Thursday, November 8, 2012

Weekend in Santa Barbara and Other Happy Places

This past weekend I went with my fambam down to visit my grandpa, R2, and his wife, The Biologist.
They live in Camarillo and have an appartment in Santa Barbara, but that was not why I went there.
I went to SB to do some college campus visiting at the city college, which is beautiful and RIGHT. ON. THE. BEACH!
I loved it! Actually, I think I left my heart in SB, and it's ok if it stays there because I plan to make this whole affair a long term relationship.
...ok, not really long-term. Because I DO NOT plan on staying in college forever and we're only talking lower division college right now. But who knows what the future holds. I'll say I don't see myself staying in SB much longer, but hopefully I can manage southern California. I have family there, and it's such a great atmosphere!
So getting off that tangent and back to the fun stuff...

 Backyard at R2's place in Camarillo.

 Seafood burrito...on the sea!

Mom and me

SBCC campus view

The lone semblance of Fall: pumpkins! I'll take what I can get.

 Curious Me

Of course, fun times were had on the pier.

More beach. Of course.

Couldn't help myself. Actually, there may or may not have been like five of those scattered around the beach when I will never know.

I am actually doing ballet. Don't ask me what Banana is doing.

Of course you know it's a Ransom household when there's an airplane in the backyard.

Stopped by the monarchs at Pismo on the ride home. Cool story: I happened to need to write a butterfly scene right afterwards. Ah, the power of research!
Here's to liking to take lots of pitsures...a lot!
Here's to sunny beaches, anytime of the year!
Here's to the future and all its adventures!!!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Boo! Oh Yeah, and NaNo

         So just a quick check in today because guess what? I really should be writing right now. Because I'm doing NaNo this year? Well no, not really. You see, I signed up, my best friend is doing it, but I really can't this year (I've never done it before either) because I am currently on the last legs of my very first WIP. Ever. The only info on it I can let out now is that this is my baby, but it's also sort of my teenager. Basically, I have been working on this little darling for about seven years it's really not so little anymore. This summer marked the point in my life that I was finally able to knuckle down and get to bidness! And I have been. School has certainly gotten in the way, but I'm working through it. And guess what? Today is November! So thousands--maybe more perhaps?--of people are writing their own babies and finishing them as well. Perhaps with all my hours of school and dance and church responsibilities I can justly say that the playing field is somewhat evened out. I don't know. But I will be gunning down just like the rest of you crazy pandas this month and RACING  to the finish line. My goal? First draft, done, finished, completed, finis, by the end of November. I'm jumpin' on the bandwagon folks...sorta. Let's buckle our seat belts and rev those engines.

Vrumm, vrumm!!!

Here's to craziness, sheer MADNESS!
Here's to pandas...yeah I was just feelin that one there for some reason...!
Here's to writers...and dreams...and all things in between!!!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

That's Showbiz!

This past Friday marked the first "official" performance of the season for Central West Ballet, which means that we preformed in the Gallo Center for the Arts in Modesto. The show was called That's Showbiz!
For one night only the company gave a thriller of a performance to the playlist of all the greats like Barbara Streisand, Cole Porter, Judy Garland, Bing Crosby, and Frank Sinatra.
There were tap shoes, singing, crooning, canes, dapper hats, suave duos, big bad bamboo sticks, and--in true CWB style--confetti!
I LOVED doing this show. It was such a great kick-off to the season.
Next stop, Nutcracker!
But for now, I leave you with some highlights, both from center stage and from backstage.

That's me in the second row, but it mostly just looks like I'm third from the left. Half my face is obscured by my arm.

A Chorus Line of dancers. These gals can surely time a kick well. Our own dancer, Nicole Firpo, choreographed another fantastic and fun piece called Whistle with Style!

And from backstage:

These last two photos were from some of the girls finding special...inspiration for their more romantic dances. If you know what I mean. ;)

These headpieces can HURT!!!

Long week of late dress rehearsals are always made better by cookies! Especially chocolate and pumpkin cookies!

Oh yes, the definition of dapper.
Here's to surviving the hardest weeks!
Here's to all those great entertainers of history!
Here's to confetti and cookies!!!

 Check out LOTS more breathtaking photos of all our dancers with this link. Thanks to Milano Photography for the photos!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

When Kateri Met Maggie

This last Friday I had the immense pleasure to attend the Not Your Mother's Book Club signing event in SanFrancisco at Books Inc., a great independent bookseller.
I got to go with my BEST FRIEND and her sister and mother, who by the way is a superlative driver, especially in the streets of SanFran...especially when our GPS gives us directions to NYC.
This book signing featured readings and Q and A from YA writers Ellen Hopkins, David Levithan*, and...
Maggie Stiefvater!
She is one of my top favorite writers, which I have already mentioned before, but I guess I'll announce it to the world one more time
(or not one more time)
I love this chic and I love her books. If you read her stuff and think it's great here's link to her blog, which I recommend you check out.
Here are some shots of SanFran, one of my favorite cities ever!

Stepped into Swarvosky to do some serious sighing, oohing, and ahhing.
Say hi to Mama Sterner!

*sigh...the view from the top floor?...*double sigh

The place was super packed!** This is afterwards as the signing line is starting to die down.

Us gals: Me, Megan, and Emily.

If you can't read this Maggie is doing a twitter talk on Oct. 23 at 4 pm PT! Hopefully I can participate. That is, if I'm not dancing. Plus there's a mention of some contest involving a one on one workshop with Maggie for the winner. Could that please be me?! Like please?

Table of Funness

Bought this for my mom!

Ahem...yeah I quite like this photo.

I made Maggie Stiefvater smile!!!

Tower of our books! Many of which are now signed. (We're waiting for our pizza to arrive.) Emily stole my bowler hat. Because she's secetly jealous.

Here's to seriously funny, awesome authors!
Here's to adventures in the big city with friends!

*Bought David's new book Every Day*** and got it signed--of course. Might I add he is really funny...and apparently likes Taylor Swift...or so it would seem.
**Reason for this: we get there less than two hours early and decide to drive on over to Union Square. Yeah, a six or seven block drive in downtown SanFran in the early evening is like not the best idea when you have a time cruch...and there's lots of pretty stores to oogle at and people in bathrooms that apparently think they live in there and force Kateri to power walk half way across Union Square to get to another one.
***For that matter I bought two other books: The Diviners by Libba Bray (my other favorite author and the book of which I'm currently reading) and also the Book Thief by Markus Zusak, of which I've heard SO MANY great things and am very excited for.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Are You OK? Yes!

Lately I've been hearing the question,
"are you ok?"
a lot.
That is a red flag going up that, Kateri,
You are at your wits end and so clearly need to invest in some stronger concealer...
and maybe drink a few more cups of coffee.
Not that I'm walking around with tear sricken eyes and my arms stretched out like a zombie,
but it's enough to just, ya know,
But I am here to assure you that I am indeed ok;
this just means I'm putting some of my normal blog time back on the burner.
And really, this is me getting into that time of the year where I'm literally
Just. Doing. Homework. And dancing.
Ergo, not all that much interesting to blog about.
I will leave you with something a little more north of dreary than this, however.

I had a couple things come in the mail as of recent.
Don't you love when things come in the mail? 
Especially the larger things?

Ok, this wasn't larger, per say, but my joy in receiving it was of large proportions. Found these French guys (and gal) on the internet and FELL IN LOVE. My good friend is in the early writing process and is elated to have this album as the backdrop for her new creation. Can't wait!

 Bigger package! These I ordered especially for the Fundraiser (see previous post). Oh man, has it been a while since I wore a proper pair of high heels, that is, a whole 5 1/2 inches of proper heel. Like I said, big package. But if a girl is without a properly matching pair of shoes to go with her super cute dress then I deem that a perfectly good reason to go buy a new pair. And thank heavens for the marvel of internet shopping!

 This happened to take place during my hell-of-a-lot-less-stressful weekend, but I just had to post this because, ah, isn't it just beautiful? Have I mentioned my dad is a breakfast conniossure? Well, at least with anything that consists of at least 90% batter he is. And I am all the more happy for it!
We call this the Monster. Note: that name is best understood when this baby is just out of the oven and ballooned up like, well, a monster.
Here's to the first week of October!
Here's to advil!
Here's to monsters!!!
(That is, the edible kind.)

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Ballerinas Rock!

So the reason why there's been a whole lot of nothing out of Da Polka Bot recently has been because of a myraid of great things, all consumed, rather unfairly I must admit, by the complete craziness of my entire week.
The usual:
another performance!
This weekend marked another ragingly successful fundraiser for Central West Ballet! We rocked it!
No really, we rocked because the show was called CWB Rocks!
Clever, huh?
Well, when the first piece of the night is We Will Rock You by Queen, you kinda can't pick a better title. The rest of the night was filled with more great songs like (You Can't Always Get What You Want, Are You Gonna Be My Girl, Back in Black) some original, some instrumental. In the end, I was sooooo happy to be apart of yet another fantastic (and rediculously fun!) show. Rumor has it that people have been asking for a fuller version to come to the Gallo Center here in Modesto. Hopefully we can make that happen.
Last performance, I gave a list of things that I thought best described my experience...
but this time I went the extra mile and got some pretty good pictures. I shall proceed to pat myself on the back, while you take the time to continue on and peruse. Heck, go ahead and oooh and aaaah if your feelin' it.

Ok, so I didn't actually get much of the venue, but here is a snap of the silent auction. My mom did some bidding on a few tickets. Hopefully we get them!

Love these girls!

We've been friends in this company for years, and now here's us all in college. So grown up!

I wore a Love Culture jacket, dress I got WAY cheap in NYC, and Steve Madden heels. (Can't see them here, but stay tuned.)

End of the night, time to go home and SLEEP! That's the costume I wore for the first piece, You Can't Always Get What You Want, whence I totally got my flower power on.
Here's to the second show!
Here's to more soon to come!
Here's to CWB!!!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Latest Three

No food post this Sunday.
I'm under the weather for now so I thought it best to stay away from anything communal, especially when it will end up in the internal system of its consumers.
So instead I've decided to start a new blog series here on Da Polka Bot
The latest three books I've read:
Something Strange and Deadly, Susan Dennard
LOVED the characters! LOVED the romance! LOVED the ending!
This was more of a recommendation read for me (my best friend is kind of obsessed with zombies) but I'm so glad I read it! One of my favorites of the year probably!
The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell, Chris Colfer
Chris Colfer did such a great job with this debut novel! The twins were expertly written and so were all the fairytale characters. I would have been a HUGE fan of this kind of thing when I was little. I would have spent days thinking about the land of stories, putting myself into my own adventures meeting princesses and escaping fearesome witches. Five stars, from this reader! Especially since it made me both laugh and cry...on more than one occassion.
(Oh, and did I mention I got to meet him too and have my copy signed!)

Throne of Glass, Sarah J. Maas
First off, I just love this author's story. I love watching all those Youtube videos where she is crying incessantly and just doesn't care because her dream is coming true! She's an inspiration in that way and though I wasn't a FictionPress reader I loved watching the story come to life in the second half of her journey to publication. This story paid testament to that. I loved Celeana's character. So much vulnerability and strength in one body, and I truly believed every word of it. Plus, a fantastic love triangle and some intense world building, all well done.
Note: I am very persnickety with love triangles.
I also recently received the latest installment from Mrs. Stiefvater, one of my absolute favorite authors! And I say this having not yet finished all of the Shiver trilogy and not yet having started her Lament series* Honestly, The Scorpio Races was enough to put her in that category. I've already started it of course, and I'm pretty sure I'll have it finished by the time I get to see her in person...
more on that later.

Here's to soup!
(I think you know why)
Here's to the first of fall!
Here's to books, books, books!!!
*That's a long, complicated story...