Saturday, December 31, 2011

Lucky Kitties!!

Since Santa came yet again this year (this is one of the perks of not having children) and was his usual generous self I decided to use the money to replace the cats' scratching post which is three years old and coming apart at the seams. Since it was Santa money, I upgraded to a three shelf unit which is tall enough for Antares to stretch out to his full length while scratching. Part of the fun was enticing the cats onto the new cat scratcher.

I did this by putting food on each level. Sentinel went first looking for the treats. Antares hung back.

A good long scratch by the little kitty.

Antares makes his move.

Happy cat.

Happy cat.

I bought the cat scratcher at the Oregon Humane Society which is a good place to find them. They have various sizes, they are a decent price and last a long time and by purchasing from the Humane Society, your money goes to support their many programs. Plus you get to say hello to all the cats temporarily residing there.

Friday, December 30, 2011

NWCTC's Hamlet

We enjoyed another great performance at the Northwest Classical Theater Company. Butch Flowers was a fabulous and sparkly Hamlet, and the play just zipped along. I was particularly happy to see Dave Bodin (a delightfully stuffy Polonius) and Dave Burnett (Marcellus/Rosencrantz/Fortinbras) as they were very fun in last year's Cymbeline. Daniccia Noreault was a wonderful Ophelia and we've enjoyed her craft since seeing her as Squeaky Fromme in Artist's Repertory Theatre's production of Assassins in 2006. She throws herself wholeheartedly into her roles.

Once again the costumes were fabulous (well done, Elizabeth Huffman) with Claudius and Gertrude particularly adorned in sumptuous, white, cold weather/Danish castle gear, contrasting with Hamlet's ratty black and simple outfit.

The proximity of the audience to the actors in this theater gives them no place to hide and they always rise to the occasion, bringing quality productions to within four feet of their patrons. Northwest Classical Theatre Company remain one of the joys of living in Portland. Make plans now to see Much Ado About Nothing in March and April.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Helpers for the last of the Christmas Preperations

I've only to wrap the presents for the family and then all my Christmas Chores will be done. What is everyone getting? Potatoes! When someone grows over 200 pounds of potatoes, it pretty much guarantees her homemade Christmas presents will be potatoes.

Antares supervises the selection.

Sentinel oversees the packaging.

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

It's! It's! Live Wire!

We've been waiting for this Live Wire show for months because Daniel Handler (better known to many as Lemony Snickett) was one of the guests. Matt finished the thirteenth, and final book in the "Series of Unfortunate Events" just today so he was ready for the excitement, as was I.

The Alberta Rose Theater, decked for the Holidays. They were taping the Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve shows so everything was very festive. The cast all wore holiday sweaters which were available for purchase for $15.00 apiece after the show. Not surprisingly, Jim Brunburg's sweater sold at the intermission. He's an attractive fellow, that Jim Brunburg.

Matt studies the program. Aside from Daniel Handler we also saw Merrill Markoe who discussed her career as a comedy writer and her relationship with her mother. Shelley McLendon, who you might have recognized from the "Did you read" Portlandia sketch, gave us tips for getting through the holidays. Carl Adamshick also appeared and read several poems.

Our musical guest were Duover, a very cute couple with some cute songs to go with them. The first one was a great romantic comedy movie montage sort of song and the second one made us laugh with a well-placed "Awesome." The Lonely Forest played for the second part of the show. They were loud, but enjoyable hipster type rock. One of their songs would have also made a nice romantic comedy movie montage sort of song. Also, their bass player sang along in the background with the singer's words which I found charming. And the singer said some funny things, and then utterly confused me when he mentioned his wife as he looked approximately 19 years old. Which I guess is old enough to have a wife, but I wouldn't recommend it.

Daniel Handler was hilarious, opening with a witty back and forth with host Courtney Hameister about his hometown of San Francisco and Live Wire's hometown of Portland how the cities used to be friends, but now they just try and out-cool themselves. He went on to say some more very funny things and we all laughed. But the best part? Daniel Handler can play the accordion. Daniel Handler and the house band played us an excellent rendition of "When Doves Cry."

At the beginning of the show, Courtney Hameister announced all the sponsors. When she said, "Dave's Killer Bread" a guy in front of me stood up, clapping. "Wow, he really likes Dave's Killer Bread," I thought to myself, then noticed that there were people from Dave's Killer Bread throwing loaves of bread into the audience. Instant understanding. Matt, meanwhile had also stood to better catch any loaves that might come his direction. Two did. The first, he caught with his hands. The second with his face.

Other highlights? Christmas Carols translated into Japanese then re-translated into English and sung. I couldn't stop laughing. A very clever skit involving a drunk woman at a New Year's Eve party. And Courtney Hameister's moving story of her worst New Year's Eve ever.

Do you want to partake of the Live Wire! fun yourself? You can go to Live Wire! Radio and download the podcasts or you can subscribe on iTunes.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Boxing up

My "just one thing" this week involved organizing the shelves above the toilet in the bathroom. Alas, I did not take a "before" picture, but imagine a cacophony of various sizes of cardboard boxes not holding anything very well.

A few years ago (one project at a time, Patricia, one project at a time) I bought two sets of the basic Ikea cardboard magazine holders, intending them for these shelves. Remarkably, though they were sitting in their packages that entire time next to the recycling bin, they were never recycled. I got them out, cut off their tops so they would fit on the shelves, sorted everything, labelled each box with my label maker et voila! Peace and Calm.

Despite the lack of need for a tour of the organized space, due to such excellent organizing, I gave one to Matt anyway. He was amused, but finds the new system works for him.

This project took about an hour total, spread out over two days. Well done me!