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Monday, April 4th, 2011
8:14 am - Who Needs Sleep? I Do!
I just woke up after eleven hours of sleep. Yep, eleven. I guess I needed it.

On Friday we opened Dangerous Liaisons at HPU, the first show there for which I've acted (am acting) as Theatre Manager (which might be better titled Production Manager) as well as lighting designer. It was a long week, getting ready for our opening and I kept wondering if I was forgetting to do stuff. I don't think I did, at least not anything that was important! We had a very small preview audience on Thursday night, but the opening was very well received and I didn't leave the reception/after party till about midnight on Friday.

Then, on Saturday, I was at Hawaii Theatre from 8 a.m. till about 10:30/11 p.m., doing the lighting for a pre-Merrie Monarch halau performance. It was a nice show and I always like lighting for hula, but it was still a long day. Then, I drove back to HPU because it was our director's birthday and it would be a good thing to be at the party after the performance.

Yesterday (Sunday) I was at Hawaii Theatre again for a load-in from 8 a.m. till 6 p.m. It was fairly straight-forward and didn't require too much extra thinking on my part (which was good as I'd had two nights of not enough sleep!).

I got home, ate some dinner and watched some tv. Then I was in bed by 8:30 p.m. I woke up at 7:30 a.m. this morning. I guess I needed the sleep!

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Sunday, March 27th, 2011
9:13 am
I'm feeling like I owe an update here, but don't really have anything profound to add to the conversation. Both my new jobs are going well!

At HPU, we open "Dangerous Liaisons" on Friday and we just got thru dry and wet tech yesterday. I found that being in charge as Theatre Manager during those tech rehearsals wasn't all that different from being in charge as the lighting designer. Probably because as the LD I end up kind of running them anyway! But, as the theatre manager, I also supplied food for the tech folks between dry and wet tech. It seemed to go over well, and there are left-over sandwich fixings for us to eat this coming week.

I think I'm doing well for my first couple months in this job. I'm getting to know the people who I need to communicate with in order to get stuff done (like checks for designers, coordinating the opening night reception, getting trash picked up from the lanai, etc.) and I don't think I'm letting things fall through the cracks. (I hope!) I have ideas for more significant projects that need to get tackled *after* this show is up and running, and have ideas on how to make the organization of the theatre space itself better. But, first things first, and that means getting this show open! Then I'll tackle things like database, organization, etc. . . .

This afternoon is first dress and we have a new costumer. She's young and has wonderful ideas, and I'm excited to see things come together! The pieces she brought for photos were really starting to look cool. Unfortunately, she doesn't have a car so I'm picking her up today and brining her (and her costumes) to the theatre.


At Chaminade with my teaching class things are going okay as well. I'm not as excited about it as the HPU job, but it's only for this semester so that's okay. In retrospect I probably shouldn't have taken on another new responsibility this spring, but oh well. It's actually really good experience for me and there are moments when I genuinely enjoy it. This past week has been spring break though, and I've really enjoyed that!

There is the very real possibility that I'll be teaching a tech/production class in the theatre dept. at HPU in the fall, so having some teaching experience under my belt will be a good thing. If I can somehow manage to get HPU to pay for my health insurance that'd be excellent . . . I need to check the laws on that and see how to approach that topic when the time comes.


Socially, I think I'm doing better too. I'll spare you the details, but this is a very good thing. I've not been good at making/keeping friends since I left Mac, so having some regular friend things going on feels like I'm finally heading the right directions.

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Friday, March 11th, 2011
9:43 am - Tsunami
Good Morning Folks! For those you not connected with me via FB I thought I'd check in here.

I got a call from my brother around 9 o'clock last night telling me about the earthquake in Japan and the tsunami watch. (He has turned into such a responsible young man!) I should have filled up on gas at that point before news got out to the rest of the state, and it turned into a warning!

I was planning to go to MVT for a cast member's 40th birthday party after the performance, so I went anyway (I had till 3 a.m., and I figured that being out with people would help me stay up). I connected with some of the MVT folks who I care about, and did managed to fill up my car's tank without waiting too long in line. I used the theatre's land line to connect with my aunt (on her land line) and watched some footage of the tsunami in Japan.

Around 11:30 (after the second civil defense siren had gone off) I headed home. I took a shower, washed my dishes (things that require water!), made more tea, and filled buckets and large containers with water. I turned my fridge to the coldest setting, and made more ice cubes (I don't have an automatic ice maker). I have plenty of food in the kitchen anyway, so wasn't worried about that. I'm also well out of any inundation zones, so I wasn't actually concerned about my immediate home.

But, around 1:30 a.m. I did have a moment of "Oh wow. This could really actually happen, and it could be really, really terrible." Luckily, this didn't happen.

There is some damage to piers and harbors on Oahu, and I'm sure more damage reports will come in now that it is light. From what I'm hearing, Maui and especially the Big Island suffered more extensive damage but it was nothing like what it could have been. I think that state is collectively letting out a sigh of relief, and sending our thoughts and prayers to Japan.

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Wednesday, November 10th, 2010
8:54 am - Ten Years
I'm thinking about coming to the Macalester Reunion this year. It'll be ten years. Are you going? Are you coming in from out of town for this? If you live there, and didn't graduate in 2001, could we hang out anyway?

I haven't been off this island in a while and a reunion just might be the perfect excuse to take a week or so off. Of course, I haven't looked into the detailed scheduling or financial ramifications of it yet. I'm just putting it out there.

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Friday, August 6th, 2010
8:16 am - I'm Not Dead, I Promise
In fact, for the summer, I've been keeping unusually busy this year. Which is a plus for any number of reasons not the least of which is financially. Working makes it ever so much easier to pay the bills.

I know I've been quiet on this forum for a while now (geez, when was my last post?), but I've been posting food blog entries pretty regularly over at Haole Girl Gourmet, and status updates over at FaceBook. And I've been reading all your entries here too! I just haven't written anything of late.

This isn't going to be a "real" post either as I have to leave for work in a few minutes. But, I just wanted to let you all know I'm thinking about you and that, someday soon, I will write a "real" post.

For now, suffice it to say that things are going pretty well; work is busy (a plus for summer-time), social is improving slowly (but surely? I hope), professionally is good (I got an award at the Po'okela Awards again this year), the 2010-2011 Season is shaping up to be a good one (lots of designs, including a set design!), romance is . . . well, complicated (you don't really want to know all the details).

Now, off to work!

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Tuesday, June 8th, 2010
9:18 am - Food Blog!
Hi Folks,

I've started a new endeavor: a food blog. This is something I've been thinking about for a while now, and I think the time is right. I wanted to keep it separate from my LJ for various reasons, largely having to do with all the *other* personal stuff I post here. I want to keep this place for my closer friends, but want a (potentially, hopefully) larger audience for my food posts. So, you can now find me posting about food over at http://haolegirlgourmet.wordpress.com/

Come visit. Tell your friends. Post comments!

current mood: hopeful

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Friday, June 4th, 2010
8:55 am - Push-Ups, Leg Drops and Planks
Those are the exercises that I decided I'd try out for a while. Thanks so much for your comments on my last post! Lots of good suggestions and ideas. As the entry title would indicate, I'm going to try to do push-ups, leg drops, and planks for a while and see how that works for me.

I've been far too busy the second half of May to do them with any semblance of regularity, but I have managed some sets of handful of times. I've been doing 8 push-ups (I'll work up to more and more), five single leg drops on each side and five with both legs, then holding a plank for about 30 seconds. Repeat, and finish with another set of push-ups. I think if I can get into a routine/habit with them, then all be in pretty good shape (ha! puns!). Oh, and I do intend to increase reps as they get easier, and maybe add another set eventually as well. We'll see how it goes. Baby steps first!

In other news I made my first homemade pizza last night and it was delicious!

current mood: pleased

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Friday, May 14th, 2010
9:12 am - Sit-Ups?
Okay Lazyweb, I've got an exercise question for you.

I've reached my target weight and am happy there. I'm in pretty good shape and can much make my body do what I need it to do. I'm starting to actually be able to see my stomach muscles emerge from under that layer of fat, and I'd like them to look good! So, I would like to have a few simple (read: no equipment, no gym membership) exercises that I can do to tone and strengthen my stomach (and other core) muscles.

I'm thinking crunches, push-ups, and . . . I don't know. Any suggestions and links with correct technique would be greatly appreciated.

current mood: determined

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Saturday, February 27th, 2010
3:29 pm - Tsunami Warning Canceled
Thanks everyone for thinking of me. As predicted, I'm fine. As is the rest of the state, fortunately.

We watched on the news as the water drained out of Hilo Bay for a few feet, then rushed (fairly calmly) back in and to a somewhat higher level than it had been to start with. This continued for a while as the wave energy that was caught by the Islands continued to move around (as somebody from the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center described it). Similar surges happened in Moanalua Bay in Hawaii Kai and to a much lesser extent in Kailua Bay as well, and I'm sure pretty much everywhere else too. They canceled the warning about an hour ago, as I was heading back from my Mom and John's house.

I was planning to head over to their place this weekend anyway to see the now almost complete kitchen. It was always in their plan to redo the kitchen, but last fall, as the old cabinets started literally falling off the walls, they decided that it needed to be done sooner rather than later. And it looks great! I'm looking forward to helping entertain and just cook family dinners at their house again. I should really do some before/after pictures sometime.

Anyway, a fairly uneventful day so far. Which suits me just fine. Better than being amazed and horrified at the power of nature so close to home.

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7:41 am - Tsunami Warning
Good Morning Folks. I was woken up at 6 a.m. by the Civil Defense Sirens. Immediately I knew that it was because of a tsunami because of the earthquake in Chile last night around 8:30 p.m. Hawaii time. It was nice that civil defense waited till 6 a.m. to sound the alarm because I'm sure they've been on alert for nearly 12 hours at this point.

I do not live in a tsunami inundation area, and I'm on the 4th floor, so I, my cat, and my condo will be fine. I will probably head to my mom's place in Enchanted Lakes later this morning because if power goes out I'd rather be somewhere with access to gas cooking (they have a big grill).

There have been a few tsunami warnings that I remember in Hawaii. None of them have amounted to anything and I know that Hawaii is overdue for a tsunami. The quake in Chile is apparently located near the epicenter where the quake that generated the Hilo tsunami in 1960. Hilo airport is closed, but all other airports are open. My cousin arrives from Thailand this morning. What a welcome!

Lines for gas stations are long, and I'm sure stores are crowded selling water, toilet paper, and rice. My gas tank is about 3/4 full, I have plenty of food and water at my house, so I'm just drinking coffee and going about my morning somewhat earlier than I would otherwise be on a Saturday morning. I'm charging electronics (computer, cell phone) and thinking about pulling together important papers and making copies of them before I head over to Kailua. I'll probably take a backpack with a change of clothes too . . .

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center on O'ahu has been careful about issuing exact wave height numbers, but they have let a few numbers out. I'm sure we'll get more information as waves go past various buoys and give more accurate data. I'm not really worried at this point.

I will post again when they sound the all clear later today. I hope.

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Friday, January 29th, 2010
4:20 pm - Phone
I have a shiny new iPhone! Calling me will now result in actually being able to get in touch with me.

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Wednesday, January 27th, 2010
10:46 pm - No Phone
I am currently without a phone. My iPhone was swiped tonight. If you need to get in touch with me please send me an e-mail, a FaceBook message, or something along those lines. Don't call or text message me as I don't have a phone and can't answer or respond.

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Sunday, January 24th, 2010
8:42 am - Calories
Well, after three weeks of no weight-loss after gaining holiday weight I've decided to actually start counting my calories again. I know from a year ago that this works. I'd gotten into a routine where I was maintaining without needing to write down everything I ate but, apparently, I can't actually loose weight that way. So, back to being somewhat obsessive about what I put in my body for a little while. At leas this time I have a good food scale!

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Saturday, January 2nd, 2010
8:17 pm - Resolution Time
It is that time of year where many people make resolutions with all the good intentions of keeping them in the coming weeks and months. Last year I joined this group of people sort of as an experiment to see how and if it worked for me.

So, how did I do last year?

- Loose ten pounds. I've been hovering around 160/161 for the past three or four months. I'd like to get to and stay at 150 lbs. A year ago I was nearly 167 lbs., and over the summer I got down to (I think) 157, so I know that ten pounds is a reasonable goal.
I think that it is reasonable to say that I achieved this goal. By the end of April (when I finally closed and moved into my new condo) I was at my low point of 147 lbs. Since then I bounced back up a bit and for most of the fall was about 150/151. Since Thanksgiving I've gained a couple more back what with all the good food around at this time of year. I was happy with 148/149, but settled easily at 150/151 so I decided to just go with it and not stress out about two pounds in one direction or another.

- Deal with my knee. Yes, my knee still hurts from time to time. More if I'm working hard, or climbing lots of stairs. I'm wearing some kind of knee support nearly all the time now. I've still not seen a doctor about it and I know I should. So, step one is to find a knee-savvy doctor and set up an appointment.
I did go to the doctor, and got an X-Ray. And I was referred to an orthopedic surgeon, and got an MRI. The result of which showed that there was nothing wrong with my knee. The specialist decided that I strained/sprained it badly and just hadn't been giving it time to recover fully. Given my chosen profession and its proclivity towards climbing things, I thought that was a reasonable theory. So, I've continued to wear some sort of knee brace most of the time for most of the year. Just in the past month it has started feeling like it might actually be getting better. I'm only wearing the smaller brace these days, and mostly only when I'm working or going for a walk or hike or otherwise being active. I'm hopeful that this trend will continue.

- Be more proactive about being social. This will probably be the most difficult, but the most fulfilling. A sub-goal to this resolution is that by being more social, I also up my odds of meeting someone special.
As predicted, this is where my resolutions broke down. I've pretty much continued along the same work-centric and hermit-like existence. Joining FaceBook has, I think, helped a little. I think that it has, mostly, set the scene for more easy social activity. I'm still keeping to myself more than I think is probably good for me. I was asked as the year slipped over into 2010 what my resolutions where. I said I hadn't given it much thought which, at that point, I hadn't. I finally admitted that, if pressed, I should try to be more social. They agreed with me.

Two out of three isn't too bad, right? :-)

I think that this year I'm just going to make one resolution. It is going to be a big, inclusive one. One that I know will be very, very hard for me. One that I have failed at in the past. Perhaps one of the reasons that I haven't done well on this front in the past is because I've not been specific enough in my goals. So . . .

I resolve to be more social. Again. I'm going to use my new iPhone (and its calendar and text messaging capabilities, among other cool apps), and FaceBook, my brother and his friends, theatre people, and whatever and whoever else I can to help me with this. I don't have a fully-formed plan yet, but I think I would like to set a goal of doing one social thing per week. That can be anything from having my brother and his fiance over for dinner, to seeing a movie with theatre people, heading out to a bar with the HSLR boys, going to the beach or for a hike with some people. A date would count too if I ever got one. So, to be more social, I will:

- Do one activity with other people every week.
- In order to keep this up, I will call or otherwise invite at least two people to come join me in some activity per week. Maybe after a while of doing this, I'll get more calls to come join other people.

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Sunday, December 27th, 2009
12:30 pm - Cards
So, I'm getting my act in gear and will be sending out New Years cards this holiday/winter season. You should all update me with your current addresses (even if you think I already have them!). Send me an e-mail: myerslights (at) gmail (dot) com

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Tuesday, November 24th, 2009
7:25 am - Cheesecake
So, last week I decided that I would make a pumpkin cheesecake for Thanksgiving dinner. This is instead of a traditional pumpkin pie (although I came across and made two amazingly good pumpkin pie recipes last year), and in addition to the family tradition of cranberry pie. Well, and I know this will amaze you to hear, but I'd never made a cheesecake before. Ever. It was only recently that I acquired a spring-form pan. So, because I couldn't very well show up to Thanksgiving dinner with a sub-par cheesecake, I decided I needed to do a test cheesecake. I knew that I'd have willing hands to help eat what I didn't need to (and I didn't need a whole cheesecake sitting in the fridge the week before Thanksgiving!) at the theatre where we're getting ready for the first of the holiday shows. I also made arrangements for my mom and aunt to taste it and give me critiques.

Well, I got rave reviews from the crew at the theatre and they said it was "perfect" and "amazing" and that I shouldn't change a thing. From my mom and aunt I got more helpful suggestions like more crust and blind bake it a bit longer, be sure to use the called-for water bath to avoid the outside of the cake being over-done, and that the flavor of it was spot-on.

Yesterday at the theatre I was asked if I would bake a pumpkin cheesecake on commission. I said yes. This is the first time ever that somebody has offered to pay me for cooking. It is highly flattering and a little exciting.

I need another spring-form pan (which he's said he'll pay for and keep) and more cream cheese.

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Wednesday, October 21st, 2009
8:08 am - The Hum of the 96-Rack
I'm sitting backstage at the American Society of Human Genetics conference in Ex. Hall 1 at the Honolulu Convention Center at the moment. It is 8:20 a.m. and I've been here since 6 a.m. 6 a.m. is officially very early; the sun doesn't even rise till around 6:30 a.m. these days. There are sessions schedule for most of the day until 6:00 p.m., so I've got a long day ahead of me. I've (obviously) got internet access, which is great as it allows me to be both more productive and procrastinate more!

I'm listening to the hum of the 96-rack (which is kind of overkill for this little show since we have <50 lights hung). I'm also watching element tutorials which I downloaded this morning from home (not anticipating being online) and getting more familiar with MVTs new light board. If I'd been paying more attention this morning I could use the offline editor to patch my show, but I grabbed the wrong show folder. I knew when I got handed the second dark blue binder that it would lead to trouble! You shouldn't have two shows working at the same time with folders that are the same color. Oh well. I still have lots of work I can do (and I'm hopeful that my mom will come into town sometime today and drop me off the Winter Wonderettes folder).

October has been (is being) a good month for work. HSLR has had a number of shows, I've been getting ready for tech for shows at both MVT and HPU, and I've done a little organizational work for a friend who has recently moved and needed some help setting up and organizing his home office. The mix of different kinds of work is good. November is looking pretty good too. I've got a couple one-offs at HCT at the beginning of the month, I open (and get paid for) those shows at HPU and MVT, I'm on the call for the Jim Nabors show at Hawaii Theatre, and MVT has one or two dark night rentals that I'm running the lights for. I'm feeling a bit better about work and finances with two busier months in a row.

In light of that, I finally bought a new TV! It is a 40" flat panel HDTV. I still haven't called the cable company to hook it up to HD, but just having it wall-mounted and larger is a huge improvement over the 20" model I had perched on the display counter between my desk and kitchen counter. Now I can put objects d'art there instead!

This is pretty much what's going on with me these days. Still loving my kitchen and cooking in it, still loving being back in town in my own place, still single and more-or-less okay with that though I'd love that to change one of these days.

I made a version of this recipe last night and it was amazingly good. Instead of on the grill, I roasted everything in the oven and tossed the shrimp under the broiler for a couple minutes at the very end. I cut up a jalapeno pepper and roasted it along with the rest of the veggies and it added just the right amount of heat to the dish. I used normal couscous and the vinaigrette that was already made in the fridge and everything came together wonderfully. A glass of white wine and I was in culinary heaven.

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Friday, September 25th, 2009
8:17 am - Home Remedies
Now, for some this post may fall into the too much information category. But, if you are female, I suspect that it may contain useful information. On Baking Soda and Cranberry PillsCollapse )

current mood: impressed

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Thursday, September 24th, 2009
1:25 pm - Hearty Peasant Loaf

Hearty Peasant Loaf
Originally uploaded by Ninicat.

Yesterday I made bread. I altered the "One-A-Day Baguette" recipe on Eipcurious to make something I've called Hearty Peasant Loaf in my recipe file. It came out really nicely and, I think, just dense enough. By adding an egg to the dough I solved the too dense (but still very tasty!) loaves I was getting before with this recipe.

Check out the picture next to it on my Flickr page for what I had for dinner that night. I'm now thinking about amazing panini, garlic-sauteed local mushrooms crostini, and just plain old toast with jam! I don't have bread around very much but, when I do, I like to have it be something I've made myself. And, with a decent store/bakery loaf of bread between $2-$6, it makes sense (pun intended) financially as well.

Here is the recipe:

Ingredients:
2 teaspoon active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar or honey
1 1/2 cups warm water (105°-115° F)
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more (up to 1/2 cup) if needed
1 large egg
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 tsp dried herbs (thyme, rosemary, etc.) (optional)
seeds for sprinkling on top of bread (optional)

Preparation:
In KitchenAid bowl sprinkle yeast and sugar/honey over warm water and let stand until foamy, about 5-10 minutes. Combine flours, herbs, and salt in a bowl. With a wooden spoon stir in 2 cups flour until combined. Add the egg and stir to just combined. Stir in remaining flour until mixture forms a stiff dough. With the KA kneed on speed 2 for 7-10 minutes or until smooth and elastic, adding in enough of remaining 1/2 cup flour to keep dough from sticking. When kneeded through, shape into a loose ball by kneeding a few turns by hand. Transfer dough to a lightly oiled deep bowl, turning to coat with oil, and let rise, bowl covered with plastic wrap, until doubled in bulk, about 1 1/2 hours to 2 hours.

Place baking stone near the bottom of the oven and preheat to 400° F.

Punch down dough and form into one large or two smaller peasant loafs. Place on parchment paper and leave to rise for about 1/2 an hour.

Make several artful slashes on loaf with a sharp knife and lightly brush top with an egg wash or olive oil. Add seeds to top of loaf is desired. Bake on stone on parchment paper for 30 minutes, or until golden, and transfer to a rack to cool.

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Tuesday, September 8th, 2009
12:40 pm - Ingredients for Fine Living
I went to Costco Waipio this morning with my mom. Now, you're probably thinking, what's so great about going to Costco? Well, I now have in my apartment some of the essentials of finer living: lemons (lots of lemons!), butter (it would have been terrible had I run out of butter), bay leaves, ham and hot sausage (for red beans and rice this weekend 'cause it is John's birthday and he wanted that kind of food), and fresh figs! Oh, the deliciousness of it all! I need a bit of prosciutto to go with my figs (I already have parmesan) and a bit of white wine, I think. Yum . . .

As my uncle remarked some time ago when he brought back a similarly sized bag of lemons, "Good things happen in the kitchen when there are lemons." So true.

current mood: optimistic

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