Tim, Sara, Ne and I went out for ice cream last night. Here are a couple photos of my housemate doing her thing.

Natalie's post-ice cream high. Natalie also post-ice cream.

I made dinner last night: lower-sodium stuffed bell peppers. I altered a recipe found here. Sara kindly supplied the marinara sauce (recipe here), as we couldn’t find a low-sodium version in stores. Instead of ground round I used turkey and black beans. It came out pretty well–except that the recipe didn’t call for cooking the green peppers before stuffing and 45 minutes was NOT enough time to cook the peppers (actually, I added 10 minutes to what the recipe said). Next time I will cook the peppers first and then stuff and bake them.

Now I am off to DCI Quarterfinals. GO MAD, GREEN MACHINE!

Life, a Miscellany

These last two weeks, I’ve lacked inspiration and I’ve had little time to do much besides getting the new Starrynight website ready to go live. You can take a peek at the test site here. I still have a lot of content to move but I don’t anticipate the style and navigation to change drastically. Unless of course, some tells me that hate so-and-so and that I need to change it or else they won’t love me anymore (Tim, I tweaked the orange color–hopefully, it’s less painful now). I’ve had fun with this redesign. I even got brave and played with a little php. I have no idea what I’m doing but my changes didn’t seem to break anything. So, success?

I’ve listened to about three-quarters of Northanger Abbey. It’s… different. I feel absolutely nothing for any of the characters. I know Austen is writing satirically but I’m not a big fan of the genre that is being mocked to begin with. Austen is not being nearly as ruthless as I’d like. I want horrible things to happen to Catherine Morland. I’m probably not meant to feel that way about the heroine. She’s just so damn clueless and she keeps making the same mistake over and over. Every character in this book could die and I’d clap and cheer. They’re all too two-dimensional–even for satire. All of you. Die.

In other news, The Cavaliers just announced their 2010 program, or parts of it, at any rate. Interesting concept. I immediately thought of It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World but that film has nutty, vaguely carnivalesque theme music, which judging from the show logo is probably not what The Cavies are going for. In any case, I look forward to June!

In OTHER other news, my microwave may not be malfunctioning after all. Russ has used it a few times with absolutely no problems. He is convinced that there were small bits of metal in the green beans I was reheating. Oh, I feel much better now that I know the microwave won’t EXPLODE; however, there was METAL in my GREEN BEANS. Russell could not understand why I would not be consoled on this matter.

This is Not News

I’ve been doing a lot of work in WordPress lately. Unfortunately (or fortunately!) for you, fair reader, all of said work has been on the back end. Now that I’ve wrestled back control of the Oliver Crumb blog, I’ve been able to upgrade it and give it some love (again, all on the back end- it looks pretty much the same on the surface). I also have control of the email accounts at the Oliver Crumb domain again. We’re now using Google Apps for Gmail, Google Calendar, GoogleDocs, etc., on all of Russell’s theatre domains. I’m very happy with it. Thus far we haven’t used Google Apps to it’s full potential but as the company grows, I imagine  collaborative workspace will be more and more important.

On the life front, this week got WAY more interesting than originally slated. I’m doing my usual movie night thing tonight. Tomorrow night we are celebrating Father’s Day with Ann and David at Upland. I’m looking forward to seeing the parentals!  Thursday night Russell decided that we needed to see the Fantasticks at his alma mater so we’ll be leaving right when he gets home from work to see the show in Terre Haute.  Then I have to be at work at 6 in the morning because I will be leaving at noon to head to Normal, Illinois, where Tim and I will hit our first drum corps show of the season. I’ll be seeing my Cavies and the Crown (and many other most excellent corps) at DCI Central Illinois. Pysched! We’ll get back in town sometime Saturday afternoon and then I will FINALLY see Duck Soup Saturday night with the Russell-Mama. If you’ve friended me on Facebook, you may have seen the Duck Soup photos by Chris Eller. Exciting! I’ll be winding up the weekend with a Sunday afternoon shift at Avers. Had I known my week would be this full, I would have requested off the whole damn weekend. Oh well. I hope to have pictures (where permitted, of course) from some of these happenings. I’ve been shamefully bad about using my camera lately.

My blogs have been an epic ‘crickets chirping, tumbleweeds blowing’ kind of quiet lately but I’ve been posting away to Twitter and Google Reader.

Currently reading: Nothing. Oh, sorry, I’ve been reading Jane Austen: Her Life and Letters via DailyLit on my iPod, usually while I’m on the bus. Other than that, nope, nothing.
Currently listening: “Anodyne,” Down and Above

DCI World Class 2009 Programs

For those of us following along at home, here is a list of 2009 programs as announced by competing DCI World Class corps. I’ve also included links to #drumcorps who are on Twitter.

This list is as complete as possible at time of posting. I will Tweet future updates to this list on my Twitter account. Please feel free to help me fill in the holes (or submit corrections) in a comment. If citing a program title, please include link(s) to where you found the information.

The Academy from Tempe, Arizona

The Ascent
Crossmen from San Antonio, Texas “Forbidden”
Blue Devils from Concord, California 1930
Glassmen from Toledo, Ohio Journey of ONE
blue_knights “Shiver”
Jersey Surf from Camden County, New Jersey TBA
Blue Stars from La Crosse, Wisconsin “The Factory”
Madison Scouts from Madison, Wisconsin Relámpago
Bluecoats from North Canton, Ohio “Imagine”
Mandarins from Sacramento, California “Absolute”
Boston Crusaders from Boston, Massachusetts “The Core of Temptation”
Pacific Crest from Diamond Bar, California El Corazon de la Gente
The Cadets from Allentown, Pennsylvania “Lenny”
Phantom Regiment from Rockford, Illinois “The Red Violin”
Carolina Crown from Fort Mill, South Carolina “Grass is Always Greener”
Pioneer from Milwaukee, Wisconsin “Celtic Trinity”
Cascades from Seattle, Washington “Beyond the Green Forest”

Santa Clara Vanguard from Santa Clara, California “Ballet for Martha”
The Cavaliers from Rosemont, Illinois “The Great Divide”
Spirit from Jacksonville, Alabama “Live… In Concert!”
Colts from Dubuque, Iowa “Fathoms”
Troopers from Casper, Wyoming “Western Side Story”

Last updated: June 29, 2009

Follow Your Star

News I’m excited about:

DCI just announced that the alumni of Star of Indiana (the same folks who later created Blast) will be giving an exhibition performance at the 2010 World Championships in Indianapolis. Star will be doing a ‘best of’ from their past shows.

They MUST do Medea from their 1993 show (the corp’s final year before being disbanded after placing 2nd in World Championships). See the show here and here. I love how minimalist the show design is. At first, the drill is easy to discredit with it’s simple geographic geometric designs repeated thematically- until you realize that those kids are running back and forth across the field, forty to fifty yards at a time, for almost the entire closer. That requires incredible air control. My lungs hurt.

Weekend Wonders

In a flurry of happenings this weekend, I didn’t get a chance to post about Saturday. I finally saw the Indianapolis Zoo, which was quite enjoyable. Tim and I were there when the gates opened, so we had the run of the place. We encountered some quirky emus. One seemed to think that a map dropped into his enclosure was especially tasty. Mmm… high gloss finish… They followed us around but I think the emus caught a whiff of the color print on my person and were too busy coveting the map I was carrying to take any real interest in Tim or I. The emus had personality but I think the lemurs were my favorite. I love the way they move.

The gardens were beautiful. It’s not hard to get inspired in a place like this. I particularly liked the knot gardens. How cool would it be to reproduce a knot from the Book of Kells in plant form? The butterfly exhibit was… relaxing. Note to self: near the bench in the future garden I will have, plant butterfly-attracting flowers.

Tim and I had time to kill before seeing Video Games Live in the evening so we grabbed some lunch and then caught an early afternoon screening of Star Wars: The Clone Wars (hey, this was geek-out day and we sure as hell weren’t seeing Tropic Thunder). Clone Wars was a decent way to pass an afternoon. I did have a few nit-picky qualms. The pacing was a bit sluggish at times and Genndy Tartakovsky‘s animation was sorely missed (judging from the names appearing in the credits, most of the animation was done overseas). I was also a bit irritated with the screenwriting in places. A ‘younger’ target audience does not necessitate dumbed-down dialogue. Kids are sharp; they’ll get it. Please spare the other 85% of the audience who are over 16 years of age. End rant.

We killed some time in the Circle Center Mall and enjoyed seeing cosplayers who were out in force for GenCon. We ate dinner and then sat at the fountain and ranted about the Twilight series before queuing up for VGL at the Hilbert Circle Theatre. VGL was awesome. They encored “One Winged Angel” and “Castlevania.” Le sigh.

Sunday I dragged Russ out to AT&T to get a wireless plan. We’re going to be getting rid of our landline and switching to dry-loop DSL. Unfortunately, AT&T policy dictates canceling our current landline and DSL service and then signing up for the dry-loop (they won’t process an order for dry-loop if they see a landline on the account). Translation: up to a week without DSL. This makes me hurt but there’s no way around it. In the end, it’ll be worth it. We’ll being paying about the same, if not less, AND I finally have a mobile. There are a few unforeseen exciting things to try out as a result of this new development too, like Blogger Mobile.

LISTENING: nothing. My ipod is in hiding- and just when I finally broke down and bought a few DCI show audios too. No Samurai. No Finis. Woe.

Photos courtesy of Tim Johnson.

Your Corp Just Melted My Brain

And this happened over and over and over again.

From the bottom of the pack to Phantom, I enjoyed all of the shows. I loved Madison Scouts’ musical selection and really enjoyed Boston Crusader’s show, Neocosmos. I loved that the Blue Coats sustained the “On the Waterfront” theme throughout their show, The Knockout. There were some concepts that really stood out, like the Glassmen’s Kar-nev-al (great job by the guard!) and the Blue Stars’ cycling theme. And then there was pure sensory overload: my Cavies (Samurai), Crown (Finis) and Phantom (Spartacus). The Blue Devils were flawless but their show concept wasn’t as immediately likable.

Tim and I were 7 rows up on the 40, so we had great seats for watching pit (which was useful when trying to figure out all of the instruments the Cavies were using in Samurai). I took note of a curious seating dynamic. When I saw the World Class Finals in 2000 (the year of the Cavie-Cadet tie), the cheap seats I sat in were WAY rowdier. There was a greater modicum of dignity in the more expensive seats- everyone still got into the performances, but there was less random shouting, commenting, etc., and fans always waited until the end of a show to give a standing ovation (which was done for every competing corp).

Another similarity on a more personal level: tension headaches. Apparently, DCI Finals induce head trauma in Jen-types. Although, I think skipping a meal (stadium food probably can’t even be called food at all) is probably just as much the culprit as the mind-melting Crown hornline.


  • Marine Corp playing “Malaguena”
  • Phantom’s ‘slain’ drum major being dragged ‘dead’ to his place in the retreat and shrouded; he showed a remarkable recovery when scores and awards were announced though!
  • Crown guard, in character even during retreat, conducting the wave in the stands
  • Pit members in the cages are always the biggest hams- a show of its own

I can’t get the music from Samurai out of my head.

I finished Breaking Dawn on Wednesday; days later, I still don’t know what to think about it. I’m conflicted. I look forward to Sara finishing it, so that I have someone to discuss it with.