Mazing 2016: Second 30

Years ago a pact was made to celebrate our Winter/Summer birthdays together when we turned 30. Well in January I made it out to Cali for Samsonova’s big day and in August (just a little late due to schedules) she came to Kansas for mine!

A few months later, and I’m finally posting but so far 30 doesn’t feel any different than 29 – Maybe it will when I actually look my age but until then, no complaining here!

IMG_6953It was quite the busy weekend. But after a pickup from Kansas City International Airport, we headed straight to the place we met – Stephens College in Columbia, MO.

We got there early in the morning, snagged a parking spot (WHATTTTT), and began our self-guided tour. We of course did some shopping at “Susie’s” which we knew as the Bookshelf and walked across to Senior Quad to where we lived our senior year when they re-opened some renovated old dorms. It used to be where the seniors lived, hence the name – go figure.

We took a trip to find one of our favorites, Rusty Elder, who taught our music history classes. I think I took classes in sacred music, jazz, fine art (what you call classical but you’re wrong), and I feel something else because I’m pretty sure I had at least 1 class every year.

After hugs and catching up, Rusty led us into the Hall of Memories – one of the front rooms in Senior hall that is rarely used today except for special services (the 10 used to meet there as well as weddings). We looked at the old photos and lists of old Stephens Presidents.

Once we let Rusty go back to work, we started making our way towards the main buildings – Walter, Dudley, LRW, The Library and of course stopped to take photos with “our tree”. The class of 2008 raised money to focus on the beautification of Stephens and left our beloved alma mater with a tree that we continue to come back to. The plaque could use some updating and our bench is gone (????) but our tree is still thriving!

20160826_121036We found another favorite, Dr. James Terry, lounging in his office supposedly grading papers. Without skipping a beat we started to give each other a few digs as he got over the shock of seeing us standing in his office.

We chatted about where we were now and what we’ve been up to. Dr. Terry was so excited that he joined us on our tour. We first stopped in LRW to meet some of the folks in the alum and student services office as I could help provide information for students looking for internships, jobs, or other help.

As Stephens had just renovated and opened a new building for the Master of Physician Assistant studies, Dr. Terry got a pass and we walked around the new building. As freshman it was the building where we set up classes, got our ID’s, parking passes, and the accounting offices. Completely renovated it offered new classrooms, working exam rooms, observation rooms, lockers, and of course the room with the bodies! Whatever that room is called – there happened to be 5 cadavers in there when we went in. Samsonova kept her hand firmly on the door ready to escape if needed.

20160826_125756We even ended up in the media area where Samsonova found one of her main teachers who also went into shock upon seeing us walk up. After some chatting it was time to annoy the one and only Herbert and catch up with him before he had to go to work and we started our drive back to my house.

This was all Friday! We had to get home as I had rehearsal for the TCT award shows since I was in a couple of the skits.

Saturday was a day of lounging in the morning and then running around in the afternoon. We finally got our Elephants and then rushed to get ready for the award show Saturday night. Sadly in the hubbub of the evening, between catching up with TCT peeps, having to be on stage, and the normal theatre going-ons, we didn’t get a single photos of us together all dressed up and snazzy. I know, WTF right — my bad.

Luckily we had one more day of fun before Samsonova had to leave me.

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WE WENT TO THE ZOO!

It actually became quite a nice, but hot day. Both of us were comfy in maxi dresses as we walked around. First stop, as two fair skinned red/reddish haired ladies, was the gift shop as we both didn’t have sunscreen with us. Normally I do but since I didn’t have any pool time this summer I wasn’t to aware of having some with me.

We of course had to go see our Elephants! The poor polar bear you could tell was hot – it just sat in the water relaxing before eventually going to his/her inside habitat. The sea lions were having a good time, jumping in and out of the water. We eventually weaved our way around most of the park, avoiding, or trying to avoid the snakes and creepy crawlies.

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But after a few hours, we found her flight was delayed so we headed toward the KC Legends movie theatre to catch BAD MOMS. I’m pretty sure its out of theatre now, but you need to watch it. It of course has moments that pull at your heart, but we were laughing the whole time.

ALREADY MISSING YOUR FACE!

Until the next visit….

 

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TCT 2016 Renna Volunteer Award Night

I’ve been so busy I’m way behind in journaling my life.

Two awesome things happened in August on the same weekend.
1) my bestie visited
2) 2016 Topeka Civic Theatre’s Renna Volunteer Award Night happened

And even cooler? For being in 1 show and being a newbie, I was nominated for two Renna Awards! WHAT!!!??!! After hitting on a fool, a priest, and a govenor, with pretty much one line of repeating “You are an ass”  – somehow I was liked enough for two nominations!

It was very, very flattering. If you know me, you know I love and jump at the chance to get dressed to the nines! I may have bought 3 dresses (and planned to return 2….but….)

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JM was my grade school girl scout pen-pal!

I was nominated by best performance in a minor role and best performance by a newcomer. Did I mention how flattering it was? Sadly, I didn’t win either but out of all the performances, on three different TCT stages, and all the volunteer actors – to be plucked out for both categories is quite an honor. I know it’s so cliche’ to say “it’s an honor just to be nominated” but it really is! A friends husband won minor role and one of my dear friends and co-fool won for newcomer. I couldn’t be happier!

The lovely JM was there rocking a Modcloth red dress – it was on my possible option list so it’s a good thing we both didn’t show up in it! Clearly we have good taste! This lovely lady lived in the same town as my a bunch of my family including my grandparents and great aunts & uncles. Her father was actually my grandmothers paster at the UMC for a while. Can you believe that when I was still living in Rhode Island, JM was my grade school, girl scout Pen-pal? It’s one of the craziest stories that I’m sure I’ve written down somewhere.

There were, of course many handsomely dressed men. Let me tell you, if you can get a man in a suit or dressed up for any occasion TAKE IT!

 

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With Newcomer Winner HM

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Selfie with the devilish DG

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Being swept off my feet by BS

I won’t lie: I loved my dress. The day had been a rush of here and there but as soon as I was finally pulled together, I felt sexy and confident and grown up. Yes, grown up – looking so young often leads people to treat me younger than my years. Not always a bad thing, but this one night I felt more like a woman than I ever had before. My dress was  floor length with a beautiful dark forest green lace and a sweetheart neckline from one of my favorite online shops called Lulu’s.

IMG_2893I was even lucky enough to be in two skits during the show. The Much Ado Nights Watch opened the show. As soon as “Verges” started marching us out the crowd erupted and it was almost hard to keep a straight face! “Dogberry” still didn’t warm up to my flirting. Later, I saved the day by scarring off the extremely tall Christmas Carol ghosts and let the little carol singer draw a door prize. My pitchfork is quite frightening.

It was a night for the books, minus a little bit of drama – but what would you expect form a room of theatre folks? These people definitely came into my life at the right time. I mean they truly are some of the kindest, most talented people I know. There have been people adding me on Facebook who I’ve never met but know they’re part of the TCT family. I actually ended up meeting someone in the dressing room when I asked for help with my dress zipper – she said her name and then were were like “OH we’re friends on Facebook”. Now we see each other at shows and hug each other and chat.

There really isn’t anything like a theatre community.

Life in a “Tall Cube”

I work for a corporate office of an international retail company. In the merchandising area, where I’ve worked the last few years, it’s your standard set-up of cube panels. The size and height of your cube have some relation to your position/status.

Low cubes = analysts / company equivalents
Tall small cubes = different levels of planners and buyers (called Planner Cubes in merchandising) / company equivalents
Tall large cubes = different levels of managers, directors, and head buyers
a REAL door (often with real walls) = upper management, VP’s, SVP’s, CEO, etc.

I’ve recently moved to a new position and although still dealing with our merchandise, am under the e-commerce/IT umbrella even though it still feels very much like the merchandising world. With this move, I’ve been given temporary housing in the women’s product merchandising area but been promoted from an ‘analyst cube’ to a ‘planner cube’.

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I’m not sure how long I’ll be in this cube until I finally have a spot that would put me closer to my new team but I’ve noticed some benefits of having a coveted ‘planner cube’.

  • Ability to block everyone out: I mean this in the nicest way… When you’re in the center of the room, in rows of low cubes, you hear everything, you see everything, you get the “hey can you come here” and with all of that you easily get distracted. People walk by and start-up conversations or you just get sidetracked with what someone across the aisle is doing. My new role requires me to be focused and have a lot of attention to the details, so having the ability to not have my co-workers in my eyesight is a big benefit. If someone needs me, they can IM me or come talk to me.
  • You get to overhear their stories w/o them knowing you are listening: I’m not sure much explaining is needed here. There are a lot of personalities sitting in my area and the stories they tell range from plain silly to very giggle worthy.
  • Listening to music without earbuds: Sometimes those earbud cords just get in the way when I’m working on a billion things. Especially when I have to be in-and-out of my file cabinets. Having taller walls and more seclusion means I can have my spotify playing softly without bugging anyone around me but being able to enjoy my music without getting tangled on my earbud cords.

Overall it’s just nice to have less distraction when I’ve got so much to get done. On the downside, the back of my cube is now against a hallway so I hear all the conversations of those who pass by.

Now, since my time in this cube is uncertain the question is to decorate or not to decorate….

Pre-30 Adventures: Cat Yoga

Here it is…June! The last month before I turn 30. (I’m actually exactly 1 week out from the Big 3-0).

Ever since I received my yoga training, I had wanted to teach a yoga class with cats roaming about the room. The trick is finding a place crazy enough to let me try. See these articles: Yoga Cats Shelter Adoption, Cat Cafe unleashes Kitty Yoga, We Tried Cat Yoga, and Denver Animal Shelter holds Yoga Class.

20160618_153616So as an animal lover myself and with this new-ish trend not having made its way to the Midwest, I got connected to the Helping Hands Humane Society in Topeka, KS. I simply asked if I could use their conference room space to teach a class, socialize the cats and donate 50% back to help take care of their feline population. They were crazy enough to love it and say yes!

And you know what? I’d call it a success! We had 30 people take the class of all ages! I required anyone under 14 to have a parent/guardian with them but they were more than welcome. All I required is that attendee’s bring their own mat, a water-bottle that fully closes (cats can be jerks and nock those over), and an attitude of fun.

I asked $10 per attendee with 50% going back to HHHS. Some people donated a few extra singles and one person donated an extra $10! So I gave all those extras to HHHS as well which in turn meant I was able to donate about $166 to help the feline population at Helping Hands.

The goal was not only to give the area something new in a community that doesn’t offer much yoga, but to socialize the cats, and act as a fun stress reliever for attendees. I’m not sure if any kitties were adopted after, I hope so. I also hope we can keep this going, maybe once a quarter, ever other month, maybe work our way to monthly. Have a few ideas for some different classes for chair or families.

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If another event gets scheduled, it will be thru Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/spindriftsoul

Until next time,

S.

Pre-30 Adventures: Month 11 Fail

Life got overwhelming fast. My 11th month on my Monthly countdown to 30 didn’t have a countdown item.

May was a major moving month for myself and my boyfriend. We are renting a duplex together (so I guess that’s a first). We spent the last weekend of April and early parts of May moving me as I moved about 5 miles from my apartment, while the last two weeks we moved him from about 60 miles. This means instead of seeing each other 1, maybe 2, days a week, we actually get to see each other All day, Every day!

We also are adjusting the cats. I have two, he has one. It’ll be a process – My boy cat, Apollo, is very rambunctious. He always wants to play, knock stuff around, and is very curious. My boyfriends cat is more on the timid side.

May also saw me go back for a full massage from the lady who I met at TCT in April. After moving and feeling stressed about all my dental stuff, it was a much needed relaxation for me.

May also had me in the dentist chair another two times. The first was to fix cavities on my right side – I was numb from 4pm til 10pm without being able to eat that whole time. The second was cavities on the left and a gum graft on remaining baby tooth. Yep, still have a baby tooth apparently and it has no adult backup. When they were working on that tooth, let me tell you, it HURT. I don’t know what she was doing to the tooth itself, didn’t think that one had cavities, but she sure was drilling and digging around. I could feel it too. I shouldn’t have mentioned how numb I was the week before because they were definitely hitting nerve. It got so bad I was tearing up (not crying, just tearing up) and had to throw my hands up in a “Time-Out” signal to get them to stop. Three weeks later from the first appointment and my jaw still feels….not normal. I’m more sensitive than I ever was, extreme hot and cold bug me, and its only NOW do I feel like I have cavities. I don’t know if something got missed, if some of the cavity filling fell out, or if my nerves are still in shock….I know you have to go to the dentist but I sure regret trying to adult on that one.

May included a night out with some TCT Much Ado friends. We saw The Steel Wheels and Josh Ritter (with a continued joke that we came to see John Ritter).

Pre-show

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Post-show

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These people. So glad I met them.

Anyway, June should be better as my last item is planned. There are a few things I wanted to do but never got around to doing them: pierce my nose, get a tattoo (mainly with my bestie), take pin-up style photos…. Guess there’s always gotta be something left to cross off while I’m in my 30s.

 

Pre-30 Adventures: First Massage

April’s Pre-30 adventure may not seem like such a big deal, in fact some of my pre-30 things may not be a big deal, but my list is my list and I didn’t know I wanted this on my list. I got my first massage.

Years as a dancer, runner, and yogi – and I’ve never taken time to go get a massage. Things hurt and I stretch or do some yoga, take a hot bath, or wait for it to work itself out. My mind can’t seem to process handing over money for things like getting my nails done, cutting my hair at a fancy salon, spending big bucks for brand makeup/products, or getting massages.

Well let me tell you, after just a short complimentary TCT massage before opening night, I may have to make an exception here.

The theatre brings in volunteer massage therapists the night prior to opening night and offers cast/crew the opportunity for a free mini massage. I didn’t sign up. I’m super ticklish. After come coaxing from castmates, I figured I’d at least walk over and see if they had time and talk to them.

The massage therapist that happened to be free was one that was recommended by a castmate even! I told her I’d never had one, that I was sorry if I giggled, and told her all that I normally do to fell better. Once I got my giggles under control it ended up being very relaxing. She wasn’t scared to dig down as most people are since I’m petite. She even touched my shoulder and immediately asked if I ever had problems with my arm falling asleep randomly or tingling in my hands – which is something I’ve noticed on/off for the last few years and was told to ignore – although she couldn’t diagnose we assumed a pinched nerve.

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With all the moving recently I’m reluctant to go get a full massage until we finish but this last week or so I have been so aware of things hurting. I also have some dentist appointments coming up  stupid cavities so will probably be really ready for some pampering once all that is finished.