Fair is Foul and Foul is Fair

Karisa Bruin, Megan Faye Schutt & Tien Doman (Witches) with Dana Wall (Macbeth) in Greasy Joan & Co.'s production of MACBETH.  Photo by Michael Brosilow.


Tonight, after months of work, Macbeth is opening!

I'm really proud of this production, so if you're in the Chicago area I'd encourage you to come down and see it.

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40 Days

Today, as most of you know, is the first day of Lent.

Now I'm not Catholic, I'd definitely say I'm Protestant, but to get more specific than that, it gets complicated.

I hold no allegiance to any particular brand of the Christian church, but if you want to go about it chronologically, I've gone to the following churches: First Baptist, non-demoninational home church, Evangelical Free, Methodist, First Christian, United Church of Christ and, currently, United Methodist. Oh and four months ago I got married in a Baptist Church in a service officiated by my brother via the Universial Life Church, just to make it more fun.

So if I'm not Catholic, why am I talking about Lent?

In truth, several more traditional Protestant denominations including Lutherans and Methodists still practice some form of Lent, but the reason I do it tends to be less spiritual in natural and more of a challenge. That is, what change can I make in my life for 40 days?

Like many quirks, this is something I started in college. My friend James and I decided that we would go forth and celebrate as many holidays as we could: we did Rosh Hannah, Yom Kippur and Lent our Freshman year. We always forgot when Ramadan came around, and really the whole plan never got that far off the ground, but Lent stuck.

That first year I gave up orange soda. I've also given up chocolate (twice) and two years ago I gave up complaining. Not exactly meat on Fridays, but I do what I can.

This year? I'm giving up jeans.

No Jeans Lent - Day 1

Yes, for the next 40 days I shall refrain from wearing the all-American classic. Why? Because feel like I've gotten lazy when it comes to getting dressed in the morning, especially since my work dress code is so lax. Mr. Cleaver and I joke about how he's going to "mix-it-up" and wear a sweater and jeans for the umpteenth day in the row, but it's true for me as well. Now, with Lent and Easter being so early this year, I'm at a slight disadvantage when it comes to dresses and skirts, at least for now (with the mounds of snow piling up outside), but I'm going to tough it out. And while I doubt I'll post everyday, I'm going to try to take a picture of outfit for the next 40 days as proof.

I do get one exception though - if I am painting, building or striking a set for the show that my theatre company is putting on in the next 40 days, I get to wear jeans, because if nothing else, they were meant for that sort of thing.

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Happy Hallowe'en

Skeleton Horizontal

If fall is my favorite season, then Halloween is my favorite holiday.

I think a lot of this has to do with my last name formerly being a variation of bat. When you're named after icon of a holiday, there are certain expectations to live up to, as I'm sure any Noelles or Hollys can attest to. And so, throughout my childhood I dove into decorating our house with cobwebs and cutouts of pumpkins, haunted houses and my mother's windsock collection.  I am also blessed with a mother who sews, so I always had really awesome costumes, which corresponds nicely with that theatrical bent of mine.

Throughout  college, I continued to dress up in interesting, if less elaborate, costumes and would throw halloween parties with my housemates, where we would borrow the theatre department's fog machine, cover all the furniture in white sheets to look like a haunted house, mull cider and I would try to get people to bob for apples (no one would).

Charlie Brown Shirt

This year, between getting married and boo.scream.thump and life, I haven't had time to pull anything crazy together, so the Charlie Brown shirt makes yet another appearance and a single small white mini pumpkin decorates the top of the tv. 

All of this is not to say that I'm not going to enjoy the day, because there is yet another reason that I love Halloween. For it was on this lovely holiday two years ago that I met my Mr. Cleaver.

Actually, that's not entirely true. We had met briefly twice before at bar trivia (shh.. don't tell my mother!), but we both consider this the night we truly met. I was interning in Maine and his housemate, my coworker, was throwing a party.

I came as Charlie Brown (I had a couple of lazy years in there, so sue me) and he, in the manner of most last-minute male costumes, was Hugh Hefner. About ten minutes into the party we started chatting and continued to do so for the next four hours or so. Or as a friend later said: "you guys were thisclose for four hours!"


And the rest, as they say, is history.

Just Married

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boo.scream.thump in the night

Last night was boo.scream.thump in the night, otherwise known as Greasy Joan & Co.'s fall benefit and first performance of our inaugural reading series.

textartspace studio

I've been working for this wonderful, if possibly unfortunately-named, Chicago-based theatre company for a 1¼ years - pretty much the entire time I've lived here - and have served as company manager for little under a year. As part of my expanded responsibilities this year, I've been working with several others on our new reading series, so last night was pretty exciting for me personally.

Twain's A Ghost Story

Since Greasy Joan's mission statement is about doing classic work, we decided to have our October reading focused on literary ghost stories, so I spent a month this summer reading a bunch of public-domain ghost stories by classic authors (thanks Project Gutenberg!) and made a short list. We end up doing three: Edgar Allen Poe's The Tell-Tale Heart, Mark Twain's A Ghost Story, and Oscar Wilde's The Canterville Ghost.

Tell-Tale Heart

Above are a few pictures of the event, which went over well as a party, performance, and fundraiser. It was really dark in the space, so the photos all have a blurry/ghostly quality, which seems rather fitting.




PS - I've been asked to do coffee hour at church tomorrow and consequently did some baking earlier tonight, so I'll be posting a new recipe tomorrow!


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