Saturday, October 29, 2011

Ballet Nebraska: Dracula

Before I decided to come to Creighton, I obviously did some research about Omaha and what the city had to offer. One of the things I tried to find out was if there was a professional ballet company. I did a quick google search but for some reason didn't come up with anything. I was a little bummed, but I figured attending ballets would take a back seat to my legal education for the next three years, anyway.

But when I moved here, I saw a billboard for Ballet Nebraska. I saw they were doing a production of Dracula and talked Kate and Jen into going with me. We lucked out and got our tickets half off through a Living Social deal.

Yesterday was the big night. I was more than a little upset that the BYU-TCU game was scheduled for the same time, but I was still excited. (And to be fair, Jen missed her Cardinals win the World Series where all I missed was another loss to the Horned Frogs, so do I really have any reason to complain?)

We started out the night by meeting up with Toby and Glori for dinner at Vivace in the Old Market. The food was excellent!
We then parted ways and Matt, Jen, Kate, and I headed to the Orpheum for the show.
 I've driven past the theater a few times and I loved the old-style marquee, but I had never been inside. It is absolutely beautiful.

The show began and I was a little worried. The setting was Dracula alone in his castle. He had a three- or four-minute solo where he did absolutely nothing. He ran from window to window, clearly yearning to go outside without being burned by the sun. (The yearning was made very apparent by the ever-present outstretched arm and hand, reaching toward what he couldn't have. Super hard to interpret, right?) Anyway, I worried Jen and Kate would wonder what I had dragged them to. I worried I'd fall asleep. I worried Dracula would get dizzy from running in circles (literally) and be unable to do anything worth noting.

Boy was I wrong. What an incredible production!

I would still hold that Utah Regional Ballet's Legend of Timpanogos is my favorite ballet. It's original, contemporary, and both times I saw it, it brought me to tears. However, as far as talent is concerned, Utah Regional Ballet doesn't quite reach the level that Ballet Nebraska does. The main difference in the companies is the sheer size. Ballet Nebraska has a large number of dancers at its disposal.

Before Lucy becomes a vampire, there are three main brides of Dracula. The choreography for that trio was awe-inspiring, to say the least. The lines they created were so aesthetically pleasing, filled with these picture-perfect moments that just gave you the chills (or I should say "gave me the chills" because most people don't care about stuff like that). However, in the second act, what starts out as a number with Lucy and the three main brides quickly became my favorite part of the entire show. Almost exclusively using bourree movements, more brides came on stage. And more. And more. Eventually the three brides had become sixteen. Their unison movement was incredible and haunting. Hm. This is one thing words just can't do justice.

It was a beautiful ballet. Coupled with enjoyable company, it made for an unforgettable evening.

Kate, me, and Jen after the show

Thursday, October 27, 2011


Have you heard about this?

You all know (or should know) how much I hate Facebook. In 2004, yeah, I liked it. I tried to get all my friends to join. Then it changed. And got bigger. And got intrusive. And I don't like it. Am I active on Facebook? Yeah. That doesn't change how I feel. To suggest otherwise would be like indicating I pay taxes because I like taxes. Quite the contrary. As much as I hate paying taxes, I feel like it's something I have to do as a member of society. The same reasoning is true of my Facebook use. I do it because I have to.

Then I heard about Unthink. I wouldn't say I'm a Revolutionary. And who knows, maybe this experiment in Social Media will fall flat on its face, but I don't care. I'm giving it my full support. I will do what it takes to make it succeed. Because frankly, I'm sick of Facebook. While you all require me to connect with you on Facebook, I'll continue to do so. But if you could just join me in my Unthink Suite, I'd sure be a lot happier.

(Since Unthink is still in beta, you need an invitation to get in. Have no fear! Send an email to wendy . 86 at gmail dot com and I will happily invite you.)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


I definitely need to do this post this week so I can gain a little perspective. So without further ado, I bring you...

Awesome things today!

*Waking up to Billy Ray's Only God Could Stop Me Loving You. Classic.*

Hearing Toby say, "I need a manicure."

*Getting called on in Con Law to talk about the case I thought I was going to get called on for and, therefore, prepared well*

Creating the insanely convoluted sentence you see above

*Funny notes left on my counter from the exterminator man*
Yes, it says, "I took your bug" with a smiley face

Wearing a sweatshirt and ponytail to school and not caring

*Conversations with two professors that did not call on me today*

*Volunteering an answer in Torts and getting it right*

Getting called on for an answer in Torts and getting it wrong and having Kate step up

*Twitter conversations that could just as easily be held in person*

Crazy dreams that occupied my thoughts all day long

*Realizing how many classmates I genuinely enjoy talking to*

Being horribly unproductive and not caring

*Making the ingenious decision to go to bed. Right now.*

Saturday, October 22, 2011

News from Magna

While I was home this week I mentioned to Jenny that I wished I would be around for The Empress Gala, which was last night, because I wanted to see if I won best choreographer. Of course, I was joking. My experience with musical theater is so limited, and Oklahoma! was only the third show I've ever choreographed. There are so many talented people that devote their time to that theater, and I really miss them. I particularly miss Nanny, who directed the shows I choreographed and became a good friend. I was thinking about her this morning, so I sent her a quick email. I just got her response, which included the following:
I wanted to tell you this differently... but now is as good a time as any.  I would like to relay a portion of last night.  I was gonna ask Kev to record it... but in the melee of things.. I neglected to do so.

The Empress Theatre Best Choreographer 2011: Wendy Brown for Oklahoma!

"I have worked with Wendy on several different plays - starting back with Once Upon A Mattress.  Unfortunately, her Mom has made her leave us and attend Law School back in the Dakotas, or Nebraska, or someplace in Tornado Alley.  So - we have lost a great choreographer until she returns.  I was so excited to work with Wendy again for Oklahoma!  I think the best part was telling her she had a 13 minute dream ballet to choreograph.  Now, there were those who told me to cut that portion completely, or shorten it - But I personally felt that something like that gave our choreographer a time to really shine.  And she did not disappoint.   The whole show was choreographed so beautifully, and the dream ballet was certainly one of the highlights.  Wendy worked with a ballerina, and Jeremy on the pas de deux and the fight sequence and strung everything together into a captivating part of the show.  I am happy to except this for Wendy tonight - mostly cuz I didn't win an award tonight - but also because she couldn't be here... I don't think she could justify flying back here for the gala - though I am sure she would have loved to. Thank you"
Nanny's words are too kind. I'm still in shock, but I'm also so happy and so grateful. What a great opportunity it was to be a part of that production.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Microwaves, Mattel and what matters most

My friend, Jen, was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in February. She had plans to spend her Fall Break in St. Louis for follow-up radiation. My entire life, when I've heard about people being treated with radiation, I have pictured them in some airtight room being bombarded with microwaves. But Jen informed me that she actually drinks her radiation. Regardless, when she talked about going I would picture her in a microwave, and I told her so. Since we wouldn't be seeing her for a week while she had her radiation, Toby, Kate, and I wanted Jen to know we'd be thinking about her. So, naturally, we gave her a microwave with a figurine inside.
Jen was kind enough to let me see what her radiation was actually like:

While Jen was busy drinking her radiation, I had an exciting Fall Break of my own. If you aren't an immediate family member or don't follow me on Twitter, I guess you probably didn't know that I spent the last week in Utah. (I'm sorry I didn't tell you; I knew my time was limited and made a conscious decision to spend it only with my family.)

So here's the story: It was Fall Break at school, and originally I had plans to stay in Omaha. But since all of my friends were heading home, I made what some might consider a rash decision to make the drive home as well. I left Omaha on Friday afternoon and planned to drive to Cheyenne, spend the night, and go the rest of the way home on Saturday. But Cheyenne came and went. Laramie came and went. And I just kept on driving. Around Rawlins, I realized I was going to make it the whole way in one night. I came through the mountains and saw the Salt Lake valley sometime after midnight. A little before 1am, I called and woke up my mom, asked her to unlock the side door and told her I'd see her in ten minutes. She and my dad met me in the driveway, and I think they both thought I was a little crazy. Eventually I convinced them I wasn't and we went to bed.

Saturday morning we woke up and drove to my nephew's football game, where I was able to surprise Jenny and Jessica and their families.

 For lunch we went to Dickie's and watched the BYU game.
The microwave I gave Jen (Omaha Jen) came with a Barbie, that I planned to give my niece. But you can't give just one niece a toy when you're spending the day with both of them. So Jessica and I took Jenny's youngest (sister Jenny) to Walmart so she could pick out a Barbie, too. She also got to pick out lip gloss and nail polish, because Jessica and I are cool like that.
 To give you a glimpse of just how cool we are, take a look at the following pictures. Jessica and I got all of the kids to play Barbies. Yes, that includes my 13 year-old nephew.
It was such a blast. We fished out the bins of our old Barbies in my parents' garage and showed our nieces and nephews how cool Barbies used to be when they all fit the same clothes and had impossible body shapes. Those were the days.

 While I was home I enjoyed lunch at some of my favorite Utah restaurants and even managed to stop in to visit Kate (my old roommate), who happens to work right by my mom. (I know the duplicate names are confusing. Jen/Jen, Kate/Kate, but you get used to it. Just remember there's one of each in both UT and NE)

 I also got to visit Gardner Village, which is one of my favorite places in the world. Well, I should clarify that Anastasia's Attic is one of my favorite places in the world. I could spend all of my time and money there. Fortunately, I was able to rein myself in and just buy the essentials. Like this gaudy crown ring for my 2 year old niece :)
 Yesterday after a fabulous book club and trip to Costco, I had to say goodbye to my family and head back to Omaha. I got in at about 5am, slept until almost noon, and have done absolutely nothing in the last six hours. Overall, it was a great week. I missed Ashley a lot, as it was my first time being home without her, but I'm grateful for the time I spent with the family that was home. Now it's time for me to look forward and commit to the next two months here in Omaha.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Fall Break: Day 1

After 2 months of trying my hardest to stay dedicated to schoolwork, it's an interesting experience to have a "break." I still have a lot of work to do this week, but a lot of work with no classes is inevitably easier than a lot of work on top of classes. Today's goal was Constitutional Law. I set out to complete my outline (of the coursework we've covered so far) and the reading assignment for next Monday (the first class after break).

I slept in until 7:15, which I felt guilty about because I've been on a pretty stringent sleep schedule so far this semester. I got ready by 8 and prepared to head out until I realized the library I was going to didn't open until 10. I wrote in my journal (starting Journal #26!) and twiddled my thumbs for awhile before eventually deciding to get a car wash. I drove a half hour downtown to go to my favorite car wash with free vacuums and by the time I finished, the library was open. I studied productively from 10 until 4, allowing only 1 short Twitter and email break. I reached my goal by finishing my outline and Monday's assignment, but I felt guilty leaving. One of our tutors told us we should spend no less than 8 hours a day studying over Fall Break. Well, 6 is clearly less than 8. My guilt led to me studying my completed outline for another half hour, but you can only re-read the same things so many times before it stops being beneficial.

I came home and read 35 pages in my Utah Book Club's October book. (I'm hoping to be able to join them and Ashley on Thursday via Skype for the meeting.) But I'm still feeling guilty like I should be studying something.

Any law school friends experiencing something similar this break? Anyone else struggle with irrational feelings of guilt even after you've accomplished goals? I'm not sure how to shake the feeling, and this week isn't going to be very enjoyable if I don't get a handle on it soon.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


Awesome things today!

*Waking up at 2:57, thinking it was time to get up, then realizing it wasn't*

Receiving an "above-average" score on our Contracts assignment

*Meeting with my professor and asking questions he found "insightful"*

Catching up on friends' blogs and discovering new ones

*Kate finding my tweets funny*

Adding 35 songs to my Private Practice playlist 


Packing my lunch in a Dr. Pepper lunchbox like a grade-schooler

*Fall Break countdown reaching 2 days*

Property class starting with a 20-minute aside about Restatements

*Remembering I won our bet about the Contracts assignment 
mentioned above (hello, $6!)*

Overall, pretty awesome day. Did you take notice of any simple pleasures today? Experience anything that seemed awesome? Let me know!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Oh btw

In case you didn't figure this out, Jen authored the October 1 post you read. I am grateful for the reconfig of my blog, but I don't use the word "snazzy" :)

Checked out and Plugged in

As many of you are aware, this weekend was the LDS General Conference. I took the opportunity to check out from every-day life and focus on Conference. During each Saturday session, I like to participate in the #ldsconf conversation on Twitter, and this weekend was no different. So I had Conference fired up on my laptop, Twitter going on my iPod, and my phone nearby to text friends and family.

I also had the crazy urge Saturday morning to bake, so I made blueberry muffins. First time I ever smelled baked goods coming from my own oven :)

Sunday was more relaxing, as I left Twitter alone and just focused on the speakers. I always love Conference, and while it was different to be away from my family, not be able to just flip on KSL, and not have girls' night during the Priesthood Session, it was a good and rejuvenating weekend that I really appreciated.

Did you do anything fun for Conference? What are some of the things you enjoy most about Conference weekend?

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Like my new look?  I feel all grown up and sophisticated now.  My sister was so awesome to snazzy things up around here!!  I owe her big time.