Monday, February 28, 2011

In case you thought it would never happen...

I cooked something from scratch.

I really did.

My friend Reed is very culturally savvy. He has visited many countries and interacted with people and food all over the world. So, he decided one night to make Taiwanese potstickers and graciously invited me along.

I loved seeing Reed's excitement over his new food processor. It was like watching a kid at Christmas. Nothing but goodness goes in the middle of potstickers, including pork, garlic, green onion, cabbage, etc. And by the way, real chefs mix ingredients with their hands. (I don't actually know if that's true, but it's a good theory.)

The best part was getting to wrap the potstickers. It took me several tries and lots of experimenting...

...before I figured out how to keep them closed during boiling. Can you tell which row is mine and which is Reed's?

Okay, so I changed my mind. The best part was EATING the potstickers. Dipped in a mix of sauces, a la Reed. YUM. (What does 'a la' actually mean?)

Seriously. SO delicious.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

It's Show Time!

I wish I could post pictures of my kids in their cute costumes, but I can't. I guess you'll all just have to come to our last performance tomorrow (Monday) night at 6:30 p.m.! :-)

One thing I've been having the most fun with this past week during the show is helping with the girls' hair. We've had a little team of us doing it about an hour and a half before show time. It's a hobby I really enjoy, and it has been cool to get a chance to do it for our production.

While our director, Jessica (center in the above picture), has put in the most amount of hours hands down on this show, the actual production of it each night has been a team effort between me (the music director), Ashlei (the choreographer) and Jessica (the director). Jessica stands on stage right, I stand on stage left, and Ashlei is with the kids in the tech booth. We communicate on our little radios to cue lights, give last minute notes to actors ("Tell Mike on your side to SLOW DOWN!"), and sometimes to make funny comments about what is happening during the show.

While I'm totally exhausted (and I wake up weird is that?! One of my students asked me what I possibly did during the show to merit sore muscles, and I had to remind him I'm 15 years older than he is), it has been a lot of fun. There is always something new for me to learn in this biz.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Tell it Like it is!

One thing I love about the school where I teach is the diversity in ethnicity and culture. My Girls Ensemble this year is very diverse and I love it. I was listening to a conversation between two of the girls one day when I butted in. This is how the conversation went:

Girl 1 (African American, was adopted by Caucasian parents): I hate the stairs! Stupid stairs!

Girl 2 (very white): Just wait until you get to UVU! Have you ever been there? I went on the college tour there and they have like 500, no 1,000, 1,500 stairs!

Girl 1: I'm not going to UVU. I'm going to Michigan State.

Ms. Houston: Really? What's at Michigan State?

Girl 1, very matter-of-factly: Black guys.

I was totally not expecting her answer, especially because I don't hear her talking a lot about boys in class. I'd like to say that's a silly way to choose a university and a future, but let's be honest: How often do LDS singles choose places to move that have a good supply of other LDS singles? She obviously knows what she wants and where to go to find it.

A California Adventure

Over President's Day weekend, my roommates and I, plus our friend Jeanette, went on a much anticipated road trip to California for Kelsey's first real Disneyland trip and a visit to my parents and Anna in Santa Barbara. The weekend was absolutely perfect! We created a Disney movie of our own with all the memories and adventures we collected. So, without further ado, here are the production details of our movie

"A California Adventure."

Meet the cast:

Krista is a hardworking MBA student and full-time employee at a genealogy company, who, despite the need for a well deserved vacation, couldn't resist bringing some homework along for the drive...

Sylvia, also doubling as a student and full-time employee, has, through much generosity, saved many a neck and shoulder in our apartment with her infamous massages (straight up legit...she went to massage therapy school!)

is a full-time employee at a bank and the only cast member with a boyfriend, who, with much tolerance, fielded question after question about her love life during our hours on the road.

Kelsey, a cosmetologist at the MTC and the BYU barbershop and a student, was also our inspiration for the trip. The last time she went to Disneyland was age 2, before she could go on any of the rides.

Katie, a middle school teacher, is in need of getting back in touch with the normal person within and thought Disneyland would be just the right thing.

Scene one: Sylvia's Car

...where much snacking, laughing, and dancing ensued.

Scene Two: Las Vegas
(and the 1 mile mall, where we had some costume changes)

Scene Three: The Hotel in Anaheim

Scene Four: Disneyland

And introducing guest star Anna, a sixteen year old sweetheart and aspiring baker and photogapher who loves dance, Disneyland, and dates! :-)

Scene Five: California Adventure Park

No stunt double were used during the making of this film, even for death defying scenes like Tower of Terror.

Scene Six: The Houston Home

Introducing supporting characters in our cast...the scary turkeys.

Scene Seven: Hendry's Beach at Sunset

And now, for a sneak peak of some of our publicity photos, taken by our photographer, Anna...

It was only one take to get the picture above!

Scene Eight: Sylvia's Car

Home again, home again, jiggity jig!