Sunday, August 14, 2011

Silly Grown-Up, School is for Kids

My dad is desperately hoping this was the last time he had to load up a U-Haul with all of my flea market "treasures" and move me to another city. He's safe for at least another 27 months, if I can handle going straight through this crazy thing called law school with no summer breaks. My apartment is mostly put together, with a few minor exceptions of course, so pictures will be up soon!

I knew this would happen. This big move wouldn't really sink in until I was sitting alone in my own apartment, realizing that I have none of mom's leftovers for dinner and I'm the one responsible for calling maintenance to fix my broken toilet (oh yes, best move-in ever). I'm not sad or lonely, I just kept myself so busy painting this summer that I hadn't quite processed this transition from being home with family and being the teacher to being on my own and a student again. Fortunately, I've done this before (although longer ago than I like to admit.) So, once I shake off the dust I know this is going to be awesome.

Orientation is Wednesday-Friday, and I'm working on the reading assignment I was given to be prepared to discuss first thing. I have been encouraged by the fact that reading a 6 page case about an oil supply company suing ex-employees actually interested me instead of putting me into into a boredom-induced coma. This is a good sign. Another positive omen? Students in my entering class seem eager to make friends as soon as possible. I guess we all know that we are going to need someone to talk us off the ledge at some point in this journey.

I'm excited to see what I can do with what I learn here. It's a beautiful thing to start something completely new and have a front row seat as it all unfolds into something greater than you could have possibly expected. It feels like I am supposed to be here right now, and you can't buy a feeling like that. All of the crazy experiences I have had the fortune of living through--moving to the ghetto in New York, teaching English and Reading to eleven-year-olds, coaching sports I didn't even play and surviving with the help of Google and improv class at ACU, and now law school--are creating a unique collage of a life I never saw coming. And it's so much better than something I would have come up with.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Jack of All Trades

If there are any typos in this post, it's because my keyboard is a little bit rusty. It happens when you don't post in over a year. It's a little embarrassing that 2010 did not see one single update from this blogger, but here is my attempt at a comeback. Fingers crossed that it's as successful as Bon Jovi's.

My last year-ish... abridged:

After moving home from New York in December of 2009, I began searching for the answer to that age-old question-- not "How many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop?", although that question does still eat at me sometimes. I asked myself, "What am I supposed to do with my life now?" Apparently I'll be asking this question well into retirement. But since I had to make some sort of decision, I started doing research. I thought about going to graduate school and was wait-listed for A & M's George Bush School of Government and Public Service. Then I had a change of heart and decided to get my teaching certification and take my LSAT (Law School Admission Test). Here is where things get a little crazy. I am a teacher. They leave me alone in a room with 60 kids and want me to make them smarter. On top of that, I am also a coach. Volleyball, basketball and track are my newest areas of expertise. Sometimes I still wake up and wonder how this is all possible.

I ran a 5K with Benay, read some great books, did more studying than I ever did in college, and dyed my hair red. I spent my summer between teacher school in White Settlement and the swimming pool, wrote a lullabye for Beau, and lost 10 pounds due to my inability to handle the stress of the first few weeks of school. I got a little better at cooking--no exploding cakes this year.

I've adopted my old college sleep schedule just to get everything done, so I'm tired but I'm learning a lot. And if you know anything about me, you know I love to learn. I got to spend Thanksgiving at home for the first time in 3 years, and my family is all within driving distance. Tyler (yep, I'm dating someone, and he's got everybody impressed) moved out to Paducah for the next five months, but as long as he doesn't get hacked up by the Texas Chainsaw Massacre folks in nearby Childress or eaten by one of the 400 pound wild hogs around town, he'll be back this way too. My nephew calls me LuLu, like actually says it. I used to hate it when people called me LuLu growing up, but it's not so bad when he says it. There's no place like home.

I've missed writing. Sample essays are not quite as therapeutic or enjoyable as this. Maybe I'll be a writer when I grow up. And a teacher, a lawyer, a babysitter, a sister, a self-proclaimed chef, an actor, a daughter, a photographer and a runner. I am not someone who likes to limit myself to one or two talents. I guess you could say my love of learning causes me to have commitment issues. Hey, if you don't know where you're supposed to be going, might as well give every open door a chance. I'll get where I'm supposed to be, even if I take the long way around.

I know I skipped some important and exciting things, and didn't go into too much detail. But I've heard it said that it's good to leave 'em wanting more.

Happy 2011

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Not A Creature Was Stirring...Except For A Mouse

I don't think there will ever be another Thanksgiving quite like this one. For the first time in my life, I faced spending a major holiday--one centered around spending time with people, no less--completely alone. Before you start tuning your violin for me, allow me to say that this was an experience I'll never forget. And I don't mean in the I'll-remember-this-because-it-was-so-terribly-emotionally-scarring kind of way. It was wonderful, and different, and special. I started the day before the day actually started, at 3:30 a.m., at which time I started cooking my Thanksgiving meal and bundling up. I got to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade at about 6:15 am, and I wasn't the first person there either. I found a spot on 57th Street and 7th Avenue on the front row, and parked myself there for the next 5 1/2 hours. I had to pass the time somehow, so I struck up conversation with my new neighbors. I was standing beside an Assistant Principal of an Alternative School in the Bronx and his 4-year-old daughter who wants to grow up to take Al Roker's job at NBC. She's certainly prettier than him. To my left was a family from North and South Carolina. The grandmother was named Pat, and she talked to me about how she had lived in New York City in her 20's and was a dancer. She danced with Ethel Merman at a Summerstock theatre one year, and got to sing once with Burt Bacharach. How many people can say that? She also invited me to spend Thanksgiving with her family if I didn't want to spend it alone, and told me she would be praying for me. There are still nice people in the world.

I have watched the parade every year for as long as I can remember, but I never imagined how different it would be watching it on the sidewalk instead of the tv screen. There was a man standing across the street from me who started singing Christmas Carols, and much to my surprise, everyone started joining in. Thousands of random strangers were standing shoulder to shoulder, outside, in the New York November, and singing Christmas Carols together. You can't make this stuff up. And then, the parade started. I always knew the balloons were big, but guys, the balloons....are BIG. The people in the parade were chunking confetti at us and yelling Happy Thanksgiving like they just might mean it, and the marching bands kept the beat as the parade marched on.I got to see some really great celebrities, and the ones I didn't know, it turns out, were Disney kids. I learned that from the shrieking 9 year-old girl behind me who kept saying stuff about Hannah Montana.

After the parade I went back to my apartment, hoping it was still standing after I left food cooking there all morning. When I opened the door, it smelled like Thanksgiving. Brandon set up Skype at my parent's house--that's software that lets you do things like video chat. He sat me on the dining room table and I got to "eat" with Mom, Dad, Mary, Brandon and Beau. So, thanks to technology, I didn't spend Thanksgiving alone after all. I spent the rest of the day with Gene Kelly, John Candy and a pint of Cherry Garcia ice cream. I watched "Trains, Planes and Automobiles," "Pieces of April," and "An American in Paris". I've got the pictures from the parade in a Facebook album. Here's a link if you want to check them out:

When Jen got back from her Thanksgiving in Jersey, we got a Christmas tree, some garland and some twinkling lights and decorated for Christmas. We hand-painted some ornaments earlier, and hung them on the tree while listening to Christmas music. Then, we called it a night...or so we thought.

Sunday night, after falling asleep at a decent hour for once, I awoke at 1:45 a.m. to Jenavene's timid whisper at my door--"Lindsey? Um, I think we have a mouse." That woke me up. We turned on the lights and saw the mouse scurry across the kitchen floor, so we left to get some traps at CVS. Since we'd been gone about 10 minutes, we weren't sure where our furry friend had scampered off to, so we started kicking things around and, turns out, he was in Jen's room. And she found mouse poop by her pillow. So it ran out of Jen's room, back into the kitchen, and we started planting our traps around the baseboards. Jen crawled into bed with me that night, and we hadn't been asleep 15 minutes before I heard a trap snap in the kitchen. We catapulted across the living room and peeked into the kitchen to see the mouse's tail and back leg caught in one of the old school trap's we'd set (not one of the fancier, more humane ones). But since the little creeper wasn't dead, we had a problem on our in the world were we going to get that thing outside? While we were debating, the squealer starting darting for his hiding place behind the fridge, so we threw a box on top of him. We thought about leaving him there until the Super could come in the morning...but we'd spent so much time and energy shrieking and jumping on chairs that we wanted that thing out of our apartment before it could figure out a way out of its trap. Plus, the mouse finally figured out his time on this earth was nearing an end, and he started scratching and squeaking and flailing around in the box. So we devised a plan--I put on my rain boots and and got a bigger box with a lid and Jen grabbed the broom. On the count of 3, Jen tried to scoot the smaller box into the bigger box I was propping up on the floor. Well, the best laid plans of mice and men...

The box scooted without the mouse. You know those stories about how people have lifted cars off of small children when they really needed to? In case you were curious, same theory holds true for mice. That fuzz ball got his tail out of the trap! Fortunately, his leg was still caught. But we were all so stunned for a moment, mouse included, that none of us moved. *Cue The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly theme music* The mouse moved first, but Jen's reflexes were fast. She reared back and knocked that mouse, trap and all, into the big box. I flipped it over and slammed down the lid. Jen took the initiative and picked up the box while I ran ahead opening doors and shouting encouragement. We took it to the farthest outdoor trashcan from our apartment, and after Jen gave the box a few good shakes, threw the box with the mouse with the trap in the can. In hindsight, I wish someone had been there to film it. From now on, I will refer to Jen as Gretzky.

Two and a half weeks until I'm back in God's Country where there are stars, and thunderstorms, and queso is a word that people understand.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Connecting the Dots

New Yorkers don't like tourists. Tourists clog up the already jam-packed streets, ambling along in clumps because they've heard horror stories from legitimate sources of how easy it is to get kidnapped and chopped into bite-size pieces--these legitimate sources consisting mostly of Law and Orders and CSIs. Somehow, New Yorkers tend to forget that, while it's annoying that people are too busy looking at the flashy lights to watch where they're going, tourists are most likely the reason they are employed. This week, like the actor I am, I played the part of tourist. My friend Donovan and I went to the Statue of Liberty and to Ellis Island. I looked up some of my family in the records database and found quite a few matches. I'll have to go back and spend some more time there when I've got some more detailed information. We also went to Chinatown, where I bought a cute knitted head scarf, 2 bootleg DVDs, and a Coach purse that a Chinese man pulled out of the ceiling. Go ahead, re-read that last sentence...I promise it's true.

We celebrated my friend Jonathan's 26th Birthday by going to see Where The Wild Things Are at an IMAX movie theatre, then going to the Guggenheim museum on its 50th Anniversary celebration where Kandinsky was on display. Here, I could profess some deep insights on art and Kandinsky's genius. But you all know me well enough to know that I would have copied and pasted something from Wikipedia. In spite of my lack of art knowledge, it was fun at the Guggenheim. After a quick dinner at Tasty's Diner, we headed back to my apartment for presents and Strawberry Cream Cheese Cake.

Jenavene's parents, Adam and Donna, came to visit over the weekend. They fed us and stocked up our pantry. They also got me hooked on a new TV show called Modern Family--if you haven't watched it, allow to introduce you.

Yesterday I spent most of the rainy day playing with GarageBand, a recording software that came with my MacBook. For Memaw's birthday (Happy Birthday Memaw!) I recorded a few hymns. The first 4 tracks I sang all of the parts by myself and just overlapped them, but I wanted the last track to be special. I've recently gotten into studying my family history, and Memaw was kind enough to give me a song that was written by my great great grandmother, Izora, and had never been sung. Jenavene, Jonathan, Seth and I worked on it and recorded it for her. It's a beautiful hymn. A strange mix of pride and humility came with recording this song. I had heard a few things about this distant relative of mine, a woman who was a publish poet, an artist like me. It was a privilege to breathe life into the music written from her heart and indescribably satisfying to connect to someone I like to think I must "take after". You can listen to it here...I had to create a slideshow and upload the song as a video, so here are a couple of pictures from the last month and a half:

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

You Can Take The Girl Out Of Texas...

Five a.m. came exceptionally early on Tuesday morning, having slept restlessly due to an all-to-familiar mix of anticipation, excitement and nerves. I had no idea what to expect on a T.V. set, and I was thankful that out of a database of over 25,000 people, my friend Will and I got called for the same job. I like to think that was more than just coincidence. We met at the train platform at 6 am, each lugging our cumbersome suitcases filled with wardrobe changes for the day. One train ride, 5 streets, and 5 seemingly endless avenues later, we were filling out Non-Union Vouchers in the holding room at Pier 92, the first location of the day. Pier 92 was transformed into JFK airport for the first scene. We moved to one other location during the day and had two wardrobe changes. It was cold, we were outside and on our feet for 10 hours (5 of which I spent in 4 inch heels...never again.) and we were not allowed to even wait in line for food at lunch until all of the Union people had filled their plates. And I loved it. Maybe I should get my head checked.

I got on the good side of one of the Production Assistants who was in charge of placing the extras and giving us business to do, so I got seen in pretty much every shot. The show is a new HBO series called "How To Make It In America." So if you have HBO, you may see me walking across your screen during a few of the episodes. Even though we were sort of treated like the JV team and I got a good sense of how the lepers might have felt back in the day, I learned that I like being on a movie set. It's got a cool vibe, it's hard work, and it's something I'll probably try a few more times.

Jen and I will do anything to get out of the house at the moment--the temperature recently took a nose dive and apparently our landlord didn't get the memo, since our heat still hasn't been turned on. Thursday afternoon we had a late lunch with fellow ACU alum Lyndsey Goode, the wonderful woman who let me ASM with her for those Off-Broadway readings last year. We ate at a bistro called "La Pan Quotidian", which is French for "Our Daily Bread". She's currently stage managing a show on Theatre Row, so I may get to watch her show for free pretty soon. Later that night, due to the bleak and rainy weather, Seth and Jon came over for a waffle dinner in our PJ's and "Love Actually".

Today Jen, Seth, Donovan (another ACU friend) and I went to a restaurant called Stout to watch the Texas/OU game. This place is 4 stories tall, and it was packed with close to 500 Longhorn fans. We had so much fun! Everyone was very friendly. It made it feel a little more like home knowing that there are so many good old southern folk taking over the city.

Other than that, I'm just job hunting, submitting to auditions, and working on photography. I miss you guys!!

Monday, October 5, 2009

With a Cherry On Top

Sunday was another church visiting day. The idea of worshipping idols has always had this distant, antiquated feeling to me. It was a sin that I never really worried about because I never saw myself sitting in front of a golden statue of a cow or giving all the glory to some concrete figurine. It never crossed my mind that the term "idol" could be anything other than the worship of a physical being or object. The preacher at the second church I visited on Sunday put a different spin on it for me. He asked "What is it that you get defensive about? What, if it were taken away from you, would cause you to feel like there was nothing left to live for? Like you were a failure and your life lost its meaning?" He also spoke about how an idol is anything that promises you some sort of salvation, and that New York was the world's number one seller of these life-affirming, dream-fulfilling promises. I wish I had a recording of that sermon because I think it's something I might want to listen to every morning before I leave the house. I'll spare you the dense cloud of thoughts this sermon caused for me and suffice it to say that, among other things, it caused me to evaluate where I put my self worth, what exactly I was striving to acheive here, and what idols I need to dethrone.

I finally, after much trepidation, submitted my first photography assignment to The Photography Institute. My tutor graded it and wrote me back within 24 hours and gave me a 100! I bought myself this amazing cupcake thing from a Greek bakery in my neighborhood and a Diet Coke to celebrate. Also pictures: me --proving that I am incapable of eating anything with whipped cream on it without getting it all over my face.

Also, my roommate just got cast as one of the leads in the Lincoln Center's "Babes In Toyland", so the past week has been quite a successful one for my apartment.

I'm still job searching (I've applied to probably 20 jobs already, to no avail) and I've submitted to about as many auditions. Only time will tell, so keep me in your prayers!

Just for kicks, here's a picture of Jenavene and I:

I'm being reminded, daily, to be humble and grateful for the blessings I've been given. There is a homeless man who stays near my subway stop. His name is Chris, and he is one of the kindest people I've ever met. And he's one of the happiest, too. He's a daily reminder that, although I dream big and make all sorts of plans, God is all I need here. He'll get me to where he wants me, in His time. All I have to do is be patient, serve Him, and take the journey He's prepared for me. It gets hard not to compare my journey to other peoples', not to get impatient or wonder why it seems that some people have it so easy. I have to remind myself that every journey is different, that I'm right where I need to be. My life is a piece of cake. A piece of cake with lots of icing and a cherry on top... :)

Thursday, October 1, 2009

A Little Something Extra

New York decided to skip Fall this year. We've gone from 80 degrees to a blistery 55 in the span of 4 days. The good news? I've got my love to keep me warm.

I've been getting pretty acquainted with my surroundings. Our neighbors who live in the apartment in front of us are Brazilian and spend a lot of their time screaming in Portuguese at the soccer matches on TV. It can be quite entertaining. We found a little cafe that has 25 cent wings on Wednesdays, lots of fabulous pizza joints, and one of my favorite parts--rice pudding is everywhere. I love the Greeks.

I went to a Bible study on Monday night called Haven. It's a group of artists that meet every Monday for 2 hours and look at the Bible from an artistic perspective. We had an hour of worship, then broke into small groups to discuss. The subject this semester is "Seasons", and the topic of the month is "Beauty in Seasons". Imagine that--artists pondering the beauty of things. In my group we had 2 actors, 2 writers, one photographer, one freelance producer, and 2 singer/songwriters. Talk about good networking. They also give you some great ideas for service opportunities as well as ways to get involved in the arts in the city.

I spent about an hour on Tuesday registering with Central Casting Agency, an LA/NY company that hires background actors for film, TV and commercial work. So one of these days, you will be sitting in the dark movie theatre watching credits roll...and somewhere toward the end, you will see "Girl On Bench...Lindsey Lehrmann". Or maybe even something more glamorous, such as "Lady Who Bumped Into George Clooney". The sky's the limit, folks.

We live fairly close to Astoria Park, so I took a jog around the perimeter yesterday and pretty much fell in love with the place. It's quiet, and the view is stunning. However, as winter seems to be approaching rather fast this year, it may be several months before I get to do that again.

Below I've posted some pictures of my friends and I at a restaurant to prove that A) I am alive, B) I am eating, and C)...I have attractive friends. Enjoy!