Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Beauty Finale

Four weeks ago today, I started my Month of Beauty. I can't believe how quickly the time has gone by! Thank you all so much for your visits and your comments. They've meant a lot to me, and it's been lovely to share the past four weeks with you.

For my final Beauty, two things:

1. I gave my two weeks notice two weeks ago today. (You do the math.)

2. Every passing hour today brings me one hour closer to 8am tomorrow when I will board a plane so that I can spend the weekend with my sister, her husband, their daughter (she of the curly eyelashes), and their just-turned-three son.

When he heard I was coming to visit, my nephew said, very matter-of-factly:

"Emmie is bringing me a car."

He also said:

"Emmie is coming to care of me!"

He's absolutely right on both counts: There's a Tonka truck in my suitcase . . .

And "caring of him" is one of my favorite things in the whole wide world.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Referred Beauty

For today's Beauty, I must refer you to the lovely C Jane's blog. A gathering of friends, a long-awaited pregnancy, a pink buttercream-frosted chocolate cake topped with sugared roses, and a raspberry (I think it's raspberry) fruit tart. Quite an abundance of beauty, I'd say.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Sunset Beauty

Today I saw one of those sunsets that you always see on generic California postcards.  You know, the ones over the ocean with the big sun framed by few wispy clouds? You know, like this one that I found when I googled "California sunset":

I forgot to take my camera with me, but this will do.

Happy Weekend, everyone!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Showtune Beauty

I received a lovely invitation today. One of my friends asked if I'd like to sing a Broadway show tune for a benefit concert in San Diego next month. The theme is love songs, and she's left it up to the participants to choose their own song(s). I'm going to sing "Someone Else's Story" from Chess. (I love that song!), and I'll probably play a little somethin' on my violin as well.  (From Fiddler on the Roof, of course.  What else?)

I must admit that I'm a little nervous.  Not about the violin part, but about the singing part.  There are sure to be some powerhouse-voiced participants, and I do not have a powerhouse voice. I have a nice voice. I love to sing, and I've been in musicals; one was even reviewed by the illustrious Eric D. Snider. (And he's totally right. I Do! I Do! is one of the cheesiest musicals of all time. One exclamation point wasn't enough for the title: it had to have TWO!!)  My voice is sufficient unto the day thereof, but a powerhouse it ain't.

There are few things I enjoy more than listening to a powerhouse voice. Especially when it's in my living room, and it's coming from a good friend. For example, my lovely friend Dianna (hi, lovely!) has one of the most gorgeous voices I've ever heard in person (or anywhere, for that matter). I also have a lovely memory of sitting in a make-up trailer with Dallyn Bayles and singing parts with him to help him prepare for his then upcoming (now past) role in The Secret Garden. (I love that musical!) Have you heard Dallyn sing? I recommend clicking on his name if you haven't.  And the friend who invited me to sing has a beautiful voice as well. These singers are also amazing people, and there's something about an amazing voice coming from an amazing person that's just, well, amazing.

So I'm looking forward to doing my part in July. And then sitting back and enjoying all the beauty that's sure to be.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Fishing Beauty

The following exchange occurred several minutes ago as I was telling my husband about my dad's upcoming fishing trip:

"He's going on a fishing excavation."

"A fishing excavation?"

"Wait, did I say excavation? I meant exhibition."

"A fishing exhibition?"

"No, wait, I don't mean exhibition. I mean . . . what's the word . . . Ex . . ."

"Pedition? Expedition?"

"Expedition! Yes! A fishing expedition!"

I officially need more sleep. And perhaps a thesaurus.

Anyway, in honor of that expedition, here's my favorite fishing photo:

I snapped this last summer - my brother and his sons.

I love seeing my brothers as dads. They are amazing fathers. (Just like mine.)

Monday, June 11, 2007

Parking Beauty

Remember the Bougainvillea? They are now sprouting through the gate above our parking space:

A lovely sight first thing in the morning.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

The Beauty of Chocolate, Kind Husbands, and Weekends

I've been working on a post about my soon-to-be-former job for the past hour; trying to couch the past few months' experiences in purely hypothetical terms should my soon-to-be-former boss somehow magically find my blog. (Highly doubtful, but as I am the Queen of Worrying About Things That Will Probably Never Happen, I have to prepare for every eventuality.) However, all the hypotheticals started to give me a non-hypothetical headache, so I will say this:

Basically, my job was impossible. I was hired part-time to take over my boss's email correspondence, and everything else internet-related, because he is "too old to learn how to deal with technology." Unfortunately, much of the work he does is internet-related, and the job quickly became a full-time nightmare. I could get into all the [hypothetical] reasons it was a nightmare, but this blog entry will probably be too long even without a detailed job description, so just trust me on the nightmare thing. However, for a variety of reasons, I didn't feel that I could quit. But a few weeks ago, when my boss started talking raises and a 401k in exchange for my long-term, full-time commitment, I knew the time to quit had come. I told him (very nicely) that I'd been hired with the understanding that it would be part-time and short-term, and I wasn't looking for anything else. I then offered to stay on for several months to help him find and train a replacement.

Everything changed this week, however, when my boss wrote something very unkind, unfair, and untrue about me in an email. An email that I wasn't supposed to see, but that I saw because it is MY JOB TO READ HIS EMAIL. He wrote it, the person he wrote to responded to it, and I read it.

I sat staring at the unkind, unfair, and untrue email in disbelief. Then I called the one person who I knew would understand how I felt. That would be the person who had my job before me. That would be the person who, a few months ago, read an unkind, unfair, and untrue email my boss sent about her because it was HER JOB TO READ HIS EMAIL. She couldn't believe he'd done it again. I couldn't believe he'd done it again.

As I was reading the email to her, it disappeared. I Iater learned that my boss was checking his email from home, saw the offending message, panicked, and deleted it. (He didn't, however, delete it from his sent mail, and since I also go through that folder every day as part of MY JOB, I was able to read it to my husband over the phone later that day.)

His prior employee told me I should quit immediately. Just walk out of the office and never come back. I didn't know what to do. I knew that my husband would be supportive (as would pretty much anyone who read the email), but I also knew that my boss would be left in a terrible bind.

So, I confronted him. It wasn't pretty. He tried to explain it away, telling me he wished I hadn't seen it because he knew I would "misinterpret" it; that it was a question of "semantics" and "poor word choice" and that he shouldn't be judged for something he wrote "late at night."


He also said a bunch of other things I didn't buy, and then asked (rather forcefully) if I accepted his apology. I didn't know what to say. I told him I'd have to think about it, and I left.

(Two things I hate: Confrontation, and when people can't just admit they were wrong and offer a sincere apology.)

(Did I mention I hate confrontation?)

In the end, I decided to take the high road and give my boss two weeks notice, instead of doing what I wanted to do which was to take the low road and tell my boss to take a hike.

To cheer me up this weekend, my hubby drove me to the Cheesecake Factory, and insisted on buying me a piece of Flourless Chocolate Godiva Cheesecake. We drove to the restaurant and back with the top down (my hubby has a sporty, impractical car). It was a gorgeous, early summer California night. We held hands and ate cake and he said very nice things to me. The stress and frustration of the week subsided, and I realized that everything was going to be okay.

And that kindness, weekends, and chocolate are a beautiful combination.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Desktop Beauty

This photo greets me every time I open my laptop:

(Provence, France. I've never been there, but someday . . .)

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Sky Beauty

My hubby took this. Who knew the sky over Reno could be so lovely?

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Kid Beauty

I was given a report today regarding my 3-year-old nephew. It seems that he is currently completely obsessed with all things Star Wars. After church last Sunday, he presented his father with a picture he had drawn in his Primary class. It was, of course, a picture of light sabers. On it, his teacher had written what my nephew had said about the picture:

"I am thankful that Heavenly Father gave me ears so that I could hear the sound of light sabers."

Now that is beautiful.

Monday, June 04, 2007

The Beauty of Saying No

Want to know the most beautiful thing about today? I QUIT MY JOB!

I have to stay until the end of the month, and maybe through July as well (to train the new guy or gal), but I already feel at least 10.5 million times happier.

(I really, really hate my job.)

To celebrate, I ran outside and took a picture of these flowers by the pool:

And now I'm going to eat some chocolate and think about not having my job. Quitting can be such a beautiful thing.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Globe Beauty

I apologize for the lack of Beauty over the past two days. On Friday, I took off for San Diego right after work, and didn't get back until 4:00 this morning. I made the drive down to see one of my good friends. She and I went to grad school together, and she has returned to the Old Globe to do a show. She is brilliant in it. Truly. I was beaming proud of her. I hadn't seen her in 3 years, so it was wonderful to see her face and sit together late into the night catching up and laughing about crazy stuff that happened during our MFA years together.

While I was waiting for her after the show, I stood looking up at the bell tower in the courtyard outside the theatre. I remembered the feeling of performing on the outdoor stage at night, the cool dampness in the air as the dew settled into the park, looking up past the audience to the illuminated tower and the tiled dome of the Museum of Man, both framed by giant trees.

The Spanish architecture in Balboa Park is amazing by day, and other-worldly at night. I stood under the bell tower, breathed in the dew, and felt overwhelmingly grateful for the opportunity I had to be an actor surrounded by all that Beauty.

Museum of Man Dome and Bell Tower

Me in Pericles, Outdoor Festival Stage, 2002