Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Happy 80th Birthday Gramps ..
Our Favorite Christmas Angel...

...I miss you more than words can say...

Friday, December 19, 2008

Wintery Days in Southern California, Christmas Photoshoots and Christmas Decor...


I had nothing Christmasy on here I thought I would just post some pictures taken recently during this holiday season...



So yes, it really does snow in Southern California... granted it's way up in the San Bernardino Mountains (Home to Lake Arrowhead, Arrow Bear and Big Bear City, Big Bear Lake and Bladwin Lake (where our mountain house is located.)) ... but the spectacular scenery alone makes the drive to work on a clear crisp morning so very enjoyable! Here's some pictures taken a couple of days ago ...




Rainy Days

Very SoCal! Palm Trees and Snowy Mountains...



In the left hand mid corner there is a church steeple.. that's the famous Crystal Catherdral where they have Glory of Christmas playing nightly....


~~~~


So! I finally decorated my office today... I've been under the weather and haven't felt like doing much, but finally felt festive enough to get things decorated... now I feel so much more cheery sitting here at my desk for 8 hours a day!! I've been with this company for over 4 years and have spent 5 christmases with them... and these are the SAME decorations from every year! Next year I vow to get new decorations!! (I just keep arranging them differently so it feels new and fresh. Ha!)















I wish my computer screen was magic and I could jump in and be there by the fire with all that beautiful decor and ambience!














My pitiful little tree... ha ha ha















A little vintage twist of my office...















He's so cute and round... (o:

~~~~

As is becoming our custom, the siblings went off to an exotic, amazing gorgeous location to take their annual Christmas photo for the folks.... okay, so it was a local regional park.... still, it was pretty amazing. I think we all managed to get behind the camera at least once, with many of us in FRONT of the camera more often than not... (okay, so we are somewhat of the "ham" variety when it comes to picture time!) Well, the scenery really shines through and we all really liked the pictures. And, believe it or not, we did not coordinate our outfits! We just naturally all picked something similar... I guess that's how strong our bond is as a family... ha ha ha.



















My Sister-in-law Sonia and I... vamping it up (accidentally of course!)


















My best friend and cousin, Eileen & I
















Peter and I on a bridge... apparently holding on for dear life for some reason... ha ha ha















The Clan - Sonia, Peter, Catherine, Deborah & David....


What a wonderful morning that was.. the memories alone were worth more than the picture (which is apparently worth 1,000 words....) ... (o:



Until next time, I hope everyone is wrapping up their Christmas shopping and getting ready to enjoy the best reason for the season - LOVE.


tootles!

The Queen..

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving at its Best....

Oh Happy Turkey Day .. Oh Happy Turkey Day!!!

So much to write about and the day is only half over... but I wanted to say Happy Thanksgiving and reflect on this year a little...

One thing that really sticks out in my mind are the friends I've made this past year... Now that I look back, I've met some amazing people this year. And none in the conventional way! There are people that I've met along the way this year that have found a way into my heart like my blogger buddies... friends of friends that I've met on facebook or myspace or blogger... people whom I've worked with and stayed in touch for once.. ha ha ha. Friends from the past who have either found me or I found them again after more than 10 years of separation. Even long distance cousins whom I've built a new friendship with... there are even people I would consider my friend that I've never even met in person...

Friends are the people you can run to when your family is driving you crazy! Friends are the people who make you laugh and hug it out when you feel like crying. Or the people who compliment and cheer you on with sincere enthusiasm. Or the people who can drop you a word of encouragement without needing to know the whole story....

I love these people. If you are reading this, you are probably one of them.

So today, as I thank God for my family and my life and all His bountiful blessings, I say a very extra special Thank You for Friendship... I've never valued it quite like I do today and I sincerely appreciate all those who call me friend.

Also, to all my tried and true old friends... having all these new friends has taken me back to the beginning of our friendships and if I've never said thank you before, I want you to know that I know what it takes to put up with me and I don't think there are words to adequately show you my love and appreciation for sticking by me at all times. So simply today, Thanksgiving... Thank You.

I love you all and wish you bountiful baskets of blessings this season...

The Queen.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Can I Tell You A Secret?

So, I try to keep as far away from teenage drama and angst and growing pains and all that for the sake of not dredging up all the embarrassing memories that come with it. However, last night, I was once again reminded as to why I'm so happy to have left those years far behind. Granted, there are days and moments that I realize some things just never change... but this is one story that can stay in the teenage years.

Okay so, let's start at the very beginning...
Only the names have been changed to protect
the daft corny person who this story is about!
LOL.

Last night I was sitting in our bonus room watching the Thanksgiving Iron Chef showdown and kind of dozing in and out of sleep. (it was well after midnight at this point...) I felt so cozy and comfy in my fuzzy robe with visions of a Thanksgiving feast before my eyes.

Someone, male, 17 years old... let's call him Bill, was in the family room talking on the phone and playing music on his laptop.

For a long time.

It was obvious he was talking to a girl, and every now and again I could hear snippets of his conversation at which point I'd shush him and tell him he was too loud. (Hello, Iron Chef's are battling here... way more important than a teenager's phone conversation!)

I really started to sink into dreamland when I was awakened by movement. I think Bill had gotten up and was either in the kitchen or bathroom or something, but my eyes were closed so I couldn't be sure. Then I heard it...
"Can I tell you a secret?" WHAT?! ha ha ha... I was a bit more awake when he said it again..."Can I tell you a secret?" Great. Now I was easedropping unintentionally (the worse kind of easedropping!). But what was I to do. I groggily tried to register what Bill was saying to this mystery girl.

I don't think she could hear him to well either because he had to repeat himself again.

"Can I tell you a secret?" *long pause* "I like you." *embarrassed chuckle*

Awwwww. Bill usually plays the suave 17 going on 37 type of guy. To hear him be so vulnerable and embarrassed was... disconcerting and weird. An uncomfortable squirm went through me. I shouldn't be hearing this. Yet, it was a car wreck... now I had to know who he was talking to.

I contemplated getting up to go to bed, but the couch was so comfy and plus it was such an akward moment for Bill, that I felt glued in place. I must have dozed a bit more. Then Bill's music came on again and I was once again easedropping on this uncomfortable teenage conversation.

Bill: "So, I know this girl... her name starts with a P. She is very nice, has beautiful eyes, is kind of masculine, but not too much (okay at this point I think that's what I heard (the masculine part) but, please God I hope I just didn't hear right!), she is amazing, unlike any girl I've ever known... Do you know anyone like that? Do you know who this chick is that I'm talking about? Yeah her name is Prudy. You know her?"

(uh, it was obvious he was talking to Prudy about Prudy...)

More chuckles and low laughs. More "what"s and "huh?"s. (Seriously, I think they need to invest in a hearing aid or two. Or, maybe they thought what the other person was saying was too good to be true and they wanted to hear it again just to make sure. Bill sure was repeating himself a lot I noticed.)

Then silence. (man that girl sure can talk a lot.) Then Bill says, "Oh she's more than interesting, she's, she's, she's, ..... well, she's like a diamond. Beautiful and sparkling in every way." (this was said very smugly, like... "yeah, she's hooked now....)


(It reminded ME of Mary Poppins.
"Simply Perfect in Every Way." CORNY.)

Okay. That did it. It was too painful to listen to any more of this corny business. I was wide awake now and my pillows were calling for me. I got up, turned everything off and walked past Bill to go down the hall. He waved and said goodnight to me and looked a little startled. (I bet he forgot I was there.) I reminded him of how late it was and he shooed me away with a flick of his wrist. As I exited the room a looked back and said... "Say hello to Prudy for me."

And I marched off to bed shaking my head ... teenagers. LOL.



So now I'm contemplating...
What I really want to do so badly is when I get home from work, walk right up to Bill and with a very serious face ask him...

"Can I Tell You A Secret?"




hmmm. I just might have to do that.
Too good of an opportunity to miss...
The Queen.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Speculation of a Chicken

So, now that the elections are over and the horror and dismay or elation and excitement have subsided... it's time to get down to the nitty gritty issues of our country. There is a burning question that has plagued politicians, celebrities, therapists, doctors, chefs, newscasters and the common man.


Who has the right answer?
Who can bring a solution to that age old question:
Why Did The Chicken Cross The Road???



And the Answers are In:

SARAH PALIN: Before it got to the other side, I shot the chicken, cleaned and dressed it, and had chicken burgers for lunch.

BARACK OBAMA: The chicken crossed the road because it was time for a change! The chicken wanted change! And that is what you will have in your pocket after I'm done....a little change.

JOHN MC CAIN: My friends, that chicken crossed the road because he recognized the need to engage in cooperation and dialogue with all the chickens on the other side of the road.

HILLARY CLINTON: When I was First Lady, I personally helped that little chicken to cross the road. This experience makes me uniquely qualified to ensure right from Day One that every chicken in this country gets the chance it deserves to cross the road. But then, this really isn't about me.

GEORGE W. BUSH: We don't really care why the chicken crossed the road. We just want to know if the chicken is on our side of the road, or not. The chicken is either against us, or for us. There is no middle ground here.

DICK CHENEY: Where's my gun?

COLIN POWELL: Now to the left of the screen, you can clearly see the satellite image of the chicken crossing the road.

BILL CLINTON: I did not cross the road with that chicken. What is your definition of chicken?

AL GORE: I invented the chicken..

JOHN KERRY: Although I voted to let the chicken cross the road, I am now against it! It was the wrong road to cross, and I was misled about the chicken's intentions. I am not for it now and will remain against it.

AL SHARPTON: Why are all the chickens white? We need some black chickens.

DR. PHIL: The problem we have here is that this chicken doesn't realize that he must first deal with the problem on this side of the road before it goes after the problem on the other side of the road. What we need to do is help him realize how stupid he's acting by not taking on his current problems before adding new problems.

OPRAH: Well, I understand that the chicken is having problems, which is why he wants to cross this road so bad. So instead of having the chicken learn from his mistakes and take falls, which is a part of life, I'm going to give this chicken a car so that he can just drive across the road and not live his life like the rest of the chickens.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN: We have reason to believe there is a chicken, but we have not yet been allowed access to the other side of the road.

NANCY GRACE: That chicken crossed the road because he's guilty! You can see it in his eyes and the way he walks.

PAT BUCHANAN: To steal the job of a decent, hardworking American.

MARTHA STEWART: No one called me to warn me which way that chicken was going. I had a standing order at the Farmer's Market to sell my eggs when the price dropped to a certain level. No little bird gave me any insider information.

DR SEUSS: Did the chicken cross the road? Did he cross it with a toad? Yes, the chicken crossed the road, but why it crossed I've not been told.

ERNEST HEMINGWAY: To die in the rain, alone.

GRANDPA: In my day we didn't ask why the chicken crossed the road. Somebody told us the chicken crossed the road, and that was good enough.

BARBARA WALTERS: Isn't that interesting? In a few moments, we will be listening to the chicken tell, for the first time, the heart-warming story of how it experienced a serious case of molting, and went on to accomplish its lifelong dream of crossing the road.

ARISTOTLE: It is the nature of chickens to cross the road.

JOHN LENNON: Imagine all the chickens in the world crossing roads together, in peace.

BILL GATES: I have just released eChicken 2008, which will not only cross roads, but will lay eggs, file your important documents, and balance your checkbook. Internet Explorer is an integral part of eChicken 2008. This new platform is much more stable and will never crash or need to be rebooted..

ALBERT EINSTEIN: Did the chicken really cross the road, or did the road move beneath the chicken?

COLONEL SANDERS: Did I miss one?




WHO'S RIGHT? WHO'S WRONG? NO ONE KNOWS......


Chicken Soup for Your Funny Bone...
The Queen!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

McVoted!


Today, Election Day.

Wow.

A page out of the History Books of America the Beautiful.


I Voted For the "Best" Man!

I Voted for Life!

I Voted for Marriage!

I Voted because I love my country.





I McVoted!!!




Did you?



~The Queen~

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Let's Face It....



Let's face it. Life never goes according to plan. I've come to realize that no matter how hard I plan something out on paper, the end result usually only has a vague resemblance to the image I pictured when I started out.

Take my LIFE for instance. Boy, have things really not gone the way I had imagined them to go. I started planning my wedding when I was 13 years old. I subscribed to Modern Bride and meticulously tore out my "favorites". I still have a few of those pages tucked in a binder and let me tell you, those 80's shoulder pads will NEVER be stylish in my eyes again. (please, oh please don't bring them back... please...!) The gaudy beading and lace and rhinestones and puffy mutton legged sleeves. Hilarious. I had my songs picked out (a little vintage Michael Bolton anyone?). I had my colors picked out. Even my menu was carefully selected and written down.


Needless to say. None of those items happened. No shoulder pads, no mutton legs, no peach cobbler served in a martini glass.

No wedding. (and it's now 20 years later.)



Okay, so what.
I've survived.
I'm fine.
I didn't combust or explode or die a slow, romantic, lonely, painful death from a broken heart. Luckily, the longing is a slight whisper now, instead of this nagging bullhorn in my ear.

Moving on.
So, I had always thought I would be a young mother and a housewife. Well, with no man in sight, those ideas never left the page either.

Okay, so career. I thought, hmmm. Maybe, I'll be a teacher or a boutique owner or a musician.

ixNay on the areerCay... Those didn't really happen either.
Yes, I did teach briefly (realizing, a teacher's salary works best when it's a secondary income.. but hellloooo... no man, no primary income to fall back on!), and I do play the piano and sing - (my piano playing is all smoke and mirrors).

Oy Vey! Sounds too depressing... moving on quickly now...

Now, on to the unexpected. Yes, life is not what I planned it out to be. I'd be lying if I said with extreme enthusiam, "It's Way Better!!!!".

But I can confidently say, life is good.
The aspects of my life that are unplanned, make life worth living and oh so much more interesting. I never expected to go from a shy timid girl to working on starring in a tv show. Or to have actually made it to a recording studio, or produce a short film, or head up a ministry at church, or to have authored my own line of children's lesson series. I never expected to find my best friends right under my nose. Who knew these three bratty, annoying, much younger siblings would be the best part of my life? I never expected to find out what an awesome person I really am. Who knew I had such a killer personality? I didn't! LOL!!! I never expected to be independent and strong. (remember, my plan was to rely on someone forever.) I never expected to experience life in such an interesting, broad manner. I never expected to be fearless or to leave the secure emotional bubble I lived in.

Mostly, I never expected to be content with whatever life brings me. (ALMOST completely content...)

None of these surprises would have happened if I had sailed the course I had charted for myself... the life I love right now wouldn't exist.

So, lesson learned.

I'm a natural planner, so it's so difficult for me to sit back and let go of the control I so desparately want to maintain. However, as I struggle on, I do so with a smile, because who knows what could be "just around the riverbend?" (thanks for that line Disney!) There is something always just over the horizon, and I found out that my job isn't to place that "something" there, or map out the course to get to it. I've just got to put one foot in front of the other, no pen and paper, no lists, just Faith.

When, I finally let go and just live, Life is Beautiful.

Let's face it, the unexpected parts of life are the times we are truly alive...

Food for Thought~
The Queen

Monday, October 27, 2008

Tiffany & Co.


Well... the day has come.

And not in any way that we would have expected it.


Tiffany, our beloved, old lady, almost 18 year old doggie has returned to her creator. I believe with all my heart that she was designed and created especially for our family. It never really dawned on me before, but the more I think about it, the more I am convinced that God does bless us with special creations just for us. Tiffany wasn't meant for any other family. She was a perfect fit. I always said that Love was what keep her going all these years. She exceeded her life expectation by a large margin and I think God just knew that we weren't ready to part with her yet...


As she got older and started to act elderly, we struggled with the best course of action for her life. What to do, what to do? She wasn't sickly or terminally ill. She had aches in her joints, her eyesight wasn't what it used to be, she never made it to the grass anymore and her hearing was about shot. But, that was no reason to put her down.


Well, last night, when we came home from church, Deb (poor poor Deb) happened to glance up the main street a bit and saw her, lying on the curb. Hit by a car. Gone.


We will never understand how that happened. She never left our house area, even though we gave her free range and never locked her in the back yard or anything. She could hardly walk because of her arthritis and the main street is very far from our house. (a good 700 or so feet.)


My parents say that they think she knew her time was coming and ran away from home (as animals will do that ... they go off by themselves to die). My mom had just fed her about 20 minutes before, so she was so shocked and sad.


We called my brother, David and he got to the house and just wept and wept. Peter (Tiffany was really his dog), cried like a baby. We loved her for 18 years and now she's gone. Now what? There's a doggie shaped hole in our hearts today...


Tiffany, dooters, boone, tiffbutt, boonsters, ---- you brought sunshine into our lives. Thank you Lord for such a precious gift. It's a blessing that we will be thankful for forever.


Deb wrote a post about Tiffany back in August called, It's A Dog's World

In it she said, "Our family dog, Tiffany, has to be the greatest dog that ever lived. I am not being bias, I am telling you, she really is the greatest dog and if you had a chance to meet her you would think so... Soon she will be gone and that may be one the hardest things, she's been our family for more than half my life. She still is the greatest dog alive."


Deb, you are so right on both points... Tiffany was the GREATEST dog that ever lived and it IS one of the hardest things, to say goodbye.


Goodbye Tiffany! I love you!


Q.C.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Dad's Day


Happy Birthday Dad!
(he's the one to the far left...)

Another birthday...another year older. Sounds so gloomy... well not to add more to the gloom, but I know this may be a little tough this year... this is the first birthday my dad has had without his own father here on this earth.


But, luckily, my dad is not a huge celebrator of birthdays, he always says... "I just don't understand the fuss!"


Well, today, we want to fuss over you a little if you don't mind... because we just happen to think you are worth it! I love you dad! Have a wonderful day and a wonderful year!!!


Q.Cat

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A-Buuuhhhhhh!!

Something is attached to me.

It's pretty big and very noticeable.

Well noticeable to everyone but me.

It's right there facing me every time I'm in front of a mirror, yet, I never see it.

Lately it has come to my attention, just due to the sheer volume of self photos I've been posting on either facebook or myspace or EA or myworld.... too many social networks if you ask me. But seeing myself so much lately has made me notice things that I normally just look right past... hello double chineage and hello facial fuzz! But the one thing I've never stopped to even wonder about has got my attention.

Yes, that would be my birthmark. right there on my neck. for all to see.


















Since I've had it my whole life, I never even see it anymore. Not too long ago when I was filming my screen test the director had the audacity to ask me if we could cover it up with makeup! I asked him, WHY??? He said, because it's distracting, when I look at you all I see is your birthmark. Pppsshhwww! Of course, it's too dark, so what makeup we had did nothing but lighten it and make it look more like bruise. Greeaaaat.

Little kids call it a "bug". "Oh, kill the bug! kill the bug!" they'd say as they poke at my neck, scratching and clawing at me, trying to save my life.

They've even specified the type of bug.
The most common bug?
The Roach.
Oy Vey!

Others say it looks a necklace pendant.
Some call it a beauty mark while others call is "guaca-Mooooole-ay"!
Some have said..."ooooh, sexy!" while others go, "eewwww, caca!" (seriously, I've had someone say that!)

But I love my "mark". I was born with it, and I don't think I'd be me without it. I've come to appreciate it's uniqueness....

...and be thankful every day that it's not on my forehead!



~Q.Cat

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

PEDO to the 27th Power!

It's the beginning of the October birthdays... my dad is next and then (DREAD) mine....

But, today is my brother Peter's birthday. Peter is the next in line, behind me. We are only 13 days off of being 6 years apart. (you do the math!)




What to say about Peter? He has a bleeding heart for anything or anyone. He has befriended many a homeless person and would take them McDonalds and even new clothes. He feels deeply, sometimes even to a fault. He is faithful in all areas of his life and has a strong moral base that has helped make him the man he is today. There's too much to say about my younger brother. (go to Deb's blog and read what she says.. ha ha ha... that, plus this... is Peter.)


So, 27 years old today. I've been teasing him all week that he's only 3 years away from 30. He is not liking the sound of that. But, well, it happens to the best of us. He retorts that I'm only 7 years away from 40. But I don't believe him. He exaggerates a lot. (o:


So Peter, in fine Queen's Castle Tradition, here is 27 things about you today, October 8, 2008 - Your 27th Birthday.

1. Peter eats lettuce with ketchup
2. Peter is happiest when he's watching Spongebob
3. Peter can play the drums like a seasoned professional
4. Peter's band Down 2 Earth ROCKS
5. Peter taught himself how to play the acoustic guitar
6. Peter married his one and only serious girlfriend
7. Peter is a fashionista
8. Peter loves Thai food
9. Peter's heart is through a back scratch
10. Peter is a math whiz
11. Peter is an english flunky
12. Peter used to use a star for his middle initial in his signature
13. Peter once played in a band called The Puffs, and wore a huge afro
14. Peter's favorite food is Cheeseburgers
15. Peter is the epitome of a mama's boy
16. Peter is best friends with his siblings
17. Peter loves to sing opera
18. Peter always sings "His Eye is on the Sparrow" in the shower
19. Peter ends up weeping if he laughs too hard
20. Peter is a social butterfly
21. Peter drives a Lexus
22. Peter loves his neices and nephews
23. Peter is scared of bees
24. Peter doesn't have any patience to fish
25. Peter is an anointed minister for the Lord
26. Peter is Deb's kewpie doll
27. Peter is always wearing what he ate
That's my brother folks.... and one of the best people I know!


HAPPY BIRTHDAY LITTLE BRO....
I pray God's riches blessings on you this year!
I love you!


The QUEEN!

Monday, October 06, 2008

Short Films & The 5 Song Weekend

Yes, I am back (I hope).
Life (and facebook) has kept me from blogging this past month.
Every day I think to myself... oooh I've got to blog about this! But then, I get lazy and think, ugh, I don't want to type it all out... So now, here I am, with too much to blog about and not enough time.

I do want to say thanks to everyone for your heartfelt condolences and prayers for my family as we've had to deal with losing my gramps. You don't even know how much it has meant to me and my family. That is a mark of a true friend, and I love and appreciate you all the more for it.

Okay, so two things.

1. 2 weeks ago, I found myself smack dab in the middle of a casting call for a short film that I co-produced on. It practically fell from the sky, this opportunity, and I grabbed at it. The casting call was super fun, first off because it wasn't me this time having to read lines with the director and secondly because I got to sit there and scrutnize each actor and then make fun of them when they left! (no, really I didn't make fun of ALL of them. Just a few seriously funny guys who definitely came from somewhere over the rainbow, if you know what I mean.) Then, it was the arduous task of dwindling down our options and casting the parts. I was rooting for one guy because he was tall, dark, and handsome and had been an extra on several episodes of Prison Break... (Lock me up with Michael Scoffield Please!!!) But then, my common sense came back and there was a clear cut choice for the lead role.

Now on to the hectic weekend of shooting the film. (yes, we had to shoot the entire film in a 4 day span!) I had to miss the last day of filming because my real job got in the way of that... ha ha ha. But the other three days were 12 hours each of grueling, fast pace, sit and wait, sweaty, exciting, mundane, loud, quiet, brain taxing, exhausting work. (seriously, all that in 12 hours a day!) It was an amazing experience.

On the second day, our extras bailed on us, so the whole crew were on their cell phones trying to round up family and friends to come on location and shoot some scenes for us. My mom even got a principle extras part and her scene in the film is HILARIOUS. She had skillz! Who knew... well she's always enjoyed entertaining the masses ... lol. Even Deb came down to support us and got in a couple of group shots. My cousin, Eileen, is working on her acting resume, so we got her to play a waitress in a few coffee shop scenes. All in all it turned out to be a fun family experience. Well that's my perspective. If you ask Deb, she will say... too much work -- NEVER AGAIN! There is a lot of waiting around for the actors and then the same shot over and over again. Not her cup of tea. Ha ha ha.

So now the film is complete and shipped off to San Antonio, Texas where it is being judged at a film festival there. The festival is called San Antonio International Christian Film Festival. (SAICFF) It will be screened in January at the actual festival and up for a 100k cash prize. The whole reason why I did this project was not just to learn more about the industry, but ultimately, if ... no, WHEN we win that money, it will finance our pilot show of Kidz Praize Zone, which is where my heart truly lies.

That weekend was a bon-a-fide once in a lifetime experience and I know there is so much more to come!

Okay so now my second thing. My pastor's son got married this weekend at the Radisson Hotel in Newport Beach, CA. I've known Devin since he was eight years old, so this was kind of a sweet, but sad moment. He is the eldest of four boys and I know that he has really made his parents proud over the years. He is kind hearted and compassionate and is just a selfless happy go lucky human being. He is 19 years old now and has really proven himself this past year. When his girlfriend moved down here to Southern California from Modesto, I just knew that something was up. Sure enough they shortly after announced their engagement. Now some people may think -- but they are so young. Well, for them, it felt right. And his parents married when his mom was 18 and his dad 19 and they just celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary. What God joins together.... So I just say, well, God has a different plan for each of us.

So after a whirlwind engagement, the day was finally arriving. They asked me to sing in their wedding and I was truly honored. I was asked to sing a duet with our church's music director (Faith Hill & Tim McGraw's "It's Your Love") and then a solo (Shania Twain's "From This Moment On"). So I arrived at the wedding rehearsal to find 5... count them... FIVE songs sitting on the piano waiting for me to rehearse. Luckily I knew most of them, but one of them, I had never even heard in my whole life! The wedding coordinator just came up to me and said, but you'll learn it for tomorrow right? It's not a problem right? She gave me a pointed look like, don't even think of ruining the bride's day. She wants that song, so you will sing it. I meekly said Yes Ma'am and went on practicing.

Well, that night there was no time to get on the computer to find this unfamiliar song. So bright and early on Saturday morning, I found the music video on youtube and quickly learned the song. I had a noon time last minute practice and the wedding started at two o'clock. I can't believe it, but I actually pulled it off! I was able to sing all five songs and not ruin their wedding! All the way to the hotel on Saturday, I implored God to keep my emotions in check (crying and singing do not mix well for me) and to help me remember all the songs. God as usual was faithful and got me through it.

The wedding was so sweet and touching. Deb took some pictures which I'm sure she will post soon on her blog. The reception was fun and before you could blink, the day was over. At the reception I found Devin standing alone talking to people around him and I said, "Devin, where's your wife?" He shrugged his shoulders and said, "uh, I don't know". I said, "do you like to hear that... people calling her your wife?" He got that same big grin on his face that I've seen for the past 11 years and said in that lazy cowboy way of his, "yeaaahhh..." so sweet. Congratulations Devin & Kaitlin.

WHEW. Hopefully this will catch ya'all up with my busy, filled life and I won't wait another month to post on here.


THAT'S A WRAP!

The Screen Queen

Monday, September 29, 2008

Tagged MEME

So... Tagged from The Daily B.... here goes....

Ten years ago I was:
Smack dab in the middle of my employment at B0fA. I was a closeted country music fan (I've since come out of that closet) and spent every weekend with my best friend Joel, movie hopping and drinking coffee.

Five things on today's To Do List:
Train a New Employee
Finish Lunch
Find Soundtrack Options for a Short Film
Watch DWTS
Stop off at the Burnett's house

Things I would do if I were a millionaire:
Invest it to quadruple my money... and then invest again and live and give off the interest. 1 mil is nothing these days.... I demand more!

Places I have lived:
Pasadena, CA
Mission Viejo, CA
El Toro, CA
Costa Mesa, CA
Garden Grove, CA

QC

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

The Handsomest Sailor of Them All...

Sailor with your compass true
Let me Sail, Sail with you
Far Across the raging sea
Let your ship carry me
when the storm shall begin to rave
I will be very quick and brave
I'd like to see a whale!
Ahoy and avast on the starboard rail
With a ho heave ho, let all men know!

My Handsome Gramps!

Peter Raymond Bingley

Saturday, August 30, 2008

A Gramps So Great...


This is just a small tribute to a great man in my life.

11:15 p.m. last night.

Gramps wrote the last sentence of his life.

Dotted his "i"s.
Crossed his "t"s.

Ended with a period.

The End.


He told me 2 hours before he was gone... Bye Cath. I kissed him and rubbed his hair.


How much I love him, I hope he knew. I'm sure he did.


So here's to you Gramps, my biggest fan, my favorite Christmas day partner in crime, my egg mcmuffin bringer, my drive-thru car wash hero, my swimming instructor, my great "philosopher" and teacher... the list goes on and on.


I love you. I miss you. I'll always remember the lessons you've taught me. I carry your legacy.


Forever.


Peter Raymond Bingley
December 23, 1928 - August 29, 2008



Gramps's Girl.

Friday, August 29, 2008

TGIF!

Hope all you Bloggers have a Blast this weekend!! And I hope to hear about it here on bloggerworld (o:

(Remember... Sunday is your last chance to wear white!) (If you follow that sort of nonsense! ha ha ha)


Photobucket


The Weekend Queen!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Can We Say WOW???

....My Name's Hidden Meaning....


What Catherine Means



You are very open. You communicate well, and you connect with other people easily.

You are a naturally creative person. Ideas just flow from your mind.

A true chameleon, you are many things at different points in your life. You are very adaptable.



You are usually the best at everything ... you strive for perfection.

You are confident, authoritative, and aggressive.

You have the classic "Type A" personality.



You are a seeker. You often find yourself restless - and you have a lot of questions about life.

You tend to travel often, to fairly random locations. You're most comfortable when you're far away from home.

You are quite passionate and easily tempted. Your impulses sometimes get you into trouble.
(ugh)


You are truly an original person. You have amazing ideas, and the power to carry them out. (yay me!)

Success comes rather easily for you... especially in business and academia.

Some people find you to be selfish and a bit overbearing. You're a strong person. (YIKES!)


You are friendly, charming, and warm. You get along with almost everyone.

You work hard not to rock the boat. Your easy going attitude brings people together.

At times, you can be a little flaky and irresponsible. But for the important things, you pull it together.



You are wild, crazy, and a huge rebel. You're always up to something.

You have a ton of energy, and most people can't handle you. You're very intense.

You definitely are a handful, and you're likely to get in trouble. But your kind of trouble is a lot of fun.



You tend to be pretty tightly wound. It's easy to get you excited... which can be a good or bad thing.

You have a lot of enthusiasm, but it fades rather quickly. You don't stick with any one thing for very long.

You have the drive to accomplish a lot in a short amount of time. Your biggest problem is making sure you finish the projects you start. (yep)



You are very intuitive and wise. You understand the world better than most people. (I hope so!)

You also have a very active imagination. You often get carried away with your thoughts. (OY VEY!)

You are prone to a little paranoia and jealousy. You sometimes go overboard in interpreting signals.


the QUEEN!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Making Faces

The kiss of death compliment seems to be, "You have such an interesting face...".

Interesting: (en-tu`-resting) adj. meaning- not beautiful, nor exotic, uncute, dispretty, strange, or facinatingly ugly.
(yes, I make up my own words from time to time --- dispretty?? ha ha ha)


So here's my predicament. I've been told to start making faces. I need an interesting face. So does this mean I am starting out with a pretty face? Or just plain jane? Or am I ugly in a non-interesting way? I don't know and I don't think I have the guts to want to know the answer. One thing is for sure. I have to work harder on my ugly faces.

Or so I'm told by the director of the kids show.

I got an email yesterday specifically to remind me to work with a mirror and come up with some ugly/interesting faces. I'm accused of smiling all the time. Where's the crime in that?! Apparently it's a crime of the third-degree where film is concerned. Ugh.

So if you see me doing this:





















Don't worry, it's my job!!



Tootles!
The "interesting" looking Queen

Friday, August 15, 2008

LIghts, Camera, Action!

Last Saturday, I went and shot my screen test for the kids show I'm working on. I had two simple introductory scenes, one song to sing and an interview... (sounds like a piece of cake right? HA!)

I had to be there at 11:00 a.m. and managed to be only 5 minutes late! (which is pretty good for me, I'm usually at a 10 minute late status)

Luckily the director was pulling up behind me, who is notoriously late, so I didn't sweat it.....

And I got to bring my sister Deb along to do my hair and makeup. Which is awesome, because she knows my face and hair better than anyone, so she'd know what would work best for me and won't make me look like a Country Western Singer, Hilary Clinton or Shirley Temple, just to name a few.

There is so much work involved in film. We had to check the lighting, the sound, the green screen, the outside noise level, the outfits, the script, the choreography, etc.... and all this with my head full of curlers! (nope, didn't get any pictures of me in curlers!)
















(The "Scripts")

Finally, Deb did my hair and we went out to get the "approval" from the director.

He didn't like it.

(the tech guy thought it looked great... but he doesn't get a vote...)

Back to the drawing board.

4 more times.


Finally! We got the look right and now it's on to makeup. Nothing heavy, just some concealer, foundation and a touch of brightener pencil at the corners of my eyes. Oh, and a dab of Dr. Pepper lip gloss.

(you'll have to read Deb's blog post to hear about our makeup buying fiasco.)

Voile`! I'm ready to rock this thing!














(Ready for my close up!)


Five Hours and Fifty Takes Later....

Whew... all done. For now.

Five hours of work for about 6 minutes of film.

That just boggles my mind.
















(Blinding Stage Lights)

Luckily Deb was there to run lines with me, que me, dab me, do my makeup, fix my hair, take pictures, dress me, and make faces at me from behind the director. Yes she sure did. She made faces at me. Yep. What a Brat! No really, she helped a lot. But afterward, she couldn't run fast enough to the car... "it's too long!" she says. Oy Vey, did I just lose my makeup, hair, que, dabber, face maker, dresser, fixer upper person?! I sure hope not! (This is not a public plea Deb, I promise!)

All in all, even though I literally stood for 5 hours under those blinding stage lights, forgot my lines, sweated my upper lip off and started off looking more like the tin man than loosy goosey (tin man- bad, loosy goosey - good), I had an absolute blast and can't wait to do it again!!














(Finally finishing up with my interview...)


Tootles!
The Screen Queen!



Monday, August 11, 2008

Carrying The Olympic Torch


So it seems that like the majority of the nation,
I have developed Olympic Fever...


It started with randomly catching a swim match here, a volleyball set there, a parallel bars competition and some other random events. Then I moved on to my favorite sport, basketball.

I watched team USA slaughter China (boo hoo for Yao Ming).












It was cool to see the President sitting in the stands and the sheer pandimonium when Kobe entered the arena. Go USA!

I could feel the fever rising yesterday morning as I gleefully sat through a weight lifting competition. I thought to myself, "Would I normally sit and watch this?" No. But something about the Olympics just adds that touch of magic to even the boringest of events. Ha ha ha. I just couldn't tear myself away.

Then, last night, after a long day, a lengthy service at church, and a late night outing afterwards to El Torito (where I ate waaaay too much), I got home, got ready for bed, and turned on the Olympics.

Swimming. Cool!

I watched Katie Hoff lose the Gold and end up with the Silver Medal. Awww bummer. Well at least it's a step up from the Bronze she won the day before. (How do I know these things?! The fever has taken over it seems.)


Then it was time for the Men's Four 100 Freestyle Relay. I perked up when I heard that Michael Phelps was in the relay and that France had been talking trash about the U.S., saying that they would smash us.


Hmmmm, interesting. (Now during this time, I'm laying in bed, comfy and kind of lethargic.)






And they're off!

The U.S. was strong at the start, taking control of the lead... but halfway through it, here came France. France maintained the lead for the rest of the relay. Now they are down to the last man on the team, Jason Lezak, the team's captain. He was a good distance behind France and the announcers were talking about the U.S. team getting the silver medal.

But wait, what's this? Here comes Lezak, somehow gaining on France. The place is going crazy, the announcers are yelling almost incoherently. I find myself sitting up and yelling, GO GO GO GO! (Remember, it's 11:30 at night, and the whole house was asleep.) I'm bouncing up and down on the bed, holding my breath. The race is over. Who won? It's too close to tell.

France is anxiously looking up at the scoreboard. Lezak, Weber-Gale, Jones and Phelps all have hope on their faces. It only took a split second to reveal the Gold Medal Winners, but that split second felt like eternity.

We Won.












There I was, in my P.J.s, more than half a day away from this live event and I was yelling and clapping my hands as if I were right there and these were my best friends, not even realizing the ruckus I was making.












Wow. How exciting!










See I told you, Olympic Fever.

So how here I am at work... (yes, I blog at work! Isn't that horrible of me!?) and I'm going to find a live feed so I can watch/listen to the Olympics as I work.


AND - I'm trying to think of a way to hold my own Olympics with my family and friends. (hmmmm, pie eating contest anyone?)



So hats off to all you USA Athlete's.
May your time in Beijing be GOLDEN!


~The Gold Queen~



Friday, August 08, 2008

08.08.08


It's that special day again... three identical consecutive numbers.

This year it's 08.08.08!



To commemorate this "momentous" occasion here are 8 things I'd rather be doing today....


~


The Countdown:

~

8. Walking around Disneyland with my favorite people

7. Chilling in Tahoe

6. On a cruise ship heading to Alaska

5. On a soundstage somewhere in L.A. working

4. In the recording studio

3. Moving into my new house

2. On my honeymoon


and #1? .....




1. Walking Streets of Gold!!



What 8 things would you rather be doing on 08.08.08?

Happy Friday!

The Queen



p.s. Congratulations to my cousin Emilie Hanlon who is actually getting married tonight in Las Vegas. Congrats to Emilie and Blake!!! much love and best wishes......

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

A Day To Remember

Today, I reflect back to a shy, stubborn 11 year old girl... at summer camp in San Diego.

Sitting in the chapel for the evening service, I was wound up tight knowing that this was the last service before camp ended.

Every other night at the end of the service I always found some excuse not to go pray like all the other kids did. It wasn't that I didn't want to, because inside I was burning with the desire to know Jesus, but I was embarrassed and nervous and afraid of the unknown.

The end of the service neared and I made up my mind that if someone asked me to go down to the front to pray, I'd go. I could feel the tears in my throat as I anticipated what would happen next.

How I got to the altar is a blur to me now, but there I was, tears streaming down my face, my hands in the air, pouring my heart out to God. After praying for a little while, I started to feel that determination rise up in me. I wasn't going to leave that altar until I got what I needed. My cousin Eileen was crying her eyes out... she knew that this was an enormous step for me, the shy, timid one.

Then, my life changed forever. I could feel the burden lifting off of me, (even at 11 years old, I knew that I was a sinner and that I needed salvation) I could feel a wave of peace and relief and joy sweep over me. People were clapping and rejoicing, I couldn't stop praying, it was incredible. God filled me with His spirit that night, August 6, 1987. I could hear myself speaking in a heavenly language and a part of me stepped back and felt in awe of this momentous occasion.

Later that night at the snack bar, hanging out with my friends, and trying to catch my summer camp boy crush's eye (lol), my mind was somewhere else, I couldn't stop smiling. I did it. I finally did it. No more cringing when the wave of conviction would come over me. No more trying to disappear when I knew someone would ask me to pray. I crossed over to the "other side" ... that's how I viewed it.

The next day, the buses all headed out to take us home. Back to Orange County (about a 2 1/2 hour drive). All the way there, I plotted on how I'd tell my parents. I knew that this was something they had wanted for me for a long time. They never pushed me, but I still knew that this was their biggest wish for me. My dad came to pick Eileen and I up at the church and all of a sudden I got shy. How do I tell him? Do I blurt it out? Do I say GUESS WHAT?! I was at a loss for words. Luckily, Eileen has never been shy to speak up, so she started telling my dad and prodded me to tell him my big news. My dad's face lit up with the biggest grin. Luckily, since we were around a lot of people, he spared me any other bursts of emotion. Whew, one down, one to go.

My mom.

Oh boy. I didn't want any more emotional outbursts. I was emotional enough still from my experience. I was at that age where emotion made me uncomfortable. But I knew my mom wouldn't be able to help herself. I got home and walked in the house. My mom was doing dishes in the kitchen and I walked in, deciding to just get it over with.. ha ha ha (I was the kind of 11 year old that embarrassed easily!)

My mom literally threw her dish towel down and danced around the whole kitchen. (I'm talking a dance-like-David-danced type of dance) She managed to use up the whole kitchen floor as her dance floor.

Of course I was embarrassed, but also, I felt so good that my parents understood just how wonderful this was for me. My mom cried and called me her baby and hugged and kissed me until I had had enough.

Three days later at our church I was baptized in Jesus name, and I haven't looked back since.

Despite my ups and downs, mountain tops and valleys, this is the best life I could possibly have. 21 years of living for and with God... and this is just the beginning....

Happy Birthday to Me! and Thank You Jesus!!!

The Queen...