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Julie Andrews Live   
03:57pm 20/07/2008
  I haven't updated this in awhile, but I had to comment on the show I attended last night at the Hollywood Bowl. It was billed as Rogers & Hammerstein music, sung by a group of 5 people no one's ever heard of and hosted by Julie Andrews.

It opened with a montage of photos, spliced into pictures of the hill from the opening sequence of The Sound of Music, and then the first verse of the song with the video from the movie.

Then she walked onstage in a glittering gold dress. The woman is 72 years old, but didn't look more than maybe 50, and still stops an audience dead in their tracks with her mere presence. She began to discuss the evening, Rogers and Hammerstein, etc, and then talked about the throat surgery she had 12 years ago.

"I don't have the voice or the range you just saw in that video from so many years ago," she said, "but let me assure you, I still sing the HELL out of Old Man River!"

And then she sang. She actually sang!

Well it started as talk-singing through the whole intro of "Getting to Know You" from The King & I. And then sang:

Getting to (drop octave) know you (back up the octave) Getting to (drop octave) know all (back up) about you.

My chest tightened. I began to cry silent tears. And I cried for at least two more songs, until "Nothing Like A Dame" from South Pacific snapped me out of it.

Because Julie Andrews has a musical theatre legacy unlike any other. She is graceful, she is enigmatic... she just... there's no way to find words that do her justice. She had the most beautiful soprano voice - I saw her in Victor Victoria on Broadway 12 years ago, right before her throat surgery. She was 60, but the theatre rung with her voice, her presence.

And now her voice is gone, just like that.

Musical theatre is a safe place. Things like that aren't supposed to happen. Except in Schonberg & Boublil musicals, there are supposed to be happy endings. Julie Andrews being relegated to tenor is NOT a happy ending.

It got better, though - she sang a few more, but they were songs where it wasn't so obvious that she couldn't hit the notes.

Then, at the end, they played the clip from The Sound of Music where they're singing Do Re Mi, and the singers on the stage picked up where the film clip left off. Then, Julie said, "Well, sing along - you know you want to," and the whole Hollywood Bowl burst into song.

And I thought... she asked me to sing, and I sang. But if she had asked me to place my underwear on my head, I probably would have done that too.

(4 stains | Spill your soul to me)

CAMFT & end-of-semesterness   
09:00am 07/05/2008
  So the last 2 weeks of my life have essentially been nonstop craziness... These are the things I have done:

1. Analyzed the family structure within the film American Beauty
2. Written a 12-page "ethnographic interview" paper based on an interview with a multiracial friend from high school for my cross-cultural counseling class
3. Compiled a case file of about 10 components (case notes, intake application, informed consent, release to contact current psychiatrist, elder abuse report, treatment plan, etc etc etc) in response to a case study for my law & ethics class
4. Attended 9 workshops at the CAMFT conference near LAX (and, in the process, discovered two personal mentors & idols within the therapy field... although I also learned that we're less trusted as a profession than car salesmen, and just slightly more than lawyers)
5. Wrote a 40-page genogram paper, which, when you take into account my interview transcripts and various charts, ended up at a grand total of 77 pages!

So if I seem to have dropped off the face of the earth, that may be why. Anyway, I have two classes today, and one next week, and then I'm done with this semester, and there is naught to do but grit my teeth until grades are posted.

I'm so impressed with my own genogram project... I don't think I've ever put that much energy and effort into a school assignment in the entirety of my academic career.

And the CAMFT conference - wow. Anyone who's interested in the field should look up Marty Klein, a sex therapist in Palo Alto with an incredibly brilliant, straightforward, unbiased and existential approach to working with couples, and Barry Duncan, who gave a seminar about "Practice-Based Evidence" (as opposed to Evidence-Based Practice) and taught us about being a therapist who, instead of looking for deficits and trying to fix them, searches for strengths and encourages clients to apply those to their own struggles. The conference completely rejuvenated me and reminded me why I want to go into this field. Fabulous!

That's it for now... now that zaniness is temporarily over, I shall attempt to write somewhat more often.

(8 stains | Spill your soul to me)

Miss Saigon is like a Dementor   
01:23pm 26/04/2008
  I love Miss Saigon. It's an amazing show, and it has more heart than 90% of the other shows I've ever seen combined. But I can't listen to anything on the soundtrack, except possibly American Dream, without my worst fears of the future and the most horrible memories from my past surging to the forefront of my mind.


(Spill your soul to me)

11:28am 17/04/2008
  I got hired as a trainee at Friends of the Family, a clinic in Van Nuys. I start in June... life's career, here I come!  

(6 stains | Spill your soul to me)

Giddy-Up, High Horse!   
12:17pm 16/04/2008
  Maybe I just don't understand politics... perhaps that's my problem. But so many things I hear about and read about absolutely baffle me, and I don't understand how there can possibly NOT be an enormous public outcry.

For those not in California, or for those who don't follow the news, our lovely Governator has decided that the best way to deal with our budget problem is to fire teachers... and not just a few teachers, and not teachers who aren't very good at their jobs, but thousands of teachers throughout the state based on tenure alone. So all those bright newly credentialed minds seeking to influence the students and bring a fresh perspective to the craft - out of work.

I want to know what idiot even SUGGESTED that education was our most expendable asset! Gee, we have a budget problem... oh I know, let's get rid of teachers. That way, our students and schools will suffer, and the great minds of tomorrow won't become filled to their capacity. What a great idea!

And then, on the cover of today's LA Times, there's an article about how McCain would like to suspend the gas tax for the summer. Sounds good, yes? Well, I certainly think so - I hate having to pay $65 to fill my tank. But his proposal for how to do this is to cut MediCare funds so that lots and lots of old people can't get the prescriptions they need for their many health problems.

So essentially, the overall statement that has been made over the course of the last month is that education and healthcare are expendable. Yet we're still spending millions (or is it billions?) of dollars a DAY in overseas warfare. I just don't understand this...

We really need to get a Democrat into office...

(4 stains | Spill your soul to me)

Flower Drum Song, Revised   
05:53pm 13/04/2008
  When I have my rainbow pants on,
And my hair's blue instead of brown,
I just get my goofy dance on...
I enjoy being a CLOWN!!

(Spill your soul to me)

If you're a musical theatre fan, this may well be the best 8 minutes you've had all day.   
10:27pm 12/03/2008

(2 stains | Spill your soul to me)

Paid social networking site   
10:04pm 06/03/2008
  I just wanted to invite you guys to check this out... I think it's a pretty spiffy idea:


(Spill your soul to me)

End of the semester   
10:42pm 06/12/2007
  Wow, I can't believe my first semester of grad school is almost over... two papers, three classes, an evaluation, and a presentation, and I'm a free woman for a few weeks. Much is in store for winter break, including 10 days in Israel on the birthright program. It really just hit me today that I'm going, now that I have my itinerary. It should be oodles of fun, excitement, education, etc.

Life is a bit zany at the moment... I have a bajillion things to do, so naturally I'm posting a livejournal entry. I have 250 invitations that need to be done by Monday. I wonder if invitations are like theatre... theatre always comes together in the final stretch - no one ever knows how - and I really hope the same is true for these invites, because I'm feeling super duper overwhelmed.

Um...... ok, back to work.

(10 stains | Spill your soul to me)

Oh my goodness....   
11:49pm 11/11/2007
  After the Izzard show (which was fabulous, by the way), I was driving home on Laurel Canyon, and I swear I think I saw a dead guy in the opposing lane just south of Lookout Mountain... I guess it could have been a pile of clothes or a trick of the light or something, but it really really looked like a dead guy, completely sprawled out, like either someone threw him out of a car, or maybe like he had an epileptic seizure while walking down the road and passed out right in the middle of it.

I called the police, apologizing profusely on the off-chance that I sent them and the paramedics out there for a false alarm. They reassured me that it was ok, better safe than sorry and all.

The longer I sit here and think about it, the less certain I am it was actually a person... the image is becoming steadily less vivid in my mind. But at the time, it definitely definitely looked like a dead person. I felt a chill of certainty jump through me... I was on the phone with John telling him about the show and I just stopped mid-sentence and said "oh my god".

Is it weird that I was scared to stop or turn around and check? Does that make me irresponsible?

(2 stains | Spill your soul to me)

Le squee.   
05:48pm 02/11/2007
  So business is BOOMING! This past week, I secured two new invitations accounts which, suffice it to say, will buy me another semester of graduate school. Yay. They're really fun too... one is my favorite of my designs and the other is created by the customer, which is always loads of fun.

So... yay. Finally.

(4 stains | Spill your soul to me)

What Do You Have To Say? - Small Business: Advice to Entrepreneurs   
11:10am 21/10/2007
What advice would you give to people who are starting their own business?
Don't expect immediate success. Building a solid client base takes time, so stay determined and understand it may take a little while.

(Spill your soul to me)

Perpetually sicky   
02:14pm 01/10/2007
  I've had a cold now for about two weeks solid. I don't really understand it... it started the weekend I took the Upper Division Writing Proficiency Exam, probably because I got 4 hours of sleep two nights in a row. But it was really bad for about 3 days then subsided into just a bit of a runny nose. Annoying, but tolerable. Then on Thursday I ate something that didn't agree with me, went home, took 2 Benadryl and passed out... and it was like someone pressed the Reset button on my cold. Where it was almost completely gone, it's been rebooted, and now I'm back to being stuffed up and congested, and I got almost no sleep last night because I kept waking up with different symptoms.

Arg. Not really intolerable, but certainly annoying.

(1 stain | Spill your soul to me)

Attention Potter-Heads!!   
10:58pm 29/09/2007
mood: energetic
If you are a Harry Potter fan but were sort of lukewarm about Harry and the Potters, please allow me to highly highly highly recommend The Remus Lupins... you can find a sample at http://www.myspace.com/theremuslupins and holy wow!! They do SUCH a good job of capturing the heart of the series, as well as its playfulness. Highlights are Remember Cedric (totally pulls at your heartstrings), as well as The Weasleys, The Balland of Neville and Luna, Burn Your Prefect Badge, and OF COURSE Teenage Werewolf.


I saw them in concert tonight and I was absolutely blown away.

I have to go now - it's imperative that I memorize every song on both of their albums I just purchased. Fabulous. I am one pleased muggle.

(Spill your soul to me)

Who knew? Cooking = 9th grade biology!   
04:16pm 14/09/2007
  Ew. Ew. Ew.

I'm making bbq chicken for my family tonight, John's recipe, and he told me you start with a whole chicken... But it wasn't until I actually had this dead thing in my hands that I thought... you know, whole turkeys come with entrails, I wonder if chickens do too. So I called John and he told me they probably weren't there, but I should check. So, cringing, I reached my hand up the chicken's ass...

...and I grabbed... I don't know... its heart, maybe, or its liver. I'm not good at anatomy. But it was a piece of the chicken that was definitely not meat or skin or bones. And so I figure, this chicken's butt hole is pretty big, so I just lift the whole thing, and tip it over into the sink.

And out pours... like... everything...

So I begrudgingly took a finger and shoved it into the garbage disposal... So now there's like chicken spleen all chopped up in the bowels of my kitchen sink.

Ew. I'm going to go vomit now.

(Spill your soul to me)

12:00am 14/09/2007
  Can someone tell me, please, why I am awake?  

(Spill your soul to me)

First counseling experience!   
04:44pm 13/09/2007
  So I've been doing it for years with friends, and today I got the opportunity to try it in a more formal setting...

Three weeks into grad school, and for one of my classes, I had to tape a 20-minute counseling session with a classmate. First I was the client and she was the counselor, and then we switched... she was AMAZING - she's going to be great, I can tell. And I felt like when it was my turn, I didn't do too badly myself. It was the first time for both of us, so we were both pretty nervous, but wow, I feel so confident now. I totally want to make a career of this.

...it was actually harder being the client!

(Spill your soul to me)

02:50pm 11/09/2007
  So you know when you have one of those word-root revelations?? (Maybe not? Well I have them once in awhile...) It just hit me like a brick over the head that "autism" is related to "autonomy".... that makes so much sense! Because even though many autistic people have some degree of mental retardation, they don't all have that... the disorder is primarily qualified by a lack of typical social interaction, and a preference for playing in a less socially acceptable way (flapping hands or running water over a spoon instead of stacking blocks or playing with trucks) rather than engaging in games with others... wow, duh Jennie!!

On another note, I saw a human interest news story today that a girl was asked to leave a plane before takeoff because her outfit was too provocative. This is what she was wearing:

Is that ridiculous or what? Stupid Southwest Airlines...

I know, no substantive update about grad school... actually, I'm not sure I've posted since before I started about three weeks ago. Just know that things are going well, and I'm loving my program.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaanyway........... um.... back to studying and stuff.

(1 stain | Spill your soul to me)

Seeking a home for my kitty!   
10:17am 29/08/2007
  A girl named Shi who lives in Hollywood has provided an amazing home for my cat for the last nine months, but she's moving in with someone who can't have cats, so I need a new foster home for her... if anyone knows someone who might be interested, pretty please let me know... here's the ad:

Lily is a gorgeous long-haired tortoise-shell who greets me at the door, answers to her name, and generally has a very sweet disposition.

Here's the situation: I bought Lily when I was attending college in Georgia, at a point in my life when my intention was not to return home to Los Angeles. However, circumstances changed, and now I'm living here in LA with my parents while I attend grad school. My father, however, is extremely allergic to cats. Thus, I'm seeking a foster home for Lily.

Lily is up to date on all her shots. She has lived with other animals, both cats and dogs of all sizes, and smaller pets (turtles) as well, and is amicable (if slightly aloof) around them. She has also lived with children without a problem. She is not declawed, but I keep her equipped with Soft Claws (basically plastic acrylics that cover her claws so they're not damaging to any surface), and I replace them as needed.

I would provide all food, litter, and anything else Lily needed, as well as a $25/ month stipend for your generosity in housing her. When she needs shots, I will take her, and I will visit weekly to take care of anything she needs. All in all, this is a very small obligation on your part... all I need from you is your hospitality in the form of a roof over her head.

I prefer someone willing to make a long-term committment to providing a foster home for Lily. Though all I require is 30 days' notice to find her another home if you decide you can't keep her, I'm going to be in grad school for two and a half years, and I won't be able to take her back until the end of that amount of time. I also prefer someone in the San Fernando Valley, for the sake of facilitating my weekly visits, but I would consider people who live elsewhere as well.

Thank you so much for your interest, and have a wonderful day.


(2 stains | Spill your soul to me)

Grad school, squee!!   
07:11pm 28/08/2007
  Ok, so my Monday classes are totally awesome. First, theory & practice of counseling with Dr. Charnofsky. Dr. Charnofsky is a great lecturer, very funny, straightforward, interesting... I think I'll have no problem paying attention to him for three hours every Monday (which is impressive, considering my ADD). Also, it seems I chose the right class section, considering our syllabus is one page long - that's it - and our assignments consist of one class presentation, a book report, a not-graded self-analysis, and an oral group final exam... and one of the other sections has a 20 page syllabus with weekly assignments and stuff. Yay.

The second class is my practicum... part of it is based on a text book, learning about counseling, developing skills, etc, but a lot of it is self-analysis. The theory behind that is that you can't be an effective therapist if you're carrying tons of your own baggage, so we have a "process group", which is a step down, intensity-wise, from group therapy. Our only real assignment, besides show up, is to conduct and videotape 4 20-minute therapy sessions with a classmate as the therapist, and 4 as the client. These then get analyzed so we can track our progress from tragically incompetent to maybe ready to go out and help real people.

Everyone in my program is amazing... never have I been surrounded by so many people who want to save the world's mental health, one person at a time. One girl in my first class worked in New Orleans for six months, helping to clean up after Hurricane Katrina. Lots of people have worked with disabled populations... people who have worked with help lines... all with the common goal of learning to be effective helpers.

I'm not deluding myself. I know it won't be easy.

But damn, I'm excited...

(Spill your soul to me)