had the day off yesterday and offered to make it for the family. I even snapped a picture on Sir Percy before we ate.

The meal is called chicken pillows. I got the recipe from my sister-in-law. They are delicious. And I do everything I can to lessen how fattening they are, and I think they still taste just as awesome. So I am assuming I am supposed to give you the actual recipe right? I tried to be lazy and look it up so I could just link to it, but there are at least a dozen or so versions, so here is what I do:

The pillows are in the back bowl.
8 oz. cream cheese
5-6 chicken strips, cooked and shredded
2 packages crescent rolls
melted butter
seasoned breadcrumbs
2 cans cream of chicken soup
sour cream
(I do fat free cream cheese, sour cream and chicken soup and reduced fat crescent rolls)

Mix together the cooked chicken and the cream cheese. Place tablespoon size of mixture onto unrolled crescent rolls. Fold to make a little pillow. Roll in melted butter and then breadcrumbs. Place on cookie sheet, and bake according to crescent roll packaging.

For the sauce, mix together the sour cream and the soup in a saucepan and heat on the stove until runny. Now I usually just estimate on the sour cream, but I think my sister-in-law's recipe is 1 cup for 1 can of soup, but that is never enough gravy, so about 2 cups  for the two cans I suppose. Pour over chicken pillows. I always make it with mashed potatoes, and the gravy goes well on those as well. Then I include broccoli or another vegetable.

Man, I am almost embarrassed publishing this recipe,  it is so bad. Did I mention I cut out a bunch of butter from the original recipe? It really is just a ONCE-IN-A-WHILE treat, but so good; enjoy it sparingly. This is a double batch that makes 16 pillows. They actually reheat really well on day two.
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Author: Autumn
•4/11/2011 10:06:00 PM
Even though it is not quite 10 PM here, I cannot seem to keep my eyes open very well. So I am going to leave you with a YouTube video tonight, in lieu of a "real" post.

I quite enjoy Flight of the Conchords. They are this comedy folk duo from New Zealand (why does Zealand have a red squiggle under it? It's a country, shouldn't it be in the dictionary?). They had a TV show on HBO for two seasons, with a couple of corresponding albums:

I was first introduced to them through my former roommate Audrey, who played this song for me because someone gave her "business socks" when she got married as a joke. It is quite funny. So enjoy and goodnight.

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Author: Autumn
•4/10/2011 11:38:00 PM
One of the great things I love about music is that sometimes you hear lyrics that make you yell out "Yes! That is exactly how I feel." or "That is exactly what I believe. Thank you for putting it more eloquently than I ever could." This happens to me quite a lot, especially as I listen to a lot of musicals, and there is almost always a story behind those songs.

A lot of my favorite moments like those have been with lyrics written by Stephen Sondheim. I love everything he has done that I have heard so far. I have simple tastes; I am not cultured enough to understand the complexities of what he writes. All I know is whether or not I love how it sounds and what the words say. And with him, I do love it. I recently got my hands on an album of his called Sondheim on Sondheim, which is from a small revue show that ran for three months on Broadway in 2010. The show goes through his songs, some famous and some that did not make it into the final versions, and in between are recordings of Sondheim talking about his life and about the shows.

My "Yes!" moment this time actually happened during one of the spoken segments of the CD. He said:
My first serious relationship occurred when I was 60 years old, when I fell in love. And I think it didn't happen until then because I wasn't open for it; I wasn't ready for it. I was brought up as an only child; I enjoyed being an only child. I enjoyed being alone; I still enjoy often being alone. But I think I had gotten in the habit of it, and when I met somebody the habit got broken.
Other than the part about being an only child, I could see myself saying this in 30 years. I have never been in love. I have never even come close, and sometimes I do not think I ever will. It does not feel like me. The idea that someone else will always be there has never sit comfortably with me. I truly enjoy/prefer spending a good portion of my time alone. Not all, I do need my people time, but often.

I fear I am not explaining myself very well. My point is that often I let myself get caught up in measuring my life by other people's time lines, even though it doesn't match what I want. I am 26 and based on the culture I grew up in I should be married with 1-2 babies by now, right? No! Because I am not ready for it yet! I might not be for several more decades. And if that works for me, then who cares? This has been in my head ever since my first listen of that CD, and now it is OFF MY CHEST. Mission accomplished.
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Author: Autumn
•4/09/2011 11:54:00 PM
I am 100% cheating and setting the post date retroactively so it says I posted April 9th. I did not though. Why? I completely spaced it. I thought about it at work, but not once did it enter my mind once I got home.

I wanted to do a photo essay showing my beautiful new living quarters, but they aren't quite done yet, so I am going to do that later. And as much as I love this prompt, that was my only idea.

Instead I will leave you with a picture of part of one of my bookcases. The top shelf is my YA to-be-read shelf, which is books I own that I haven't read yet. THIS IS EXACTLY WHY I NEED TO STOP BUYING BOOKS!  Oh, and I also have an adult to-be-read shelf. AND I have three more in the mail on their way. I have problems.
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Author: Autumn
•4/08/2011 11:11:00 PM
Follow me!
So I browsed through my Google Reader to see what I was in the mood to recommend to you. I am not even going to mention blogs I have talked about before or already introduced to friends. I've picked two blogs I follow to share with you.

Smart Pretty and Awkward
This is a recent discovery of mine that I quite like. The posts are short and sweet: each one includes a tip/link to make you smarter, one to make you prettier and one to make you (less) awkward. They're always sweet and interesting, and occasionally their suggestions really make you think.

A Librarian's Guide to Etiquette
This is another short one, really short, each post is usually 2-3 sentences. They can be quite hilarious. Some you might only find funny if you are a librarian, but others will make anyone laugh. Definitely worth checking out.

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Author: Autumn
•4/07/2011 04:33:00 PM
Big green heart blob = spinach pasta dough
Wait, where did we get this meme idea from? I don't know who to attribute this to. Oh well, I'm too tired right now to look it up ... next time.

Here's some love I felt this past week:
  • buying books for friends and tracking their shipping progress online
  • the best turkey burger ever at Red Robin this weekend with a new friend
  • said burger was followed by a wonderful college production of Into the Woods at Creighton University
  • hearing friends (that's you Micki) tell me they have started following my blog and are actually enjoying it
  • LIBRARY BOOK SALE! (volunteering and browsing)
  • hearing my EEB's plans for my trip to visit her next month - Oh the anticipation!
  • feeling happy ... with myself and with my life
  • succeeding with my basic knowledge of HTML
  • my beautiful new room and my gorgeous purple closet
  • finishing my blog post before 11 PM!
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Author: Autumn
•4/06/2011 10:33:00 PM
My first gif (thanks to Christina). I hope it's not too annoying.
We all know by now that my idea of the best in live entertainment will always be live musical theater. I do enjoy regular theater too, but I prefer to have the singing. I don't go to many music concerts. I've seen Ingrid Michaelson live three times with my EEB, and other random things here and there.

So instead I will mention some of my performance pet peeves. This has been on my mind anyway because I saw several of them in action at performances last week.
  • Coming in late, getting up during a performance and generally moving when you should be sitting.
  • Talking during the show and whispering "What?" really loudly when you don't catch something.
  • Cell phones - we get reminded to turn them off before every show. And invariably someone's always goes off about 20 minutes in. And then they never shut it off immediately, but just let it ring. At Next to Normal a couple weeks ago with Becky this woman near us answered her phone, and thought covering it with her jacket was good enough. IT WAS NOT GOOD ENOUGH.
  • Being tall - There isn't much you can do about this one, but stop it already with the good posture!
  • Leaving early- I witnessed this in full force last week when I saw the national tour of Young Frankenstein with my dad. It REALLY bugs me. A LOT. I mean, the entire cast just gave you their all for two plus hours, not to mention the time they put in beforehand. So sit your ass back in your chair and give them the 5 minutes worth of applause that is the least they deserve. Come on!
  • Standing ovations - I am going to try to not get carried away now. Standing ovations are supposed to be special. You are already telling the cast you thought they did well by clapping. But I think most people just assume they should stand at the end of every show. This diminishes the honor of a standing ovation. I give them when well deserved for a great show or outstanding performance. I hate when everyone stands at the end of a good show. The worst part is when I can't see because everyone else is on their feet, so I become an involuntary part of the ovation. Drives me nuts.
It's common courtesy and respect. Thus endeth my ranting. That wasn't too long right?
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    Author: Autumn
    •4/05/2011 10:33:00 PM
    Well, first off I would have to start with some research, seeing as I have never purchased a lottery ticket before. But I have been tempted to buy them, so I do have thoughts on what I would do.

    First and foremost I would pay off all my debt, then I would set aside enough to cover the rest of grad school. I would definitely forgive any debts owed to me. I would like to create college funds for my seven nieces and nephews. Then I would spread some money love around among my family and friends. I would give a bunch away  to charity. I know everyone says that, and I am too selfish to give it all away I freely admit that, but with that much money how can you not do something good with part of it? I know I would give some to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and to Shelterbox (a new one I discovered thanks to Maureen), but I would have to do some research to decide where else to donate. And to be really boring I would invest/save a very large chunk of it.

    Now the list of possible frivolous things I would like to do:
    • A big trip to New York City would be in order. I have been there several times, but this would be in style, staying at the Plaza one night or something like that. I would see every show (the ones that appealed to me) that was playing there at least once.
    • I would love to make a list of all the national Broadway tours and local community theater productions over a month or two and do a ginormous road trip around the country just going wherever the shows are.
    • I would buy every cast album I don't own yet that I have ever wanted or even heard in passing.
    • I would finally make it to France and Italy, and a whole crap ton of other places.
    • I would take each of my two best friends, Chelsea & my EEB, on a trip wherever they wanted to go, all expenses paid.
    • I would like to buy a house, but it all depends on when this big win happens. I don't want to live in Omaha, but I am here for the next two years or so. After that though ... wherever I end up I would buy a house, not big 'cause I don't need it, but cute and stuff. The biggest room in the house would be the library.
    • I would pay whatever it cost to create the most beautiful library in my home,with floor to ceiling shelves, tons of interesting reading nooks. And at least one ladder ... there has to be a ladder ... with wheels.
    • Then I would fill it with all the books I've read or could ever want to read (though I already have a good jump on that part).
    And ... that's all I have right now. You can tell where my interests lie. Maybe I will add to this later as I think of stuff, but I think this is a pretty damn good start.
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    Author: Autumn
    •4/04/2011 08:45:00 PM
    I think it was Nicola who asked me for an update on my dessert-free year. I will happily oblige, but there is really nothing to report. I have made it three months now without dessert, which matches the longest I've gone before. No mess ups, no close calls, no insane withdrawal symptoms. I have moments of sadness when I see something I love, but that's it. 9 months to go! Go here if you don't know what I am talking about.

    Tonight I decided to write about something that happened several months ago, but I never blogged about it. I want to get the memory down before it's gone.

    Now everyone knows I am somewhat a fan of musicals. I love live musical theater, and I will always remember that my first show was The Phantom of the Opera in New York City with my dad when I was 15. I also love movie musicals, especially from the '40s and '50s, and I will always remember that the first one I ever saw was Singin' in the Rain on Turner Classic Movies (no clue how old I was).

    On November 5, 2010, I had the good fortune of attending a special screening of Singin' in the Rain with my coworker Nancy at the Joslyn Art Museum here in Omaha. The highlight of the event was the presence of the film's female lead, Debbie Reynolds! She spoke before the film and signed autographs afterward. That movie was released in 1952; Reynolds was only 17 or 18 when she filmed it, and she is now in her late 70s. That woman is still going strong. She was so vibrant and energetic on stage before the film, and told us some really funny stories about filming the movie and other aspects of her career.

    The experience of watching the movie was pretty wonderful as well. I am not the biggest fan of watching movies in movie theaters because I find the audience irritating and distracting. But every now and then you get the right movie with the right audience, and it comes a community experience. I was not just watching that movie next to a bunch of strangers, I was watching it with a group of people who love it as much as I do. We all laughed together as different scenes took on new meaning after Reynolds' accounts of what was happening off camera. It was wonderful.

    Afterward, I waited in line for about an hour to see Ms. Reynolds and have her sign my DVD cover (Because of course I already owned it on DVD!). I felt a little guilty because by the time we got to her, she was obviously exhausted, but she signed my DVD and took a picture with us. I think I said thank you for coming or something like that. They are so desensitized to people gushing over them, and I did not want to be a gusher anyway.

    It was such a wonderful experience, and one not likely to happen to me again. It is rather sad that all the stars I truly look up to and idolize are all either octogenarians or dead now. I was born at the wrong time.

    It's a bit dark, but I've forgotten all my Photoshop skills, so dark it stays.
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    Author: Autumn
    •4/03/2011 11:03:00 PM

    I have done more than one crush post on this blog already, including this one during BEDA last year. I don't want to write about romantic people crushes, because there haven't been any new ones in the last year. So I thought I would write about other types of crushes I have had.
    • I have a crush on the Italian language; I think it is beautiful. Even though it would serve no practical purpose in my life, I want to learn it so badly. Even if all it means is that I will understand a lot more songs.
    • I have a crush on the old Disney paper dolls. I loved them when I was a kid, and I am sad they don't make them anymore. A couple of years ago I got it into my head to buy some on eBay: Pocahontas, Aladdin, Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast. I punched out all the dolls and clothes as soon as I got them, but now I don't know what to do with them. I was thinking of laminating them all so I could let my nieces play with them when I see them, but it's an ambitious project. I also have Pride and Prejudice paper dolls, but those I have to cut out - so I haven't.
    • I have a crush on my new purple wall and closet. The color turned out way better than I could have hoped. Once I get everything set up and my stuff on the walls, I will post pictures of my new room.
    • I have a major crush right now on the muffins at Scooter's. I allow myself one a week, with a hot chocolate. I don't know which is more delicious: the blueberry or the lemon berry.
    • I have a crush Goodreads. I don't know how I survived without it. I get on it more than I get on Facebook or Twitter. I love adding to my to-read list and organizing what I have read by year and into categories. I love having friends whose taste I trust so I can see what they're reading.
    • I have a crush on Sir Percy, my iPhone. I was patient; I bided my time until they came to Verizon. But I did not waste time once they did (which happily coincided with my tax refund). Sometimes when something seems so great, the reality is never as wonderful. But Sir Percy and I are still on an extended honeymoon and I am very happy.
    • And really, I have a crush on my friends. I am not pleased with any of them for not living near me, but it must be overlooked. They are so great and I constantly feel so blessed, whether I met them in a classroom in college, a newspaper office or an online challenge I joined on a whim.
    Links to this post
    Author: Autumn
    •4/02/2011 11:05:00 PM
    Finished my paper
    Lack of focus, wasted time
    Sore eyes need to sleep

    Library book sale
    Selling books, smile, "Here's your change"
    Volunteered my time

    Saw Into the Woods
    Sondheim, a bloody genius
    Baker's wife stole show
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    Author: Autumn
    •4/01/2011 08:42:00 PM

    letter B letter E letter D letter A
    That's right folks, it's that time again. Today is April 1st, which means it's time for BEDA (Blog Every Day April)!!

    If you already know me, you have heard me mention BEDA and my amazing BEDA buddies (Becky, Christina and Nicola). I don't want to rehash all that, but here are my explanatory posts from the original BEDA and BEDA the 2nd.

    We did an introduction questionnaire last year, which I almost did again, but Becky did something really fun on her blog and gave statistical information about herself - by the numbers. I would love to blatantly steal it, but I decided to only sort of steal it and focus mine on the alphabet.

    So if I can get through them all, here are 26 things to know about me (We should really adopt a smaller alphabet):
    • Autumn Lee Hill (that's me)
    • Blogging has been hard for me, especially lately, but I want to write all 30 days this year, as during BEDA the 2nd I only posted half the days.
    • Communications is what I got my bachelor's degree in, specifically print journalism, which I loved getting but have never used.
    • Desserts are out of my diet for all of 2011. Why? Because I am crazy. Three months down, nine to go.
    • Editing is my favorite part about journalism, I have always preferred fixing other people's writing to doing my own.
    • Freaking awesome (as described by my coworker Trevor, though he suggested a different 'F' word)
    • Graduate school is what i am focusing on right now. I am only in my second semester, so two more years to go!
    • Homework is very easily avoided while writing a blog instead, as this proves.
    • Ingrid Michaelson is one of my favorite music artists, introduced to me by one of my best friends, SEJL, who is participating in BEDA for the first time this year! I have seen her live three times (Ingrid that is, I've seen SEJL live more than I can count).
    • Jobs: I have two part-time jobs (sort of three) that keep me busy about 50 hours a week.
    • Knowledgable (as described by my boss Jennifer, which is good to know. She said the only thing I didn't know was what Juneteenth was, but now I know that too.)
    • Librarian will someday be my job title. That is what I am going to school for and where I have found a home.
    • Musicals are my passion/obsession. I am a huge Broadway geek, going to shows every chance I get. I own just over 130 cast albums, which I happily share with friends.
    • Nincompoop: the one word guaranteed to make me giggle each and every time I hear/say it.
    • Omaha, Nebraska = home for the moment. But only until I finish school, then who knows!
    • Procrastination = my specialty/curse. I am so deadline-oriented that I often can't accomplish anything without a deadline looming over me.
    • Quirky (as described by my coworker Ashley, but I think it fits).
    • Reading takes up a great deal of my spare time, and like many people my age and nearly all of my friends, about 75% of what I read is young adult literature.
    • Soliciting words from other people was the only way I was going to get through 26 letters today; I am not sorry.
    • Twitter handle: autumnLEEves. Somedays I tweet too much and others not at all, but it's my favorite way to keep track of my BEDA buddies.
    • Unshelved = a great and funny library-centered comic that you should take a look at.
    • Very very tired after working 11 hours today, which is why I am about to cheat on the next one.
    • Wicked eXtraordinaire (as described by my sister Lindy) She is thinking of the musical, which I have seen four times in three cities in two countries.
    • Years old: 26
    • Zootool replaced Delicious as my online bookmarking tool recently. I am still adjusting, but so far I love it.
    OK, that was actually fun and not as hard as I thought it would be -- until tomorrow universe.
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