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Paula [userpic]

Best Costume Ever!

November 1st, 2016 (12:31 pm)
amused
Tags: ,

current mood: amused

This weekend was the harvest party. And this year, for the first time ever, I actually went full-out in making myself a costume. I was originally talking about being a Jedi with Ashley (she wanted to be Yoda again), but Pastor Rebekah heard me and told me I should do something different (she later claimed she didn't remember doing that, but by that time it was too late) ... so I was on the hunt for something classic, iconic, and fun.

Scrolling through kid friendly costuems a few weeks ago, I happened across a cosplay of Cinderella's fairy godmother, and I realized it was the PERFECT character for me ... I mean, seriously, it couldn't be more perfect. So I did some research and quickly figured out that every costume out there was too expensive and not really what I wanted anyway, so I decided to make it.

I started about a week ago - I took a trip to Joanne's and found the fabric I wanted. I laid it out and started cutting the "jacket" almost right away (it was a little complicated, since it needed to be lined with pink.  I finished my initial shape cuts and started sewing the lining in before I realized that I'd made a MAJOR mistake - the cuts I'd made for the arms made the whole thing too small. It sort of fit, but it stretched over my chest and ended up laying terribly and looking all wrong. So that was a bit of a setback.

So I left it, and a few days later I started making the dress. That was MUCH easier. I'd flipped through some basic dressmaking patterns and figured out the darting for the top. I kept it sleeveless for the sake of simplicity, and cut a square neckline because it seemed easiest. Once I'd made the top, I attached a few layers of tulle to the bottom of it, and then pinned and sewed the skirt over that. It was properly poofy without turning into a ballgown. I really wish I'd had an extra yard of blue fabric to make the skirt a litle bigger, but it ended up working fine.

Then I tackled the jacket again. I really didn't want to spend the money on new fabric, so I ended up doctoring up a fix to change where the sleeves started, and even though it was complicated and a little messy, it worked out fine in the end.

I still needed a little more material for the hood, the sash, and the bright pink bow, so the day before the party I took a last-minute trip to Joanne's and got the supplies. Of course, we were in the city that night, so I didn't get a chance to start working on it until almost midnight. I was so tired I kept making stupid mistakes, but in the end it turned out nearly perfect! I was unreasonably excited about showing it off the next day lol.

When Sunday came and I actually put on the costume and came out of the bathroom all of the kids who were already there literally RAN over to me screaming because they loved it so much. I got a ton of hugs and I had to explain to a few of them who I was, but then I got to play the "I'm your fairy godmother, who's Paula" game, which I always enjoy more than I should lol.

The adults loved it too - Alev literally squealed when she saw it and came running over. PQ had no idea who I was, but most of the women did (I guess that shouldn't surprise me), and the rest of the day was a smashing success. There were a ton of new families there, the kids all had a lot of fun, the games all went great, and by 5:30 we were done with the official entertainment and spent the last 30 minutes taking pictures of the families in front of the decorations in the front of the room.

At a few different points during the night, I got asked for photos, and some of them turned out really great. There's one picture of me and a few of the guys who were in legitimate costumes. That one turned out really nice. And there were a few where I agreed to do "the pose" the one that she's always making on every disney item ever - and one or two of those turned out great too.

Is it the best Harvest Party we've ever thrown? I'm not sure - it certainly came close. The real test will be seeing how many of these families come to church in the future. But it was probably the most fun I've ever had at one. It was awesome!

Next year I'm thinking of doing Belle or Little Red Riding Hood (unless something else awesome comes out)

Paula [userpic]

The random encounters of my weekend

May 31st, 2013 (11:55 am)
silly
Tags:

current mood: silly

On Sunday, an older lady named Anna who’s been to a few of the church’s women’s group Bible studies came to her first Sunday morning service. I was watching the kids when she came in to say hello, and in the middle of our conversation she asked me how I was feeling and how the baby was (motioning towards my stomach).  It was pretty obvious that she’d mixed me up with P. Rebekah, and just as obvious that she hadn’t taken a very close look, because while I know I’m big, I also know that I don’t look 6 months pregnant. So I gave a good-natured laugh as I told her that she was thinking of a different lady. She seemed so embarrassed that I started to feel bad for her. Still, it was funny.

And then on Monday I went to the Memorial Day picnic in Queens, and at one point I was asked to help serve food.  I was stationed at a table with a new lady (whose name I cannot remember), and she was telling me how she’d heard me preaching on Sunday nights, and how much she enjoyed it. And then she started talking to me about how much she liked listening to my son in law.  “My son in law?” I asked, with some clear confusion.  “Yes,” she said, “your son in law, the one who preaches.”

Now for the life of me I cannot imagine who she was talking about. There’s only so many men who preach on Sundays, and I can’t imagine her actually mistaking any of them for my son in law. My best guess is that she meant brother-in-law, in which case she could have meant P. Quincy (it’s not that big a stretch to presume that P. Rebekah and I are sisters).

And then later that evening, sitting in a circle of Nassau people who were talking to Glen (I think), he started talking about how they needed more white people in the Manhattan church. The other “white” girls in the circle started explaining why they wouldn’t work - Pria is half Indian, Ayanna half black, P. Rebekah was like “I’m not really white.” It was a funny moment, and then Pria interjected with “Take Paula, she’s extra white!”  at which point I laughed even louder and explained that I’m so white that in the sun I turn blue.  So yes … I am the one in the church who is “extra white”

Then on Tuesday I got to teach the Communications class (yaay!) and it was on the voices that we listen to (double-yaay!) and I had a great time. It was kind of weird teaching P. Marnie’s class, not because I was teaching it, but because of the people who were taking it. Seeing faces like Veronica’s and the twins staring up at me was a little bit disconcerting. But praise the Lord, I got thorough it.

Then in Armorbearer, one of my students returned after a 3 week absence (he was away), and in an effort to appease me, and to put off taking the midterm, he offered me girl scout cookies (thin mints, no less!)  He was going to get what he wanted anyway, so technically it wasn’t really a bribe, right? The funny thing is that I didn’t even eat them – I gave them to Michelle when I ran into her.  I did eat some chocolate chip cookies from the donations table later that night though.

And then on Wednesday morning I’d stopped for my usual bagel when an older black man who I’ve never seen before asked me if I had a sister named Dorothy.  Apparently I have a “twin” lol! Not the first time that’s happened. What struck me as odd was that he said “Every time I see you I want to ask if you know her …” like he sees me all the time. Maybe he does. But until that day I’d never registered his face before.  That’s kind of strange, right?

Paula [userpic]

Success markers ...

March 2nd, 2010 (11:22 am)

I think that as a society we focus too much on arbitrary benchmarks of success. We insta-judge our (and each other's) lives by such a short checklist ...

Are you married?
Do you have kids?
Are you smart?
Are you thin?
Are you beautiful?
Are you rich?
Are you famous?

... and if the answer is "no" then there's something wrong.

Not that I think that everyone feels the need to check every box. And of course, I recognize that these are not bad things to want for yourself. But how many people do you know who constantly obsess about needing to be thinner? About needing to get married? How many people spend years of their lives trying to find their way into the spotlight? And how many thousands of dollars are spent on cosmetic surgery every year? And every person who spends so much time and money obsessing over these goals always talks about how they're doing it so they feel better about themselves.

Now I'm all for success. I like pushing myself, and of course I want my life to have meaning. But who says that meaning has to be so narrowly defined? Who says that we need any of the above in order to feel good about ourselves?

I call it all nonsense. And as of now I am going to stop defining myself by my "standardized" success markers.

Paula [userpic]

I year older

February 4th, 2010 (05:43 pm)

There's a part of me that can't believe that I'm 29 years old. I mean, I'm not feeling "old" today or anything - I'm ok with the number, I just don't know how I got here. And even stranger is the thought that I've been writing in this journal for nine years now. I started this as a sophmore in college - now, almost a decade later, I'm still jotting down my random thoughts.

Paula [userpic]

It's been a good year

December 2nd, 2009 (01:37 am)

Tonight I was driving home and listening to christmas carols on the radio. One of those stupid songs came on that I hate so much ... the first two lines of lyrics were:

And so this is Christmas
And what have you done?


And that got me thinking - because another year has come and gone, and it seems like it slipped away so quickly. And yet, when I thought about it, I realized that I've actually very pleased with all that I've done this year. I mean, it's not like I've cured cancer or rescued babies from drowning or anything superhero-esque. But I can look back and see the things I've accomplished and the goals I've met, and most importantly the difference I've made in other people's lives.

I've grown up a little bit, found a little more maturity. I've mellowed in some places, and found a little more peace and patience along the way. I've taken responsibility in areas where I was lacking it, and its made me more independant. I've given a little more, stood on my own two feet a little more, expanded in areas that I didn't think there was anything to expand.

And all of that means a lot to me, and I'm grateful for it. This might not have been the perfect year, but the truth is, it was a darn good one, and I'm better for having lived it.

Paula [userpic]

well, not quite cookies ...

November 11th, 2009 (04:20 am)
full

current mood: full

It's the middle of the night and you know you're not going to fall asleep any time soon.  There's nothing good on TV and you don't feel like reading.  You're bored and you're in the mood to try something different. 

What's a girl to do?

Tonight ... I attempted my first experiment with bread pudding.  I looked at 4 or 5 recipies on line to get the general idea of how to make one, and then I futzed around my pantry to see what I had on had to work with.  It ended up as a base of whole wheat bagels which I topped with a cinimon coffee custard.  At first I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to pull it off at all, since sugar and vanilla are two baking essentials that I don't keep in the house ... but just as I was about to give up I found an unopened can of vanilla icing that I bought earlier this year, and so the night was saved.
 
It wasn't the best bread pudding I've ever eaten.  It tasted great, don't get me wrong, but it wasn't quite the texture I was looking for.  Basically I should have let it soak for another 20 minutes, and next time I'll cook it covered so it doesn't get crusty on top.  Still, it was yummy and completely edible, so I was happy.  Not too bad for a first attempt.

Paula [userpic]

(no subject)

November 6th, 2009 (04:39 am)
tired

current mood: sleepless

This one was stolen from the empress' FB notes

Yet another survey at an ungodly hourCollapse )</div>

Paula [userpic]

Nightmare

October 14th, 2009 (06:12 pm)
scared

current mood: terrified

Last night I had the strangest scary dream.

I was a character in a horror movie, where there were three victims trapped on a flying airplane with a psychopath who was making us play in a deadly quiz show.  Get a question wrong and he would burn you to death with something that looked like those handheld laser pointers, except the beam was dim, about an inch wide, and would boil your skin.  It was dark and scary, and the bad guy was really creepy in that out-of-control wacko sort of a way

My question was "can you knit a goat?"  I knew I couldn't answer no, or I would die.  It had to be a trick, but I couldn't figure out how.  So after a few minutes of panic I figured out that if you killed the goat and pulled out it's intestines you could knit those together - so I survived the first round.

Anyway, he killed one of the other guys for getting an answer wrong, and then somehow the police found out what was happening and we got turned around and went back to the airport.  The other vitctim and I managed to escape on the emergency water slide.  I remember jumping up, grabbing my bag, and diving head first down the chute.  Once the plane was on the ground they arrested the bad guy and had the obligatory scene where we were wrapped in blankets watching him being led away in handcuffs in the middle of the deserted airport. 

But then, just as everyone thought it was over the bad guy got a gun, escaped the police in a massive shootout, shot and killed the other surviving victim, and turned to come after me.  I ran to the elevator, got in, and pressed the Close Doors button frantically as I watched him walking closer.  I remember hitting the button for every floor so he wouldn't know where I got off.  I jumped out at the second floor and ran to the stairs, thinking I could get back down to the first floor again to get back to the police - but when I go there, there were two staircases side by side.  I knew he was coming up one of them ... and I was so scared that I froze right there. 

As I watched, a shadow appeared on one of the staircases - but by the time the face came into view I realized it wasn't him - it was his secret partner (don't ask - it was a dream, and you know how those go).  I was terrified, and ran to hide before he could see me, but there were no good hiding spots, and I could see a second elevator was coming up, and I was sure that the bad guy was in it.

That's when I woke up.  My heart was pounding so fast and so loud I was sure I could audibly hear it.  I was so worked up over it that the only way to calm myself down was to invent my escape.  So I told myself that if I was standing around with a bunch of cops and everything was over, that I would have had my purse over my arm the whole time, and when I saw the bad guy's accomplace coming up the stairs I didn't run back to the elevator or try to hide - I ran out the doors to the second level of the attached parking garage, found my car, and drove to the nearest police station while the two evil men continued to search the higher floors.

After that I was able to calm down a little bit - but it was pretty scary.

Paula [userpic]

Writer's Block: My Favorite Neighborhood Business

October 13th, 2009 (08:33 am)
happy

current mood: laughing

What is it about your favorite local small business that keeps you coming back again and again?

I own it. =)

Paula [userpic]

(no subject)

August 6th, 2009 (11:01 pm)


Sitting at my father's computer in his office late at night fooling around on line ... this reminds me of my college days when I used to spend entire weekends working on my thesis in this big empty building.  I had nights where I was at it until 2 in the morning.  Some things never change, I guess.

In other useless news, I've spent the last few months hemming and hawing about how I wanted to get myself the soundtrack to Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.  I've been generally hooked on the music ever since that series Any Dream Will Do aired on BBC America this spring.  Anyway, last weekend I discovered, quite by accident, that I actually already owned the CD I've been planning this whole time to buy!  So I've spent this whole past week driving around Long Island with Joseph blasting in my car, singing along at the top of my voice.  Man, that narrator part is a ton of fun to sing.

Paula [userpic]

(no subject)

July 8th, 2009 (11:20 pm)
Tags:

On Sunday I had a very interesting conversation with Rebekah that led to an agreement to reform the traveling drama team from years ago. Exciting stuff! Because that really was one of the most fulfilling and fun projects I've ever done for church, and the show that we ended up with really was good in a lot of ways. And I always kind of regretted that we weren't ever properly used. It had the potential to be so effective and it never really got there. So now I have a chance to rebuild it, and I'm very excited about it. The thing is I only have a few weeks to put it together ... Yay for adventure!

Posted via LiveJournal.app.

Paula [userpic]

The pantry

July 7th, 2009 (05:50 pm)

So yesterday was a last minute "we need to clean out the food pantry" sort of a day. I used to go down there every Monday night to sort through food and shelve it. Those were good times. But after Thanksgiving that was no longer an issue because the pantry had been pretty much cleaned out for the holiday outreach.

So yesterday when I got there I was expecting the place to be basically empty. Imagine my shock when I stepped into a room so packed with what looked like junk that you literally couldn't walk.

The kitchen area, where we normally store all the good food was literally piled to the ceiling with hundreds of boxes of vitamins. The palates in the main room where we keep the deliveries that need to be sorted through were piled high with books, papers, and office supplies. There were a few piles of boxes filled with cans scattered around, and then there was all the STUFF. Bicycles and pieces of computers and random things like that.

At first all I could do was stand there and gape. I had no idea where to begin. I took a quick survey and figured out that the stuff had probably come from the storage room in back. That made a certain amount of sense. What I didn't get was why that back room was now filled with boxes of vitamines. Oh, and did I mention that the vitamins were also stacked to the ceiling in the lobby? We are talking about easily 1000 boxes here, randomly piled anywhere there was room.

So after a few minutes of sorting around and moving things to make walkways I came up with my brilliant 2 pronged plan of attack. First, the food shelves needed to be reorganized and restocked with whatever food was still good. Second, the mountain of vitamins in the kitchen needed to be put somewhere so we could get access to the cabinets (which also store food).

And so I started stocking vitamin boxes on the bottom shelves of the accessable shelving units, as well as random unused corners of the rooms. I ended up rearranging and consolidating several sections of storage to make extra room. And soon enough I had made my way to the first set of cabinets.

By that time help arrived in the form of the two hardest workers I have ever known, and they immediately started work on the food.

Fast forward 4 hours later, and the shelves of food are full to bursting. All of the vitamin boxes are at least off the floor of the kitchen, and eventhough theplace is still a complete mess, the look of utter chaos is gone.

Crazy fun day!

Posted via LiveJournal.app.

Paula [userpic]

Nothing in particular

July 3rd, 2009 (04:24 am)

Once upon a time I always felt like I had something interesting to say. Is this what happens when you get older? Do you lose your imagination for the day to day? Or is it just that the day to day turns into a umvarying drive? Maybe it's neither. Maybe I'm just having a dull couple of weeks or months.

Whatever, I'm not really interested in complaining about being bored. In reality today was a good day. I got to speak to my mother for a good hour tonight. I love when I have the time to sit and talk to her. It always gives me a little more insight into my own perspectives and viewpoints. So much of me comes from her and it's nice to look into that mirror from time to time.

Posted via LiveJournal.app.

Paula [userpic]

Convenient

June 26th, 2009 (03:09 pm)

I found a LJ app for my ipod. Guess who's going to be posting more frequently ...

Posted via LiveJournal.app.

Paula [userpic]

(no subject)

June 15th, 2009 (02:50 pm)

 A survey courtesy of the empress

RULES
-You can ONLY answer Yes or No
-You are NOT ALLOWED to explain ANYTHING unless someone messages or comments you and asks. -- and believe me, the temptation to explain some of these will be overwhelming nothing is exactly as it seems.

1. Kissed any one of your Facebook friends?
no

2. Been arrested?
no

3. Kissed someone you didn't like?
yes

4. Slept in until 5 PM?
yes

5. Fallen asleep at work/school?
no

6. Held a snake?
yes

7. Ran a red light?
yes

8. Experienced love at first sight?
no

9. Totaled your car in an accident?
no

10. Been fired from a job?
yes

11. Fired somebody?
yes

12. Sang karaoke?
yes

13. Pointed a gun at someone?
no

14. Done something you told yourself you wouldn't?
yes

15. Laughed until something you were drinking came out your nose?
yes

16. Caught a snowflake on your tongue?
no

17. Kissed in the rain?
no

18. Had a close brush with death (your own)?
no

19. Seen someone die?
no

20. Played spin-the-bottle?
no

21. Sang in the shower?
yes

22. Smoked a cigar?
no

23. Sat on a rooftop?
yes

24. Taken pictures of yourself naked?
no

25. Smuggled something into another country?
no

26. Been pushed into a pool with all your clothes?
yes

27. Broken a bone?
no

28. Skipped school?
yes

29. Eaten a bug?
no

30. Sleepwalked?
no

31. Walked a moonlit beach?
yes

32. Rode a motorcycle?
no

33. Dumped someone?
no

34. Forgotten your anniversary?
no

35. Lied to avoid a ticket?
no

36. Ridden on a helicopter?
no

37. Shaved your head?
no

38. Blacked out from drinking?
yes

39. Played a prank on someone?
yes

40. Hit a home run?
yes

41. Felt like killing someone?
no

41. Cross-dressed?
no

42. Been falling-down drunk?
yes

43. Made your girlfriend/boyfriend cry?
no

44. Eaten snake?
no

45. Marched/Protested?
yes

46. Had Mexican jumping beans for pets?
no

47. Puked on amusement ride?
no

48. Seriously & intentionally boycotted something?
no

49. Been in a band?
yes

50. Knitted?
yes

51. Been on TV?
no

52. Shot a gun?
no

53. Skinny-dipped?
no

54. Gave someone stitches?
no

55. Eaten a whole habenero pepper?
no

56. Ridden a surfboard?
no

57. Drank straight from a liquor bottle?
yes

58. Had surgery?
no

59. Streaked?
no

60. Taken by ambulance to hospital?
no

61. Peed on a bush?
no

62. Donated Blood?
yes

63. Grabbed electric fence?
no

64. Eaten alligator meat?
no

65. Eaten cheesecake?
yes

66. Eaten kids' Halloween candy?
yes

67. Killed an animal when not hunting?
yes

68. Peed your pants in public?
yes

69. Snuck into a movie without paying?
yes

70. Written graffiti?
no

71. Still loved someone you shouldn't?
yes

72. Think about the future?
yes

73. Been in handcuffs?
no

74. Believe in love?
yes

75. Sleep on a certain side of the bed?
yes

Paula [userpic]

(no subject)

June 15th, 2009 (11:12 am)
silly

current mood: silly

Today I am feeling altogether silly.

I'm also sitting in the office of a client who needs me to complete a certain amount of work that I'm not specifically interested in, but such is the nature of work, I suppose.  

Anyway, that's why I'm sitting here updating my LJ.  I'm killing time for the moment.  

Oh, did I mention that this work that I don't want to do is probably only going to take me 2 or 3 hours today, and I'm obligated to be here for 6 or 7?  I guess that puts the killing time part into perspective.

I guess this whole post would be a lot more useful if I had anything interesting to say or any funny anecdotes to share.  But I've only had one cup of coffee so far this morning and I'm still not really clear headed, so nothing's coming to me.  It's moments like this when I would love to be filling out a survey so I didn't have to try to be creative.  

But on a happy note I was at church in Queens on Saturday morning and I happened to overhear one of their drama people saying that they were working on the "cell phone skit" for this weekend.  That was a skit that I wrote two years ago comparing prayer to a cell phone plan.  It was a really cute idea that was thrown together at the last minute and very poorly executed, and I've never been able to find the time or place to do it again.  But to hear that another one of the churches is going to use it just made my weekend.

It's not every day that I manage to come up with a skit idea from scratch and develop it all the way through to a script and performance.  In fact, most of my skits are based off of other people's ideas, skit concepts from christian drama websites, or adaptations of existing scripts.  So to have one of my few forays into skitting from scratch randomly find a use to someone else makes me happy

Paula [userpic]

Something that made me laugh

June 12th, 2009 (10:21 pm)
silly
Tags:

current mood: silly

This is a direct quote from an article I just read on Yahoo ...
"There are no known instances of humans being killed by space rocks."
I don't know why, but it made me laugh out loud

Paula [userpic]

Rashada's Wedding

May 28th, 2009 (10:57 pm)
nostalgic

current mood: nostalgic

The entire weekend was one giant blurr of activity, busy-ness, and dresses ... but I guess that's how wedding weekends are supposed to go.

Here are some of my favorite/most memorable moments plucked from the craziness... in something resembling chronological order ...

... laughing at Marissa on the drive up because she took  2 benadrill at 9am and wasn't going to get to the house with the cats in it until 4pm
... stopping for a snack at Wendy's and discussing the dawning realization that this was ACTUALLY happening
... receiving the highest complement possible from the guys in the wedding party during the rehearsal (that my timing and delivery was "brilliant")
... running into Richard Ramsey at the rehearsal dinner and getting to spend some time catching up on the last 5 years
... finally getting to see the much-anticipated interview video
... driving through a downpour
... discovering that I've actually known Yanette for much much longer that I'd realized ... who would have thought we went to youth group at the Naz together?
... chicken jokes ... all 47 of them, each one funnier than the last
... our presents from Rashada
... a peaceful morning and a yummy breakfast
... actually fitting into my dress after all this time
... getting to see Rashada in her dress for the first time
... hearing someone yell "just kick it!" as I tripped over my dress walking down the aisle at the wedding
... watching Rashada and her mom speed-walk down the aisle hand in hand (a beautiful moment that was over much too quickly)
... picture taking!!
... pulling off the toast almost exactly the way I'd envisioned it (much thanks to the DJ for getting his hands on that song at the last minute)
... loosening my dress half way through the reception so I was able to breathe and sit at the same time
... sneaking off with the other bridesmaids to decorate the bridal suite
... catching up with Kara for a few minutes
... saying goodbye to Rashada and getting a big hug and a comment that was only mildly inappropriate but made me laugh
... getting to my room and changing into something muuuuuuuch more comfortable and much less formal
... watching the proposal video with the girls at the end of the night (now THAT made me cry)

and now after 12 years, 18 months, or several long days (depending on when you start counting from) it's all over!

Paula [userpic]

Writer's Block: Home Cooking

May 10th, 2009 (01:34 am)
bored

current mood: bored

When was the last time you cooked for yourself? What did you make?
I've been making an effort to eat more home-cooked meals lately, mostly because it gives me more control of what goes into the food.

Anyway, on Thursday I made dinner ... broiled parmisan crusted chicken breast.  I was missing a few basic ingredients like powdered garlic, so it wasn't the BEST I've ever made, it was yummy.

Paula [userpic]

The dress ... edited

May 8th, 2009 (11:15 pm)

It fits ... thank God

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