I can't believe January is almost over.

Life is good. I'm back on my feet and can do almost everything I could before.
It's funny, I've never been much of a runner, but ever since the accident I have this incredible urge all the time to run.
But I can bicycle again and I'm loving that. I took a ride in the rain earlier today and it was so clean and cold and refreshing.
This week has been great--Have been looking forward to the inauguration for months and it didn't disappoint. Loved the music, the poem, the new president--so fitting.
Back in rehearsal for Twelfth Night--hadn't realized how much I had missed that cast.
Spent most of the afternoon on Thursday with a good book in the library.
Saw 'Defiance'--and really liked it.
Posted the parts for our Shakespeare play in my Youth Theatre Class on Friday--the kids were jazzed.
Ate at Cucina in Salt Lake earlier today--had the chicken curry salad. Perfect.
Stopped by a birthday party tonight.
Went grocery shopping with my brother.
Church, and home for dinner with the family tomorrow. Should be relaxing.
I hope it keeps raining. Such a nice change from the snow.

I see right through you Mona

I think I'm done with romanticizing my life. Not because anything traumatic or difficult has happened to me--but because it feels more honest to. At least for now. Things can still be beautiful and exciting without being spun, composed, or put on a pedestal. I'm ok with that.
Today I went in for production photos for Twelfth Night. I realized that I'm really bad at posing. It's one thing to suspend disbelief and live in an alternate reality while acting on stage, and another thing entirely to try and project a contrived appearance in front of a camera.
"I'm sorry, I'm not so good at posing" I said right before we began the shoot.
"Oh that's fine, everyone has been making silly poses so you'll fit right in" replied the photographer.
I don't think she understood what I was saying.
"You're a little stiff" she said after awhile.
Part of the problem is these nervous tendencies I have. Some people bite their lips, or get sweaty palms, but my reaction to stress or nerves is a little different. I smile. I get this big, goofy grin on my face that won't go away. And if I try to make it go away, it just ends up looking ridiculous like I'm trying not to laugh. I have blown many an audition because I was so nervous that I couldn't quit smiling. I'll be attempting a somber or angry piece and the director just thinks I can't take anything seriously because I can't wipe that smirk off my face.
But it did serve me well as a missionary--everyone thought I was the most cheerful person they'd ever met, when in reality, talking to total strangers just made me really nervous. And so I smiled. And to be fair it did become true in the end--it's difficult to wear any sort of facial expression for any amount of time without it rubbing off on your psyche. I suppose if there's any nervous habit to have, this one is as good as any.
I had a girlfriend once who could see right through it. Whenever I'd get upset with her, I'd start smiling--because confrontation makes me nervous--and she'd know what I was really feeling.
In any case, my nervous smile did not serve me well during the photo shoot. I think in the end I got two expressions on film: the smile, and this sort of blank look that I can achieve if I clear my mind and steady my nerves. But I'm ok with that--I think that was honest.

Soup Kitchen

So I have this bad habit of not going to sleep until I'm good and tired--which rarely happens when I'd most like it to.
Earlier today I had a migraine. I can always tell when they are coming--I start to get this weird pressure behind my eyes accompanied by this sinking feeling. Then it becomes a race--if I can get to a couple of Excedrin within about twenty minutes, I'm usually in good shape. If not, then it's a good dose of full blown nausea and hypersensitivty to light, sounds, and smells. I have no idea what causes them. Thankfully, I don't get them frequently at all--in fact I can't remember when the last time I had one was. And luckily, if I can choke down a couple tylenol and lie down in the dark for awhile I usually have it beat in about an hour. My heart really goes out to those people who get migraines for twelve hours. Misery.
That was all a roundabout way of saying that I had a nap and so I am not yet tired.
A few thoughts:
I hate spiders. BUT, I am perfectly willing to coexist with them provided that they are not over a certain size or speed. (ie I will let the little green house spider do his job in peace, but the large swiftly darting hairy monstrosity had better hope he's faster than I am) Also, there is a zero tolerance policy in terms of arachnid invasion of personal spaces. Spiders of any size or type will by squished on site if found in my bed, shoes, or dishes.
Secondly, Did you know that Avocadoes are sometimes called Alligator Pears? I love that. So fitting. But also, the name 'Avocado' comes from the aztec word 'Ahuacatl'--which means Testicle. I don't love that. I think I'll stick to calling them Alligator Pears.
Lastly, I got a new crockpot for christmas. All last semester I saved money by buying cheap and delicious soup ingredients in bulk and making giant batches of stew. (That's kind of a sick phrase though 'giant batches of stew'? Sick. Who would want to eat a batch? Or stew? Gross.) But it actually is really great. Most of the time. And I love cooking so, two birds with one stone, right? (That's not a soup. At least not one I've made)
In any case, I am shamelessly soliciting your help blogworld. Do you have any great soup recipes that you would be willing to send me? If your soup is selected as one of the lucky winners to be made in my crockpot, I may even invite you over for a bowl. Fair?