Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Bon Appétit!

Okay, so let's get something straight. Yes, I fall in and out of various obsessions. Yes, I make alot of goals I never reach. Yes, I go from hobby to hobby. Having said that, and keeping in mind that I am NOT planning on being the next Julie Powell of blogging, let me say that I am totally obsessed with Julia Child at this point in time. I have no intention of going through her cookbook, nor do I plan on ever making aspic. But let me say, that lady rocks.

After watching the movie Julie & Julia, (which I thought was absolutely marvelous) I decided to find out a little more about this "chef legendaire". So I browsed a few recipes, read up on her life, and tried a few dishes.

The woman is a genius.

Case in point: I decided to make an omelette a la Julia. Let me preface this by saying that I have never liked omelettes. I rarely even like scrambled eggs. This omelette, however, was different. It was divine breakfast food from the gods. No kidding! I just had to sit there for a moment and think, "Is this my cooking? Is this really just an omelette? Why have I not known about this before now?!" It was pure goldeny eggy bliss. And from that moment on, I knew that Julia Child was my new best friend.... Just as long as we have an understanding that I am not going to use nearly as much butter as she does.

Speaking of food, I think one of the reasons that I really liked the movie Julie and Julia is the same reason I like to cook. First off, there is something so nice about sharing good food with people. I rarely make something fancy for myself, it's just not the same. Sharing good food with good friends is where it's at. There is nothing better. Another reason I love cooking is summed up in a quote from Julie and Julia. After a stressful work day, Julie Powell said, "You know what I love about cooking? I love that after a day when nothing is sure and when I say nothing, I mean nothing. You can come home and absolutely know that if you add egg yolks to chocolate and sugar and milk, it will get thick. That's such a comfort."

It's true. It's nice to know that there are certain, unchanging principals in cooking. And if it turns out wrong? I won't lose my job, I'll just order pizza.

Friday, November 27, 2009

gratitude |ˈgratəˌt(y)oōd|

Well, it's my first Thanksgiving home since I came back from Canada and there is much to be thankful for. I'm nearing my year mark back home and I have many things I've done that I'm proud of but more importantly, people that I have met who have been there for me. I owe these people many thanks and deeply indebted to them. Among those people, (who are to many to name here) I have created a list of other things I am indeed grateful for. It's amazing to see what you have put down, and once the list has begun, I have been able to see how truly blessed my life is.

  • I'm thankful for my friends, old and new. I have met some amazing people this past year who I now count as some of my dearest friends. They have helped me when I was a lost freshmen, they have guided me during rehearsals for plays with loving comments and friendly camaraderie. They have been colleagues, old mission companions, teachers, ward members, workmates, and general friends. I can do nothing with them, and being with them and feeling an overwhelming joy knowing I am sharing my life with such talented, caring, and creative people.                                       
  • I'm thankful that I've found my passion in life. I have talked with many people about schooling and it has surprised me to learn that many of them are still wondering what they want to do with their future. By no means do I think this a fault on their part, but I am glad I have found from an early age what I want to do with my life and what my calling is. It's what keeps me going when things are tough, it's what helps me look forward to each day, and I'm glad I have been blessed enough to be able to find that.
  • I'm also thankful for my limits. I'm discovering more and more about myself everyday in pursuing my studies as an actor and I'm learning what I can do, what I can't do, and what I haven't yet done.  It's liberating to know what forces restrain me and which ones I can conquer. By knowing what is beyond me, I can find ways around it to other doors that are open. 
  • I'm thankful for my parents and family. The older I get, the more I realize my parents are right about everything they've taught me. I've also learned that the most important people in my life are those I have been raised with. No amount of learning, money, fame, or acclimations can replace the people I am proud to call brother, sister, father and mother.
  • I'm also thankful for the really small things I have around me. Sorry, for getting all puppies and sunshine, but its true. Little things like a nice cup of herbal tea, christmas lights, Sammy's pie shakes, a good book, good plays, good movies, good music, my bike, a fresh harvest from the garden, my walnut trees, and other things like that.
Its good to be alive and able to experience a life thats so rich and full of beauty. Life is good.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

This is THE BEST french cookbook that I've found so far. It has beautiful photography and the recipes are wonderful. There is a section on chocolate that has some of the best desserts ever. My favorite recipe comes from this book so I've decided to post it so you all can enjoy! Its a great meal with some grape juice and mini quiches.
Warm Tuna and Potato Salad Serves 6
For the dressing
2 shallots, finely diced
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons grainy mustard
sea salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound small red potatoes
6 ounces thin green beans, trimmed
olive oil for the pan
8 ounces of cherry tomatoes
6 ounces tuna in olive oil, drained
4 salt packed anchovies, filleted and cut
into thin strips
1 large bunch of basil
For the dressing, put the shallots, vinegar, mustard, salt,
pepper into jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake vigorously again.
Shake well before using.
Gently cook the potatoes in their skins in a saucepan of
lightly salted simmering water for 20 minutes.
Drain the potatoes, cut them in half , and place them in
a salad bowl. Pour the dressing over and toss to coat the warm
Meanwhile, heat the oven to 400 F. Lightly brush a
baking sheet with the olive oil. Toss the cherry tomatoes in
oil to coat them and roast for 10 min. Add the hot tomatoes
to the potatoes and green beans.
Flake and add the tuna along with the anchovy strips
and gently mix. Tear up the basil, scatter it over the salad,
and serve at once.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Bard, pistoles, y Mexico

Im currently in a production of Much Ado About Nothing at UVU and I must say, I am quite enjoying the experience. After participating in Chris Clark's production of As You Like It, I couldn't get the idea out of my head that I really wanted to be in another Shakespeare piece. I enjoyed the vitality and exuberance of Shakespeare's characters, and since I was only a musician for As You Like It, I was really anxious to sink my teeth into an actual role.
So here I am, weeks after a very nerve wracking audition, playing the role of El General Don Pedro. Here's an image of what the director, (John Graham) is envisioning for us:
That's right! We're Mexican! It's taking place during the Mexican revolution. I'm having a lot of fun and I'm learning alot of things. I've made a list of some of the experiences and lessons that I've learned.

1. Cowboy boots are a pain in the butt. I've never worn them before, and I have to wear them every rehearsal. Mine are kind of stylish though, so its cool. Beauty is pain....?

2. Bull fighting is a horrible sport. My character is supposed to have a certain grace mixed with machoism, so I was told to watch bull fighting. While I could see how it applied to my character, the event itself is one of the most violent and cruel things I've ever seen. They basically skewer the bull alive. Im all for a good show, but seeing a animal in spasms on the area floor vomiting blood? Not really my cup o tea.

3. There is not very much subtext in Shakespeare. Everything you need is in the script. People said what was on their minds so all the clues needed to build a character is all there for you. This was a little hard to do at first, but after a while I've found it makes acting so much easier.

4. Stage Combat is convincing when its practiced well. One of John's specialities is stage combat and so our process is really specific and detailed for every fight scene in this show. It usually consists of doing each movement step by step and in slow motion until it's completely safe. Some of the actors are doing movements so complex that they wont be going full speed until the week before the show opens.

5. Make bold choices! Sometimes you make a mistake, but if you never do something bold, you can never do anything exciting either. There are many people in this cast who are making some pretty great choices in their characters, and its only been through trial and error that those choices were found.

6. I will never like Mexican food. I'm okay with salsa, and Wendy's bean dip is to die for, but I am not a fan of Mexican food. I had such a hankering for ribs when I was in Charlotte's web, and I thought this might be the same, but no. I'm just not a fan.

I love this show. Viva Zapata!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Amour de Chocolat

I've always loved the film "Chocolat" and thought the hot chocolate that she makes in the film looked absolutly wonderful.

Recently I found a cook book called "My French Kitchen", written by the same woman who wrote the book the movie "Chocolat" was based on. It has a ton of great meals that remind me of the European feel that I enjoyed on my mission. Here's the recipie for the hot chocolate that was made in the film. Its rich, it's dark, and its excellent. When I make it for my family, I omit the chili, but I think its a nice little kick.

Chocolat Chaud serves 2

  • 1 3/4 cup of milk
  • 1/2 a vanilla bean, cut in half lengthwise
  • 3.5 ounces of chocolate (60% dark)
  • cinnamon stick
  • 1 small hot red chili, seeded
  • brown sugar (to taste)
  • Whipped cream, chocolate shavings or other toppings

In a heavy sauce pan, bring the milk to a very slight boil. Introduce the vanilla, cinnamon, and chili and let cook for a few minutes, making sure to slowly stir with a wisk. Grate the chocolate into the milk and stir until melted. Take off the heat for ten minutes and let infuse. remove the chili, cinammon stick, and vanilla pod, place on heat again until hot, and once poured, top with whipped cream, or other desired toppings.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Color and Light

I recently saw an amazing muisical by Stephen Sondheim called "Sunday in the Park with George". Its a fictitious musical about a real painter named George Seurat. It was a beautiful musical and its made me want to take up sketching again. I always flirted around with it and made copies of photos, but now I am actually reading books about method and learning to do it on my own. Its really amazing. After a few days my art has improved dramatically, (not to say it is anything great still but hey, an improvement is better than nothing) and its interesting noticing how I see the world. Light has more depth and quality. I see shapes and contours more, and the world feels more... living.
All of these things I'm feeling and noticing really convinces me that there is a creative wellspring in each person that just needs to be tapped into. Anyone can draw, and anyone can make art. Art is unique. It may be critisized by others, but thats of little to no importance. Creating art is not only about others. Its about changing the world around you and the way you see it. After one does that, then there is the hope that is affects others in a positive way and helps them glimpse into what you see. I don't know... I just think its cool.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Pros and cons about being a grownup....sort of

It's not that I am ragging on being 21. It's great. I love 21. Its a nice number and I think there are lots of good people in the world associated with it. There are just some things that I wish weren't involved with being 21. But with the good comes the not so good. Because I know the whole world cares, here's a list of them.

Pro: I can drive a car
Con: I have to pay for gas

Pro: I go to University!!!
Con: I have to pay for textbooks and fees 

Pro: I have a lot more freedom to do what I want
Con: ... okay, that one is pretty cool.

Pro: Many of my good friends are getting married!
Con: Many of my good friends are getting married...

Pro: I can legally drink
Con: I don't drink...I guess the idea that I have that freedom is good...I think?

Pro: I could pick up and travel anywhere in the world I want to.
Con: Swine Flu.

Overall, I can't complain. I mean, all he good things about being a kid are still at my fingertips, I just have a bigger world to play in. I still love blowing bubbles, riding my bike, making a mess out of messy food, taking naps, reading a good book, sitting next to the fire with my parents, and other cheezy cliche things like that. 

I guess the important thing is just making sure you go out and grow and explore the world, but keep the good things that you learn. Because honestly, who wouldn't feel better after a stressful day at work if we could take a nap and finger paint?

Sunday, May 17, 2009

My first Semester at UVU

Cool stuff I found this Semester

Beriut- Gulag Orkestar
Carla Bruni
Camille-Le Sac Des Filles
Andrew Bird
Dear Science
Sufjan Stevens-Come on Feel the Illinoise
The Frogs
Evening Primrose

Gulag Orkestar

Marie Antoinette
Asterix and Obelix aux Jeux Olympics
Jules et Jim
Paris Je T'aime
Mon Oncle
Bon Voyage
Something Wicked This Way Comes

Cool places to go/eat
Used bookstore on Center Street in Provo

Plays and Books
Petit Nicholas
Something Wicked This Way Comes
Last Night of Ballyhoo
Fat Pig 
Mercy Seat
Floyd Collins
Home of the Brave
Offending the Audience
Enrico IV
Charlotte's Web
Almost an Evening
Hotel Cassiopeia  

Hotel Cassiopeia

Sunday, May 3, 2009


I saw Cirque Eloize perform yesterday with my brother in law. It was a great performance and was truly beautiful. I love shows like this because they always make me feel in a way that very few things are capable of doing. Here is an excerpt from my journal after the performance.
"There are moments when we see things that are pure beauty. Though we do not understand them completely, we feel something deep within ourselves resound and echo. There is so much about ourselves that we don't understand, and so much that we haven't even begun to think of understanding. There is a wisdom forgotten within our minds whose imprints surface in seeing such things. I think this is why I study theatre. It is wonderful to have these inklings and understandings, but is even more beautiful when I can see it on the faces of others and see them rejoice in the experiences I offer them. I dare not say I take joy in creating this experience, for I believe it is too deep and too... elemental, (for lack of a better word) than something I could create of my own will. It is rather an exchange in which I am a tool or device. I am happy to be that and be surrounded by the constant mystery and joy of this art."
I have had many "white doors" open to me this semester and I learned much from them in taking steps through. Here are some valuable things I've learned.
I. Serving a mission does not change everything. 
                         I thought I would come home and be a great student and really well organized all in one instant. You still have to work at things if you want to improve. We never can just wave a wand and make yourself incredible. 

II. Serving a mission does change some things.
The way I looked at the world was very different and I felt I was more receptive and creative because of the time I spent with the people of Quebec. The world suddenly became much bigger and there was much more to learn.

III. Take a risk whenever you can.
When I started my Acting I class, I decided I would push myself and do something unique and different each time I performed. Not to say it all worked, nor that I did anything incredible, but I wanted to push myself enough to not feel comfortable. It was great! I went to a handful of auditions that went both well and not so well, I got the lead in the Foreigner, and I performed scenes in my class where I played all sorts of different roles. Each one was a bit of a risk, but I did it, and now that it's over I can safely say that was one of the best classes I ever took.

IV. Expose yourself to the world in as many ways as you can.
Serving a mission helped me with that. I realized that if, for example, I wanted to create a great play, I need to be open to as many influences as possible. The more I know what's going on in the world around me, the better I can create a reflection of that world for those who watch. 

Monday, April 13, 2009


So I found a new musician I really like thanks to my director/teacher Chris. It's a band called Beirut. It's indy gypsy. I like it alot! It got me started on an idea too. I decided I'm going to take a swing at mask making. I collect them, but I want to make em! Yes, one more thing to add to my stuff of things I want to do. I always get these projects that I want to do and spread myself too thin on most of them. The ones I do accomplish turn out pretty good though for the most part. So far my big projects for the year are to:
Get really good at mask making
Learn to play the accordion
Get my Shakespeare project started
Play the violin as a street performer in Salt Lake City
Read Talking to Tesla (why cant I find time to read anything other than school stuff and plays?)
Save up all my money for Europe far I have a mask made and am on my way with the accordion.... thats all. Oh well. 

Sunday, April 5, 2009

There's no swimming in my show

So this blog is pretty much blank, which describes me at the moment. I love hanging out with my friends, but I've basically sold my soul to theatre. I just finished a play for the PG Players. I got to play Charlie in "The Foreigner". It was fun and I got to draw alot of inspiration from my crazy family and friends. Now I'm going off to play in the Forest of Arden in Chris Clark's "As You Like It". I get to play the violin and I love it. I know... I'm a geek, but oh well. So between those rehearsals, school, work, and church, I've become practically monastic in my social life. Sorry guys.

Monday, March 2, 2009

It has begun

So I have finally decided to get one of these things. It will be full of jokes only I get, and will be horribly out of date as I write only one or two entries every three months, but oh well:).