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!


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!!!


Wednesday, October 15, 2008


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!


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!

I pray God's riches blessings on you this year!
I love you!


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.


The Screen Queen