Wednesday, September 08, 2010

My acting monologue

I wrote this monologue recently to perform at an acting class.  It tries and fails miserably to explain why I'm so driven to act.  Fails because I still haven't really figured it out myself!

I have always wanted to act.  Of course, when I was a kid I thought of it as wanting to "be an actress."  My mom tells me when I was little and my parents would have friends over I would run into my room, put on my flounciest little dress, and run back out to twirl in front of them.  You know, so my skirt would go out in a big circle.  [grins]  And they'd laugh, and clap, and that would just set me off on another round of spinning, until my parents would tell me that was enough. 

 I remember watching Marilyn Monroe and saying to myself, "I'm going to be an actress.  But I'll be prettier than her."  [laughs] I thought she had funny eyebrows.  [laughs again]

But I never did it, until about 5 years ago.  A friend gave me a part in a play she was doing. She says she created a monster.  And now you just can't stop me.  I've done tons of shows --- some better than others -- but I just have to act.  I don't know what it is about acting that is so vital to me.  I've thought about it a lot.  The whole process of becoming another person, figuring out what makes her tick, working with other actors and a director to shape who that person is and what she's after and how she responds, digging deeper with each rehearsal, learning to love even the unattractive ones … it is just so compelling.  And I'm driven to learn more, to get better at it, to deliver a performance that touches people in some way.  I want audiences to leave the theater feeling they've been touched by something special, something that engages their hearts and minds and that they can't quite shake off.

I want to burn bright.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Buddy's journey

The Huz and I have agreed to foster this sweet little dog, with the intention of adopting him if he fits well into our home. We'd originally thought we would have him by Wednesday the 26th, but now it looks as if we have to wait till Saturday the 29th. It's a win-win situation for us both, though. He gets to be in a foster home in Tennessee for a week, and we get to learn from them what to expect so we can prepare. And I've got a clear calendar for the following week so we can spend some quality bonding time together.

As a stray, the name he was assigned was Cuddly. We thought that was kind of a barfy name for a dog, so we're calling him Buddy. At least that way people may have a clue that he's a boy. Poor Simba was always mistaken for a girl!

Here's what we know of his journey so far.

From: Sherrie
Sent: Wednesday, May 19, 2010 11:53 AM
To: Annie
Subject: Re: Cuddly SF aka Caddy SF app - no deposit

Hi Annie - This little fellow is as cute as they get! He has the look of a puppy, but he is a full grown adult at 13 pounds and 2 years old. He reminds meof a teddie bear. His build is a bit stockier than a full Pomeranian.

Cuddly / Caddy came into the shelter as a stray on 5/3. He had already been neutered (which is something that we don't see here that much with incoming dogs to the shelters). Also, he had been microchipped. We can only wonder why he was running stray and why an owner failed to claim him. He must have been loved and cared for at some point in his young life.

A plea went out to the rescue groups from the shelter to help this boy. They had labeled him as "scared". A shelter (even the better ones) is a horrible place for a dog. It is very stressful for most all of them. The shelter made the decision not to place him onthe adoption floor for the public to view. I would be speculating to guess how he might have behaved.......perhaps withdrawn or cowering in a corner (?)

I pulled him for rescue last Saturday (5/15). He rode very quietly in his kennel cab on the hour drive back. I had my own male dog with me who sat bedside him. I never heard the first grumble or growl from either of them. When I got to the kennel, it was already closed......but I had been given instructions on how to get in and which kennel was designated for him. Cuddly / Caddy walked very well on a leash for me a long distance down the outside of both kennel buildings. When we got inside, with all the dogs barking.......he continued to follow me and didn't run up to any of them.

I wish I knew more to tell you about him. It just wasn't possible for me to have him here to foster at my house this week (running too full). And, I'm running so far behind here that there really hasn't been time to go to the boarding kennel for me to visit with him. The only other thing I can think of right off hand.......his coat is pretty light tan / cream color and thick. It looked like someone may have took scissors to it at one time (not a professional grooming job). He is gorgeous though.......just cuter than you can even imagine. - Sherrie

From: Sherrie

Sent: Thursday, May 20, 2010 3:17 PM

To: Annie

Subject: Evaluation of Cuddly SF aka Caddy SF

Hi Annie,
Please share this update and pictures with Pat who is planning on foster to adopt. I spent about 30 minutes with Caddy at the kennel today. He's a good boy! Never once did he snap at me or even so much as growl. He walked fine on the leash and really enjoyed being out in the yard away from the kennel. He is playful and jumped up on my legs, got in my lap, and let me handle him all over. When I first took him out, there was a male English Bulldog and a Yorkie on the front porch who belong to the kennel owner. He didn't seem to care about them at all and just sniffed and walked on past.
I can see how he would have been very scared in a shelter situation. He did not voluntarily come to me in his kennel today (even though I had a piece of cheese that he was interested in). I had to close the door to the outside run part and go in to get him. He showed no aggression at all, he was just apprehensive. Once outdoors though, he was fine with me. I even gave him a bellyrub at one point :-)

He just needs some TLC and time to adjust and to trust. Some dogs are more afraid than others in a kennel or a shelter situation. Transport may be more stressful for him than for some of the others. I was very pleased with what I saw in him today and how receptive that he was to me once outside of the kennel. I have attached a picture of his kennel which has a large outside run that you can't make out in the picture (he's got plenty of room and it is super clean). But.....the barking of the other dogs and just that type of environment is making him cautious and uneasy. He should do fine once in a quiet home setting. -


P.S. - I think he looks like a little bear cub. One cute little fellow!

At 10:25 PM 5/21/2010, Sherrie wrote:

Jeff did not take Cuddly......not even one open kennel space for him. He told me if he had known earlier that he could have sent him on the van that started back way ahead of him. I will foster Cuddly here at my house for the upcoming week to save you the expense of boarding and to help him too.

Annie, please let Pat know that Cuddly isn't coming up until next weekend. I hope she is not too disappointed. On a positive note, it will be good for me to work with him this week. I saw a major improvement in him at the kennel this afternoon. I believe he remembered me from his playtime yesterday. He greeted me and came right to the kennel gate and out for me to get him. He was excellent coming back from Knoxville in the car and loving a rawhide bone.

From: Sherrie
Date: Sat, May 22, 2010 at 11:49 AM
Subject: Re: Cuddly

Hi Pat - I like Buddy much better and will start calling him that. He did fine last night in his kennel crate and ate most of his breakfast this morning. I didn't put him out in the fenced area for playtime though because I want to take my time in introducing him to the other dogs. Also, he has a lot of hair and it does get hot and humid here. I will take very good care of him for you. I believe you will really like him. It was amazing how he came to me voluntarily at the kennel yesterday without having to go in to get him. I truly believe he remembered out playtime from the day before and knew to trust me. He walks great on a leash. I will be taking him out several times today. He is in a kennel crate right now. - Sherrie

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Roasted Spicy Cauliflower

I'm revisiting an old favorite recipe today, originally posted here by Kalyn of Kalyn's Kitchen fame (and I do mean fame, that woman's a one-person industry!) I recently found some gorgeous heads of cauliflower at our local produce market. We're so lucky to have a market specializing in produce, considering the low population density of our area. They price things just under what all the supermarkets are selling them at, and often quite a bit lower, and they have such amazing turnover that everything is fresh and beautiful.

Anyway, I was making a veggie platter with a creamy collard greens dip (only 100 calories per quarter cup, I need to blog that one too!) so I picked up an extra head for roasting. This recipe transforms cauliflower haters into ga-ga cauliflower fans. And fully roasted, the pieces keep beautifully for days in the fridge, making them a go-to recipe for those times when I'm not going to be home to cook much and The Huz is on a veggie kick.

I reprint the recipe here in the spirit of ensuring that it never disappears from the web. It's quick and easy (those famous two lies, but it's true!) and I really encourage you to give it a try.

The one suggestion I might make is that over-cooking the cauliflower may be the best thing you can do. Try it and see if you don't enjoy the extra caramelization that results.


Roasted Spicy Cauliflower

(About 4 servings, recipe from The South Beach Diet Quick and Easy Cookbook)

1 large head cauliflower, cored and cut into florets
2 T extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp. red pepper flakes (I used Aleppo pepper)
pinch salt
fresh ground black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 F. Placed cut up cauliflower, olive oil, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper into mixing bowl and stir well to combine and coat cauliflower with oil and red pepper. Arrange in single layer on heavy baking sheet or baking dish. Roast until softened and golden brown, 25-30 minutes. Serve hot.