Friday, November 21, 2014

What exactly is the [one-hundred-and-forty] point [six]?

Oh, Lordy. Here we go again, y'all.

Y'all? Hello-O-o!

Ya still with me?

I know, I know, I'm a spazz. I write ten posts in a row, then one a month...

Give mama a little slack, you know you've been busy too!

With what, exactly, I couldn't tell ya. The time just...goes!

I think that if you have ever been unemployed, in a similar mommy situation, where you actually do have time to yourself during the day, you will find, like, me, that you give your time away. You commit to school, and to the kids' schedules, and to the hubby's needs, and extended family members and neighbors and charities until you realize...wait a sec...

WHO'S GONNA DO THE FREAKIN' DISHES!? 

So anywho, I need a anchor. I have been submitting my 'normal person' resume out and interviewing here and there; I have been running here and there; and I have been sewing here and there. But I really need another meaningful project, to harken back to my year-long pursuit, to buckle me down and focus.

So, that combined with the facts that:

  • hubby is tired of hearing me talk about the pros and cons
  • a new race has open registration slots within only two hours driving distance
  • I have no more excuses
  • I had promised myself, at one point, to do this before I turned 40
  • I am not yet 40
  • life goes more smoothly for everyone when mama has a goal race
  • it's there
I SIGNED UP FOR IRONMAN MARYLAND 
OCTOBER 3, 2015. 


There. I said it. 

Why am I saying it now??

Well, I just did signed up for it. I was gonna wait to announce it after the start of the New Year when I would actually start to plan my training, but I already can't stop thinking about that. And there aren't a whole helluva lot of people holding their breath waiting for the announcement, anyways. 

And today I hit the Philadelphia Marathon Expo [so pissed I didn't train for the full now], realized I didn't train well for the half, but I have to get my butt in gear to start this new year of training off well. So I want to make myself accountable for that. So I had to tell you.

What's going to be different this time: 
  • I have to run a marathon this Spring
  • I have to ride a century late Spring/early summer
  • I need to get a coach/community [I have notified my inner circle support 'team']
  • I need to get a plan and STICK TO IT
  • I will be training a sherpa [hubby thinks it's him, doesn't know he's on a probationary trial period.]
That's all for now.


-Gulp-

[Help!]

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Animal kingdom

I, first of all, have to reveal that, in the end, my daughter chose to be a witch all-damn-day instead of ever gracing us with her home-made Elsa costume. Such is life!

 
Next year she will be getting a store-bought costume ;).
(And yes, we did have a great Halloween.)

And now to Animal Kingdom report! 


Quick & Dirty:
  • It's the largest of the parks, so there is a lot of walking. My almost-six-year-olds needed a stroller, even though I was originally against it.
  • It's not really about the rides, duh. It's about the animals! 
  • What rides they do have, are mostly for taller kids (44" and above.) 
  • DON'T. MISS. THE SHOWS!
Long & Winded: 

This was a great family day! We really had little planning and therefore little expectations, so I ended up framing our day with three "fast-pass" choices late the night before: 

"Finding Nemo" the musical at 11; (arrive at 10:30 for seating.)
"Safari" tour departing between 1:30 and 2:30 (we arrived right around 1:30 and the animals were still out and about, as it was not too hot that day.)
"Festival of the Lion King" musical revue and dance/gymnastics show at 4. My performer-friend is the star of the show and HOOKED US UP with VIP seating/entrance and photo meet & greet after the show. All those years of voice lessons finally paid off ;) 

Other than that, we ran around (counter-clockwise, so as to end up at The Festival of the Lion King) and enjoyed what the park had to offer. 

Bonus: lots of good vegetarian eats in Asia. I had chicken curry and my parents had falafal sandwiches with a great view in the seating area directly across from the Tree of Life. 



Ok I'll try to go in order and let the pictures do the talking.


First is Dino-land. There is a dumbo-like flying ride where the kids can control how far up you go. Bonus: controls in both seats (front and back.) 
Detraction: one controls the up-and-down, the other only controls the tilt. 
Result: Jilted twyns.

Next in Dino-land is an excavation-like site with tunnels, bridges, and slides. Also a sand-digging area. Lots of fun for exploration, especially at ages 5/6.

Next we saw Finding Nemo. SO great! They use larger-than-life puppetry a la the Broadway show "The Lion King." Not to be missed. Because we used a fast pass we were able to sit in the "bubble zone", where they float bubbles at you at the end of the show, but it is not necessary to enjoy the whole thing. 


Next up: A walk through Asia! It was a little tight because of the crowds and they are doing some construction, so I have to say it felt pretty authentic!! ;) 

There is a great jungle walk here with more animal sightings. Think: Zoo on steroids.

Then the Safari ride. 

These vehicles were huge! And yet still felt like you were actually on Safari a little. It was nice that they didn't have a set script or schedule to follow. The driver actually stopped and helped us find the animals in many non-pre-determined spots. 

The twyns enjoyed the list of animals to find on the placards above the seats. 



Rhinos!!
Requisite new loveys courtesy of, you guessed it, Grandma! 

And then finally: the denouement! 

The Festival of the Lion King show. They pulled the little guy up to perform!! He was thrilled. 


Please note: you can take photos during the performance of the Festival of the Lion King. But this is not typical of shows. Don't go thinking you can do it anywhere else! Normally it is prohibited, and you will might kill a performer taking a leap off of a trapeze, k?! 

Then: the meet and greet afterwards. I was so humbled by Tim's performance. There are four main singers who lead the revue, and then the dancers and gymnasts pepper the rest of the performance. He was awesome, and his voice has not lost any of its magnificence in all these years! 
It was super nice of Timone to stay 'out' in this heat for us.

Ahhhh, that face. So I was fortunate enough to work with Tim many years ago on a show at North Shore Theatre outside of Boston. I was even more fortunate that we have stayed in touch for over 12 years! Thanks, Facebook! And it was super duper lovely of him to give us the V.I.P. treatment at his show. 

It was such a highlight, we had to leave directly afterwards. We had a few more things we could have done, but we were so blown away by the show and his generosity. 

Hope you enjoyed the continuation of my Disney freak-outs

More posts I owe you: 

Um, I'm running the Philly half-marathon on Sunday. 
I'm still working on that musical with Sibyl.
I may or may have not signed up for something HUGE.
I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up. 

LOVE YA! 

HAPPY HUMP DAY!! 



Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Legoland

Let's play, "find the twyns" ;) 
So, I think I have a sickness. Being from Florida, I seem to think that you can do Disney in a day.

I mean, not that you can, but that you don't have to do an overwhelming all-encompassing tour of all the lands for days on end every time you hit the MCO. I spent my childhood only hitting the area one day a year.

I like the 'mini-trip'!

So when hubby had a hankering, and the kids had a day off from school, we decided to go for one. We hadn't gotten a Disney fix in, oh, say, OVER A YEAR [gasp!] so we just needed a lil' ol' itty bitty fix. Just a lil'.

And since we didn't plan all that much, and this was just a kind of bonus, we decided to try two completely new [to us] parks: Legoland, and Animal Kingdom.

I'll start with Legoland.

First, we are in FULL ON lego "I-want-to-be-a-lego-master-builder-when-I-grow-up" phase. So this was a no-brainer. We read a lot of reports online, [ok ok I read a lot of mommy blogs online] and heard that it is a smaller park and we may be through the whole thing in under a few hours.

But we actually started running out of time towards the end of the day!

We did a few coasters, 
(Most rides are good for 42" and over. We were only too short for one.)

hit a "4-D" movie experience in the theatre,


and all of a sudden it was lunch. 

But we pushed through to enjoy Mini-land, and WHOAH, we could have browsed around there for a long long while.

There are amazing feats of brick-buiding, 
But there are also interactive / moveable parts! 
And the city-scapes, TO DIE.
EVERYTHING WAS AWESOME! 


Sorry. You knew I was going to say that at some point in this post.

So then we ate lunch at the Market Cafe back at the entrance of the park, and we had a delicious set of teriyaki beef rice bowls. Not that bad for amusement park food. My parents are vegetarians and were able to get a veggie rice bowl and grilled cheese and were satiated.

My son was marveling at the Tower ride, which is an old-school ride that goes up and slowly rotates so that you get a view of lovely Winter Park, and I then had it in my head that the water ski/pirate show would be amaze-balls.

Welllllllll.....that's when my husband started to poison my brain about the clearly "formerly Cypress Gardens features" and the "all new Lego-organization-built amusements." He said we should stick with the latter, and I, upon sitting down at the Pirate show, immediately realized the error of my ways and proceeded to ask the children every five minutes if they were ready to go get their Driver's Licenses. Finally, about five minutes before the end of the show, they were ready. So we bolted to avoid the crowds.

Except for stopping at every Lego built display.
Even though I was like, 'Come on let's go', because I soon realized
Oh wait. This is like, the whole point. 
And actually, speaking of crowds, there really were none. This is the beauty of a weekday after the water park section of Legoland had closed. We had it mostly to ourselves and never waited more than five minutes for a ride.

The driver's license area (we did the older area, as we are turning 6 next month), and the Imagination Station area were SUPER entertaining. Very well done.
This 'ride' is not to be missed! The twyns took their driving test very seriously.
They made their own cars and raced them in the Imagination area.
They could have stayed in this indoor section all day.
Then to shopping.

Too overwhelming.

And buh-bye! Thanks for the fun & inspiration!

My son woke up the next day, and after hearing the description of Animal Kingdom and the things we were going to do that day, asked: "When are we going back to Legoland?"

So there you have it ;) Out of the mouth of brick-crazy babes.

Next post: Animal Kingdom! 

And we thank you for your patience. ;) 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Frozen costume add-ons: Halloween post!

So every Halloween I post about the twyns' various outfits and adventures, and for this year, we have a cliffhanger! 

As you know I spent a lot of time on an Elsa costume. But what you may not know, if you haven't been following me on Facebook, is that I also, on request, spent a tiny amount of time on a witch costume. (We are talking - 3 full days of time for Elsa, 3 full hours for Witch.) 


Let's watch and see which she picks for trick-or-treating. 

We also have the Halloween parade at school, which is why I indulged her Witch wish, because I think it will be much easier to play all day in. 

I also spent some time making some Frozen-themed extras for a twin mommy friend of mine's children. She has three, so they will be Elsa (older daughter), Anna & Kristoff (younger boy/girl twins.) ISN'T THAT JUST AN ADORBS IDEA!?! TOO CUTE! 

Can't. stand. the cuteness. 

Anyways she asked for a 'longer train' for her store-bought Elsa costume. So I used the cape part of the pattern from my daughter's Anna/Elsa package. I got a sheer fabric, did not line it (saved time & money!) and added a jeweled button. You could cut this in an hour and, if you are making this last minute, don't even hem it! It took about a yard and a half, depending on height. 
Frozen cape/extended train options
I actually gave her a choice of two - a glittery white fabric that also didn't need to be lined, and the sheer. She chose the sheer. 

A Kristoff is born!
She also asked me for some kind of 'vest' for Kristoff. I thought this sounded like a perfect idea - who needs an entire costume when you can just pull over some kind of animal-skin looking fabric and attach a reddish/orange-ish belt? I took a 3T sweater vest of my son's and used the pattern to cut the bodice of this vest. Then, I took it one step further by attaching the half-circle hip sections and cap sleeves at the shoulder (got that idea from this blogger.) To make it really authentic, I attached the seams facing out , so that you would see the fur underneath. This is actually a super easy sewing technique that made it look even furrier and more authentic. I hand-sewed the trim around the neck, but you could also just leave it off or attach it with fusible for the night if you are stuck for time! 
Finished pieces. 

We have actually already had a lot of Halloween fun around here, including a party at school, in which the twyns won "Cutest Costume" for being the "Pirate twins." They wore their Disney Cruise costumes and, I must say, did look pretty put-together. 


After my daughter complained about the shoulder seam itching her, I finally took my bestie's advice and had my daughter wear a long-sleeved leotard underneath. Lord knows we don't need it for ballet class anymore...sniff...anyways, this brought about a much more happy side of Elsa. 

There you have it! Hope it helps you get your Frozen on this Halloween! 

Another friend suggested a Halloween drinking game - a sip for every Elsa you see - 
now this - THIS is a good idea...;) 


Thursday, October 16, 2014

Audition report #6

Whew! It's been a while since my last audition report, hasn't it? It's been hard for me to find that perfect balance of a production that's not too far from home, has a role for me, and isn't smack dab in the middle of a quarter end. 

Yes, I think we live our lives quarter end to quarter end. Hubby informs me that not only are we celebrating our tenth year of marriage, but this is also our twenty-fifth quarter end. Woop.

So I digress. This show hit the mark, and I hadn't introduced myself to this theatre yet. So it was time for them to hear the vocal stylings of the one, the only, TwynMawrMom. 


So, somewhere in my closet, out came THIS. My lucky shoes, no doubt, but also some kind of 50's getup. And the mom cardigan, cuz, you know, it hides my arm flab. 

The show was Always...Patsy Cline...and I emailed them I would be auditioning for the role of the best friend because, I figured, there are probably a lot of Patsy Cline-wannabe's out there who have actually studied her voice, music, look, and...I'm: not one of them. 

So they emailed me three sides and three songs from which to choose one of each. 

I chose the sequence/side that led into the song "I Fall to Pieces" because it had that nice low note in it, which shows a nice side to my voice. Not that I don't have many awesome sides to my voice, wink wink, toot toot, but you know, mama's always got the low notes, even though the High C and I broke up, like, 13 years ago. 

I drove to Bristol, PA, which is a super cute town. It has a river crossing that looks restored from the 1600's and it's just adorable. The theater rehearsal space, however, was a super modern warehouse-looking thing in the middle of some historic houses, so I missed it on my first pass. 

When I got inside there were two girls there who both sang Patsy songs and nothing more. So clearly they were just going for the Patsy role, not the best friend. I think in the play, the character of Patsy does most of the singing and the best friend, Louise, does most of the talking. Note to young auditionees: go ahead and audition for the part with the meatiest audition material. You could have done a monologue on top of your song, and showed more of your talent to this theater/producer/casting agent in the process. Do a little research! You have YouTube, you have: no excuse. Yes, you might not be old enough for the best friend, but do you really look like Patsy Cline? So, there ya go.

I heard them both sing and they both sounded very lovely. The pianist corrected each of them on a phrasing and had them each re-sing a part. These were two separate auditions, so I was starting to see if this was a pattern that I might need to prepare for. But when I went in, I told them I chose the selection and song sequence together and they (the casting director and pianist/music director) acknowledged that was a good plan. I started the monologue and she asked me to stop and start again further back from her. She said I was 'too on top of her and she couldn't assess my talent at all.' So I tried not to let it affect my focus and got to the back of the room to start again. I do have a loud voice, and the sound was bouncing off the walls quite a bit so it made sense to pull back. Then I started directly into the song with a side nod to the pianist. I thought it sounded great. He said it sounded great, and did not correct me. So I don't know what that means - was my singing really that spot on the money, or did they just need to make sure I could hold a note since the part would only require minimal singing anyway? Who can tell. 

The casting director then asked me to tell her a little about myself. So I continued with the accent and joked, "Well I'm originally from Jacksonville, Florida so if I got a little Florida on ya, I 'pologize..." and she laughed. Then I said that I had twyns, and they just started kindergarten so mama's gotta go back to work, and they laughed again. Then I mentioned that I have never been to Bristol before [read: I have never auditioned for you before and I'm relatively new in town so pay attention] and that I thought it was so cute [read: I would like to be cast here because I'm so enamored with the whole place and you need my enthusiasm.] 

And that was that, folks! I fer sure thought I'd get a call about that one...

But it always surprises me when people say, "So when will you hear?" and I have to inform them, "Most of the time, NEVER!" And you know, even if I could just get a little call saying, "We liked you but not for this role" or "You look too damn young for your voice/maturity level"...I would just go ahead and call Sally Field and ask her WTF.

But it's ok, because this show is in January, and I may actually have a little work to do with my musical that month with the one, the only Sibyl Kempson, at New Dramatists. More on that in the next post ;) 

Have a great day, y'all!! 
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