Sunday, July 27, 2014

PAE's Midsummer Night's Dream

I forgot my camera (pfffffttt!) and so these were quickly snapped with the cell phone.  

Pre-production we had music, a lovely roving accordion.  

Early on, we can see the players, and Hermia and Demetrius.  It was handy that Hermia/Lysander, Helena/Demetrius were color coded, costume-wise.  The players are being paparazzi, because the Theseus and Hippolyta were on stage.
This was a fun production with good players (always important) and an excellent disrobing/fight scene between Hermia and Helena.  Puck had a great costume too.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Dime Store and the Book of Mormon.

We had a lovely brunch at Dime Store, which is at the location of the former Leo's Nonsmoking Coffee Shop.  I adored the former Leo's Nonsmoking Coffee Shop, not only for the name, but the vintage counters and the fact that the very nice proprietor would present you with a copy of the newspaper seconds after you sat down in your seat.  His wife did the cooking and the fare was standard diner.  Delicious.  

The proprietor and his wife retired this year and Dime Store has taken over the place.  They updated the restaurant a little, but the renovations stuck with the spirit of the former restaurant so I approved.

Here's the menu which also tells us at the bottom that a 5% surcharge is added to each tab to help offset the cost of employee health care.  I found this interesting.

Matt gets ready to eat.

There's a newsstand area.

I was debating between an omelet and something with greens when I turned and saw the special I knew would be mine.

Egg in a hole!  Delicious and so inexpensive.

This incredibly large container (think gallon of paint sized) of MSG was on display.  I asked from whence it came, but the server did not know.  That is a lot of MSG!

We both had dessert.  Matt had a healthy cookie and I had chocolate cream pie.  The filling was delicious and the crust very tough.  I answered honestly when the server asked and he offered to not charge me, or give me a cookie to go, but I figured I ate it, so I could pay for it.  I expect tough crusts from restaurants anyway.  But was impressed he really wanted to make it better.  Overall, this was a great dining experience.

Here we are waiting for the Book of Mormon to begin.

Guess what's in the program for the musical the Book of Mormon?

Not one, not two,

But three (3!) ads for the actual Book of Mormon!
This made me laugh.  A lot.  I do appreciate the media-savvy of the Mormon Church.

The production itself was fantastic, though for some reason I was not really prepared for the raunchy nature of the songs.  It's not like I haven't seen Stone & Parker's South Park, South Park: Bigger, Longer Uncut and Team America: World Police.  Also Avenue Q by co-creator Robert Lopez.  Knowing this team's past creations, my head wasn't quite on straight. It's raunchy and very, very funny.  The songs were catchy and also moving.  I will always appreciate the rhyme scheme of "Salt Lake City/shitty". Both "Salt Lake City" and "Hello" stuck in my head.

Also, there was dancing!  Tap dancing, even, which included a  massive quick costume change that is perhaps my favorite moment of musical theater in the past five years.  I also enjoyed the Uganda setting as it allowed for not only good culture contrast, but display of different kinds of singing and dancing.

All in all, it was worth the many years I've waited to see it.

Friday, July 11, 2014

A quick-to-build and inexpensive Catio!

After touring various Catios last fall, I spent many months mentally constructing a catio for my cats.  Said catio will have access from the kitchen window and let the cats have the run of the north side of the house.  Said catio will also cost a hefty amount and need a concentrated time of work to build it.  I'm not sure if said catio will appear in the cats' lifespan, but I did have an epiphany recently and can construct a catio for now.

I bought a roll of wire fencing, four of those double ended hook thingies (I don't know what they are called, but you will see them later) and got out my wire snips, drill, drill bits and eye hooks leftover from another project.

My epiphany had to do with the fact that the back porch is already enclosed on three sides.  So I only needed to find something to close off the other side.  It had to be movable, because I need access to the back yard, but also secure enough so the cats couldn't get through it.

Enter the fence.  I had to buy 50 feet, but I can probably sell on Craigslist the 38 feet I didn't use on. Also, FYI, when you unsnip the wire holding the roll of fence in place, get ready to jump back because there is a dramatic and somewhat scary unspooling.  In this picture, if you squint, you can see that I have attached eyehooks to the house, clipped the clippy things to the eyehooks and have clipped the other end of the clippy things to the fence.

Here are the clippy things I'm speaking of.  V-necked shirts make good holders of said clippy thingies.

And here the fence has been stretched across and attached to two more clippy thingies which are attached to eyehooks.

I'm not really sure about the amount of give in the middle, but we shall see what happens.

Here are the cats investigating their catio.  Predictably, they went right to the fence and worked long and hard at getting out in the yard.  I told them that the concrete was as outside as they were going to get for now.

The project took me only an hour and cost about $20.00.  It's pretty easy to put up and  roll away, once I figured out I should mark which junctions of fence the clippy things were best clipped to.  I just used some twist ties to mark said junctions.

I've taken to leaving the left side clipped, and rolling up the fence and leaving it in the corner of the porch.  I use the lower right clippy thing to keep it rolled.  But if I want it off the porch entirely, it's also easy to unclip everything and set the roll in a corner of the yard.

Two weeks later, Sentinel is working pretty hard to push the middle of the fence enough to get under it so he can get to the yard.  We shall see what happens there.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Portland Actor's Ensemble Anthony and Cleopatra

This was a much more elaborate set than I am used to with PAE.  Here is--you guessed it--Egypt.

We were sitting on the Rome side, so you can't see it quite as well.

These weights will become important later on in this post.

Though Rome was much more stark than Egypt, I did love these columns.

And the costumes!  Amazing! Kate Schroeder did a tremendous job.  The lady in the pink, mid-stage is Andrea White playing Cleopatra.

The music also added a lot to the play.  Behind the musician, you can see the stark grey of the Romans.  They had a really cool logo on their shirt.

That guy on the right is Enrique E. Andrade and, in addition to playing Mardian, he's also the Spanish Language voice of the Max train.

Again!  The costumes!

Here is the stage manager, who spent a lot of time wrestling with this part of the set, trying to get it to stay upright.

At times she had others assist her, including one dramatic moment when her quiet "Help!" brought several audience members to her assistance, before the actors could emerge from the tent.

Cleopatra had a lot of costume changes and here appears in a blue dress.

You can see a bit of the cool design on the t-shirt.

I'll say it again!  Costumes!

And another one.  I think this was my favorite, because the skirt was mesmerizing.

At the correct moment in the play, the drums of war were beaten.  It was very dramatic, and my favorite part that didn't involve costumes or music.

The moon overlooking the set.  At one point, one of the characters swears to the moon and it was handy that the moon had arranged itself in just the right location for doing so.
This is not my favorite play of Mr. Shakespeare.  I did enjoy the costumes and the music, as well as some of the stage direction.  The director, Elizabeth Huffman (who has directed shows for NWCTC) made the decision to have all the Egyptians speak with an accent while the Romans spoke without accents.  I found this incredibly distracting for the entirety of the play.  Also, I've never heard so many actors tripping over their lines.  This was their eighth performance, so I'm not sure what was going on.  Overall though, I enjoyed myself.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Vintage Cakes Champagne Cake

A delicious white champagne cake with champagne custard filling and champagne whipped cream frosting.  It was served with an assortment of berries.

I'm not the biggest fan of custard-filled cakes, but I think that might be because I rarely have home-made custard cakes, just ones from the store.  The homemade is a totally different experience.

Cats and Sun

The morning sun comes in through the back window and the cats chase it (via napping) from the bedroom door to the back door.