Month: May 2007

Movie Club field trip

I’m not sure if I mentioned yet that we formed a movie club. Once a month we gather friends and watch a movie and eat snacks. We rotate turns picking movies, and encourage each other to pick films that most of the group hasn’t seen and come from a variety of genres. So far we have watched
Sleuth (Brian)
xXx (Ben)
Igby Goes Down (Trevor)

It’s my turn next month and I already have my pick. This week we also had a field trip, so to speak. The Esquire was showing The Creature from the Black Lagoon in 3-D at midnight Friday.

Blue and red 3D movies never work that great for me, but it was fun anyway. I haven’t seen an old fashioned monster movie with Brian in a long time. Everyone but too-drunk Neil enjoyed it.

A room with a view

I got a new fish! He’s a pretty sapphire color. He seems comfortable in the warmer weather. I hope he lasts until October.

Jem noticed him right away. Look how grown up our little puppy has become!

We made major upgrades to the house this week by installing new windows! I love them so so much. The house definitely feels cooler, and the air is fresher.




Lovely! We got a great deal with PW Exteriors, about $600 less than other places were quoting me. I’m very pleased with how they turned out.

Return to the Stage!

The recital is over, yea! This studio has a great staff, volunteer group, and really cute, fun dancers. I often feel like an oddball there, but even so it’s fun to be a part of a group. As promised, here’s a tutu-full of pictures.

First, my costumes. The Mary Poppins-style dress is for the rehearsal scene, so I’m dressed athletically, for an 1880s working girl. The ruffled shirt is from the dance department closet. I sewed the black gored skirt without a pattern, with extra sections in the back to give me more leg extension space. The shoes are teacher’s dancing slippers, in black instead of the typical pink, and without the usual elastic over the arch.

The formal dress is for the audition scene. As I’m sure I mentioned before, the Arvada Center theater department let me use this costume, all sewn from original patterns. The full get-up entails: tights, dress slip, corset, brassiere, bustle, underskirt, overskirt, jacket, and gloves. There are 7 support straps around my waist when all is done.

There isn’t a good picture of my hair or make-up, hopefully in the video I’ll post later you can see what I did with it. (these photos were taken after a run through, so I’m a bit sloppy)

Some performance shots: fairy elves, orphans, and sheep (the cutest)

Jonathan’s a huge flirt, but I appreciated the fanning he gave me between my last scene and bows. That outfit is HOT!

Some of my favorite orphans I “audition.” Claire on the left is hilarious, she almost cracked me up during the first night with her ad-libbing. Also, they’re wearing the costumes I sewed. On the right are the butterflies, waiting for their turn.

More of Jonathan (he’s omnipresent, and when I tried to take a casual photo, he made me wait until he tied his tie and put on the vest so he could pose). On the right are me and Jen, another older student, who played the nun running the orphanage. We’re in the “big girl” dressing room.

Lining up for bows. I’m just showing off the cute costumes our company creates. Christina’s anti-catalog costume because they’re so cheaply made. The handmade costumes for their shows are all so personalized and detailed, I love them! Some of the high school girls I take class with are in the back of the 2nd and 3rd picture.

And that’s it! Ben and his parents came to the Sunday matinee. They seemed to enjoy it, and I was happy to have someone in the audience. They gave me lovely flowers after the show (in addition to the two dozen roses Ben got me earlier, “just because”) and then took us to dinner. It was a smooth performance run, and surprisingly I had less jitters than I used to.

The Break Free Project

Here’s a message from my friends in New York. Please donate if you can help!

The Break Free Project is a musical tour hitting the road in a vehicle
fueled by waste vegetable oil on July 1st 2007.

We will bring:

  • musical performances
  • community service projects
  • a documentary film

to each of our nine tour stops around the United States!

We want to rediscover American innovation and diversity in small towns
across the country. Our documentary film will capture us exploring
America, person by person, landscape by landscape, and idea by idea.

Your contribution will help us purchase a used diesel vehicle, so if you’d like to join the movement to popularize alternative fuels, please donate today!

For more information, please visit us at our website and look for the word Donate, enter the amount you want and thank you very much from Mavi, Kate, Julia and Jeff at the Break-Free Project!

Or if you’re old school, make your checks out to The Break Free Project and send them to:
The Break Free Project c/o Mavi Graves
33 Bushwick Ave. #1
Brooklyn, NY 11211

ballet dresses and the great outdoors

Front and back view of the finished costumes. Phew! Just in time.

Molly’s way into heated cement. She meows to go out almost every day now. I bought some fresh catnip but the neighbor cats sneaked in and stripped the stalks before Molly had a chance. I’ll have to regulate it’s availability.

This is the aptly named Green Mountain trail, one of our favorite places to take Jem hiking. It’s only about 10 minutes from our house. The picture I posted a while ago with Ben in the red shirt and Denver behind them is on the same mountain before the grass grew in. All the rain this year has made Colorado especially beautiful.

Random comment – my favorite snack these days: crisp apple slices, peanut butter, and cinnamon sugar.

Spring changes

The Arvada center is doing their spring student recital this week. The tech rehearsal is tonight, dress is tomorrow, then the show Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Last year I helped choreograph and rehearse the senior student dancers. Christina kept saying she wanted to get me on stage, and this year she will. I’m playing the Paris Opera Ballet Mistress, who comes to the orphanage to audition the children for my ballet company. I’m in the first and last scenes of the ballet, and I have a duet with another older dancer who plays the nun running the orphanage. I haven’t been on stage in 8 years. I hope everything goes smoothly. I have a fantastic costume loaned from the Arvada Theater company’s collection, all made from vintage patterns with ruffles and bustles. I’ve been trying to create an equally elegent and poofy hairstyle.

Additionally, I sewed 7 costumes for the little ones. They were double lined bodices with a two layer gathered skirt and lace accents. It’s been a headache getting these done, mostly because the pieces were cut in assembly line fashion by other volunteers, and almost every piece had to be recut by me to fit the pattern. Some just didn’t fit together, and some were cut from entirely the wrong pattern piece.

But I just have two more ribbons waistbands to finish, then check for stray threads and I’m done! I’ll post pictures after the show.

In two weeks I’m going back to school. I decided I’m going to apply for nursing schools in the fall, so I have summer and fall semester to complete prerequisites at the community college. I’m super excited to be back in class and be challenged. My job has gotten pretty easy and light over the past year, and I’m in dire need of a big change. (you know, besides the whole buying a first home and getting a dog 😉

Speaking of the first home, we’re having new windows installed next week. Geez, they’re expensive. There goes our 5 year anniversary vacation money. But our windows are such trash it’s really a necessity: no screens, no locks, no heat/cooling effect, ugly, and difficult to open or close. We made it through the winter but there’s no way we can last the summer without better windows.

And speaking of the dog, she’s growing up so fast! I’m still having a hard time realizing she’s going to be around for a long time, that she’s part of the family. She still feels like a novelty to me. I enjoy that having a dog gives me and Ben more reasons to be outside, walking and talking, being social at parks and hiking, etc. But if it was just my choice, we would only have a cat. Although Jem is maturing and calming down, she’s SO much maintenance. I hate the messes on the floor and the toys and socks she chews and leaves all over the house, the nasty smell of dog food, the expensive vet visits, the need to put trash cans on top of counters, the howling when we leave her, and on and on. More than anything, it reminds me that I’m not ready to give up my independence and start a family. I mean, I’m sure when you’re holding your own infant, those selfish feelings go away and you’re willing to change your life for this person, but for now, I like my freedom and clean home and not having to keep constant vigilance for a little creature (when Ben is home to watch Jem, at least). It reinforces my decision to go back to school and I’m happy for that.

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