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Preview: Gilly's Fascinating Life

Gilly's Fascinating Life

Gilly's Fascinating Life -

Last Build Date: Wed, 26 Apr 2017 13:08:34 GMT

Copyright: NOINDEX

the great migration

Wed, 26 Apr 2017 13:08:34 GMT

Is there anyone here who's moving over to Dreamwidth who I have not yet friended (encircled?) there?


Sun, 08 Jan 2017 00:03:47 GMT

FYI, I'm still here, and still reading regularly if not posting much.  But in case LJ goes boom, I'm gilana on dreamwidth as well.

recipe suggestions?

Tue, 19 May 2015 18:17:12 GMT

I need to make a few dairy-based meals I can prepare ahead of time and eat cold on Sunday and Monday during the holiday of Shavuot.  Anyone have any good recipes?  None of my usual ones are sounding too appealing right now.  Might do a pasta salad of some sort, I suppose, and maybe a gazpacho if I find a good recipe, but I'd love more ideas!  (Fish is ok, but no meat, please -- dairy is traditional for this holiday.)


Tue, 31 Mar 2015 01:21:29 GMT

lillibet got Aaron and myself gift certificates for a mushing lesson with Hilltown Wilderness Adventures as a Chanukah present, and we finally managed to schedule that for this weekend.We got up at 7am -- painful for poor Aaron who had Donkey Show the night before and got in around 2am. We drove out to the DAR State Forest in Goshen, MA, with a Dunkie's stop on the way, arriving just before the 11am start time. It was a great day for mushing; there had been a nice little covering of fresh snow the day before, and it was warm and sunny and above freezing while we were there.  There were about 13 of us there for the lesson.  Marla, the owner of Hilltown, arrived a little late, driving up in a dog truck lined with crates along the sides with the dogs barking up a storm.First she brought out all 18 dogs, one by one, and told us a little about Alaskan Huskies, which have some hound bred in for speed. She introduced us to each dog, telling us a little about each one -- which litter they were from, their personality, what you could see about their breeding in them (like a little husky or greyhound), etc. Most of them were from 4 litters, bred from Iditarod champions. Then we all went around and spent a few minutes meeting each dog on our own, petting them and getting to know them, before choosing a dog to work with for the rest of the session.  I went with Tundra, a very friendly light gold 3-year-old female. She's apparently a notorious glove thief; I caught her trying to pick my coat picket for my gloves a few times, but I'm used to that from Stitch and managed to move in time.  Aaron bonded with Runt, a 7-year-old butterscotch-colored male who had been the runt of the litter, but grew to be one of the largest dogs in the pack. He was very jealous of Aaron's attention, poking him insistently any time he tried to ignored Runt too long to pet another dog.Then Marla gathered us around 3 sleds and showed us all of the parts of the sled and harness, and taught us the voice commands that the dogs use.  There's "hike!" to start running (not that they need any encouragement), "gee" for right, "haw" for left, "on by" to pass a distraction, and "whoa" to stop.  Then we were each given a harness and put it on "our" dog. Tundra started shaking as soon as I got it on her, so excited because she knew what was coming next.The handlers (3 of them, mostly pre-teens, but all with a surprising number of years of experience) brought the sleds over to a snow-covered path near the parking lot, then had us bring over our dog and hitch them up. They then drove the sleds about a 10 minute walk down the path to a nice clear loop, while we hiked along behind. We could tell we were almost there long before they were in sight by the excited barking of 18 dogs.  They couldn't wait to get going; we had to be stationed by our dogs, trying to keep them calm and from getting tangled in the harness.We were divided into 3 groups for each of the 3 sleds.  Aaron and I were in the same group, and were the last two to ride. As the rest of our group took their rides, we all had jobs to do -- catching the dogs as they came in, leading them around to the starting point again, and setting and releasing the snub line and snow anchor that kept the dogs from running away with the sleds. Of the 18 dogs, there were usually 8 running on Marla's sled, which had a seat so that she rode along with the musher, and 3 or 4 on each of the other sleds, with dogs being rotated in and out as they tired. I ended up with 4 dogs on my sled, including with Tundra and Runt.I was nervous but excited as I got ready to go.  I had to stand with all of my weight on the brake bar for quite a while as all three teams were prepared to go, and then finally we were off!  Riding a sled is a little trickier than I had imagined.  You stand one the runners behind the sled, but most [...]

Tue, 10 Mar 2015 00:05:35 GMT

I went to PAX on Sunday -- decided it was about time I see what Aaron's been doing there as an Enforcer for the past 6 years.  It was a little overwhelming, but a fun time.  I spent most of the time on the show floor, wandering around, but they have a Diversity Lounge, so I made it a point to stop by there.  One of the people there was an ethicist who was asking people to write on sticky notes what they think made a good female charpacter in games, and what made a good male character.  I found it an interesting exercise, trying to find specific qualities that were meaningful to me.

So I'm curious -- what qualities do you think make for an interesting female character?  What about a male character?  Do you find one easier to define than the other?  Do you think there's a different in what qualities matter in video games versus in other media, such as fiction?

(I'm deliberately not putting my own answers in yet -- I'll share after some other folks have posted, if anyone does.)

Happy Halloween!

Thu, 31 Oct 2013 20:56:58 GMT

Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays, and it's Aaron's, too, which makes it even more fun now. When we woke up this morning the Halloween Crustacean* had left a Haunted Mansion antenna topper for him, and when we went out this afternoon Aaron solemnly told me that the HC had deputized him to get me a Disney Villains make-up bag, but that he thought I might want to pick out which one myself.  It was a tough choice -- they're all pretty gorgeous -- but I finally went with an awesome Evil Queen one from Snow White, with an apple pattern inside.  He had also been desperately wanting the limited edition Haunted Mansion Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom card from Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party; over a month ago I posted to some Disney bulletin boards asking if anyone was going to the event and would be willing to part with the cards, and someone picked some up and sent them just in time to arrive today, so I got to surprise him with that, which was the icing on the cake.

We dressed up in slightly Halloweeny normal clothes -- skeleton shirt and jack-o-lantern bandanna for him, Jack Skellington shirt and big dangly monster earrings for me and went to the Asian market to get some groceries.  We each picked out a weird food item to have as a trick or treat -- we weren't sure which it would be!  I picked out an item in the candy aisle called Haw Flakes and he went with fish-shaped mango-cream-filled pretzels.  Both of them were odd and kinda... tasty.... ....maybe? and definitely new and different, which is always fun.  And certainly better than the durian wafers we tried last time.  Blech, durian.

Soon he'll head off to rehearsal (he's stage managing Whistler in the Dark's next show) and I'll settle in to do some design work, and some time in the next few days we'll watch Tim Burton's Sleepy Hollow and maybe It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown and eat ourselves sick on candy corn (luckily, the dollar store has some without gelatin.)

Happy Halloween, everyone!

*One of the local schools apparently has some sort of crustacean -- it's not clear whether it's a lobster or crayfish -- as their mascot.  Every fall they hang a banner with this creature on it advertising their Fall Festival, and we've built a whole mythology around it. The Halloween Crustacean travels around the world every Halloween, giving gifts to spooky little boys and girls.  And big ones.

Burlesque show

Sun, 24 Feb 2013 03:54:31 GMT

I don't generally bother pimping all of the burlesque shows I'm involved in here... but since my fiancé is writing, producing, and hosting this one, I thought it was worth a mention :)

Everything Is Evil
Sunday March 3 (that's next Sunday!), 8pm at Oberon, tickets $20 (seating is reserved, so buy now).
Aaron plays the Reverend Hubert P. Drinkwater, I play his dutiful wife Suzanne.  It's a good old-fashioned hell and brimstone revival, where Reverend Drinkwater will open your eyes to how Satan is trying to corrupt your children through such evils as Star Wars and Disney.  Of course, if he has to step away for a moment, I'm sure the pure and wholesome performers he has lined up will be happy to keep you entertained...

Facebook event is here -- invite your friends!

(image) (image)

Hey, programmers

Fri, 07 Sep 2012 20:58:00 GMT

Anyone intersted in creating a video game with my fiancé?  He's looking for someone proficient or willing to learn XNA, which is Microsoft's tool set for Xbox Live arcade and indie games. His understanding is that it's essentially C++ based.

He's got the storyline, he can get artists and musicians, but apparently nobody he knows is willing or able to create a game. It'll probably be rather a lot of work, but I'm told some of the best games on Xbox Live arcade are low-budget games made by small teams.  So if this is something you're at all interested in, or know someone who is, and you have too much spare time on your hands, let me know! :)

Dinner blogging

Fri, 17 Aug 2012 00:55:27 GMT

Aaron and I were both working near South Station today, so we met up at the farmer's market in Dewey Square on our way home.  We picked up some fresh corn, a spinach and onion ciabatta from When Pigs Fly, and a pint of heirloom cherry tomatoes.  We stopped at the market on the way home for some goat cheese.  When we got home, I roasted the tomatoes and a head of garlic.  We toasted slices of the bread and ate them smeared with roasted garlic, creamy goat cheese, and sweet carmelized tomatoes, along with fresh corn dripping with butter.  Oh my god so good!

musical theatre

Mon, 25 Jun 2012 02:22:11 GMT

My almost 16-year-old stepdaughter-to-be dances competitively, and she's looking for a song for her next Musical Theatre solo.  Should be upbeat and energetic, and something that you could build some character and story around.  Her strongest group number in her last recital was a French cabaret dancer sort of thing to "Speaking French" from Lucky Stiff (which I had never heard of before), and we'd love to find something that can use that same sort of saucy and playful character, since her last few solos have been more on the goofy side (a 50s high school dance wallflower to Dancing With Myself, and a number in pajamas with fabulous bedhead to a Bjork song). 

The songs don't have to be from Broadway shows, they can also be from TV or movies, although she is ideally interested in going a little more classic this time.  My thoughts so far have been The Stepsisters Lament from Cinderella, and That's How Young I Feel from Mame.

Any suggestions much appreciated!

Fri, 01 Jun 2012 12:31:13 GMT

I'm really excited about some of the projects I've got going on right now.  (image) ceciliatan has successfully funded her Kickstarter  campaign to create a printed omnibus edition of her Daron's Guitar Chronicles, and I'm doing the cover and book design.  We've got a first draft that I'm really excited about -- hope to have a more final version to show off here soon.

But has been having contests to design business cards for fictitious people; the first one was Zeus, and there were some really fun entries.  So when the announced a new contest yesterday to design a card for the Tooth Fairy, I couldn't resist.  The winner gets $300 plus $100 to spend at moo, so keep your fingers crossed for me!


Thu, 19 Apr 2012 03:24:00 GMT

You know how you worry before you introduce a new partner to your friends, for fear they won't see in him all the things that you do?

I got to introduce an audience to 84 Charing Cross Road tonight -- and thankfully, they fell in love with it as much as I did.  I sat in the dark theatre and listened to them getting caught up in the story and living it along with the characters, until I myself got too caught up in it to pay attention to anything other than what was happening on stage.

I'm so very proud of my actors, and frankly proud of myself, too, for all the work I've done and the decisions I've made that helped this production to be what it is.  And I'm so grateful for a wonderful group like T@F that provides a supportive environment to have experiences like this.  I cannot wait until tomorrow night to do it for a hopefully full house!

Bare Bones entry

Wed, 18 Apr 2012 14:46:54 GMT

I've been busy with work this week, thank goodness (and thank ctan!), so I haven't had much of a chance to post, but I can't tell you how excited I am about my Bare Bones tomorrow night.  Working on this play has been such a joy; we've all had fun doing research on the characters and literary references and historical era, and every rehearsal someone has something new and exciting to share.  I've never worked on a show before where everyone was eager to do so much work, in addition to the internal work of really exploring the characters and making them as full and rich and real as possible.  We had the best rehearsal last night, when we were finally at the point where I could put down my script and just sit back and watch them and listen.  They made me laugh harder than ever, and there were even a few tears at one point.  I'm looking forward to the dress rehearsal tonight and getting to see it onstage, and I'm twitching with anticipation for tomorrow night, when a full audience gets to enjoy it.  Yay!

Tue, 20 Mar 2012 16:15:29 GMT

Business cards for a writer with a focus on the Elizabethan era. She showed me some samples images from a book that appealed to her, I noticed a page from a book that looked like this, and suggested she use the business card as a short writing sample.  I love designing really personal business cards like this, that can visually give you so much more information than just the contact info!


I have a cast!

Mon, 19 Mar 2012 14:12:27 GMT

Thursday we had auditions for my Bare Bones, 84 Charing Cross Road.  I did a lot of prep for them, writing out my bullet points for what I needed to cover in the beginning, making myself sheets to keep track of what sides had been assigned, etc.  It definitely paid off -- things seemed to go very smoothly, and we finished both groups ahead of time.  And everyone seemed to have fun, which is even more important.  We got a really good turnout, including a number of people who have directed me in the past, which I found both very flattering and slightly nerve-wracking, as a sophomore director.

Casting was HARD -- there were so many good readings that I easily could have cast the show three times over, and gotten three entirely different but equally excellent shows.  But in the end you can only cast once, so I had to make some tough choices, including not choosing some friends who are amazing actors that I would have loved the chance to direct.  We ended up with two new people (one of who has auditioned for us before) and one old Firstie, namely...

Frank Doel - Andrew Harrington
Helene Hanff - Karen Fanale
Cecily Farr / Megan Wells / Maxine Stuart / Others - Liz Adams

Our first read-through is tomorrow, and I can't wait.  The show will be Thursday April 19 -- mark your calendars now!

I'm directing!

Thu, 02 Feb 2012 14:43:46 GMT

It's official -- 84 Charing Cross Road has been selected for the next Bare Bones!  My blurb:

In 1949, a struggling young New York playwright sent a letter inquiring about second-hand books to an antiquarian book store in London. So began a 20-year friendship between Helene Hanff and the booksellers at 84, Charing Cross Road. Taken from their actual letters, this story will amuse you, charm you, and send you running to your nearest library.

It's a really sweet and funny show, and I can't wait to see it brought to life in front of an audience.

Auditions are on March 15, and the show will be one night only, Thursday April 19, so mark your calendars now, or better yet, go sign up to audition!

Design updates

Mon, 09 Jan 2012 17:12:33 GMT

2012 Naughty Nurse Calendar
For those of you going to Arisia, don't forget to support the Heinlein Society and the Naughty Nurses by giving blood or buying a calendar! Here's a peek at this year's calendar layout.

Bare Bones

Tue, 08 Nov 2011 15:12:54 GMT

Since some people seem to have missed this...

I’m going to be acting in Theatre@First's next Bare Bones, a week from Thursday!

WHAT: Theatre@First’s Bare Bones staged reading of “The Oldest Profession” by Paula Vogel
WHEN: One performance only! Thursday, November 17, 8pm
WHERE: Unity Somerville, 6 William Street (corner of College Ave.), Davis Square, Somerville
HOW: Come to the show! The event is unticketed, with a suggested donation of $5.

Visit for more info.

Paula Vogel's The Oldest Profession takes place in New York, just after Reagan's election in 1980. Five elderly prostitutes sit on a park bench, discussing diminishing clientele, increased competition, and aching joints. With wit, compassion and humor, they struggle to adjust to changing circumstances.

Note: The subject matter is not really appropriate for younger children – it would likely be rated PG-13.

Booty Vortex poster

Fri, 04 Nov 2011 14:07:19 GMT

One of a series of two posters I'm working on for Booty Vortex. I wanted to try to capture some of the high-energy dance fest of their shows, along with a little of the retro disco vibe.


Rosenthol Design samples: carnival wedding invitation

Tue, 11 Oct 2011 11:53:02 GMT

Here are the wedding invitations I designed for Briavael O'Reilly and Nicole Pashka. They wanted the invites to look like carnival tickets, so I drew from my extensive collection of vintage woodtype fonts to create something with a fun old-time feel. The final invitations were 9" x 4", designed to fit into standard envelopes to keep costs down, while still looking like a ticket. I suggested using string-tied policy envelopes, with the flap on the short side, to add some extra flair for mailing.

Design updates

Sun, 09 Oct 2011 23:48:06 GMT

I've been posting samples of my design work over at my facebook page for Rosenthol Design, but I know not everyone is on facebook, and it's easy to miss posts over there.  So I'm curious -- would you want to see some of my design work posted here, too?  Or is that overkill?

Holy yum

Fri, 01 Jul 2011 22:38:26 GMT

Just made this for an early shabbos dinner before I go over to Harvard Square to see the amazing set my boyfriend built (and, of course, the show that will be performed on it.)  I don't know why it's called barbecued beef, it's not barbecued at all, but it is an amazingly tasty vaguely Cambodian flavor explosion, and a nice way to satisfy your meat cravings even when it's hot out.  Do read my notes before you start, some of the amounts are a little wonky.

Barbequed Beef Salad

3 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons lime juice
2 teaspoons brown sugar
2 large garlic cloves -- minced

1 pound Sirloin or top round steak
2 tablespoons Vegetable oil
2 butter lettuce heads
3 tablespoons fresh mint -- chopped
3 tablespoons fresh cilantro -- chopped
Green onions
2 tablespoons unsalted peanuts -- chopped

Mix soy, lime juice, sugar, and garlic until sugar dissolves. Reserve 1/4 cup of the mixture. (This recipe actually only made about 1/4 cup to begin with -- I went back and made another double batch to marinate in.) Marinate the steak in the sauce mixture for about 30 minutes.

Broil steak to desired doneness, cut across the grain into thin strips.   (It doesn't say to let it rest after broiling, but of course we know to do that.)

Wash and drain the lettuce, cilantro, and mint. Tear the lettuce into bite-sized pieces and toss in a large bowl with the mint and cilantro.

Mix the reserved 1/4 cup sauce mix with the oil, shake or whisk to combine.

Pour over the lettuce and toss to coat. Turn out onto a serving plate and arrange the beef slices on top. Garnish with green onion tops and sprinkle with peanuts.

Serve immediately

Tam Lin

Sun, 24 Apr 2011 01:41:54 GMT

Just re-read Pamela Dean's Tam Lin for the umpteenth time. I dearly love that book, and I find something new every time I read it. It's been a few years, I think, so I was surprised to find how many more of the Shakespearean references I caught, having done some of the shows myself now. And I've seen a movie of The Revenger's Tragedy, which I hated, but which did make that bit of the book much easier to follow, and of course there's The Lady's Not for Burning; they reference that a few times, but don't go into much detail, so having seen the T@F production and knowing the whole story added a lot more depth to some of the places where it was mentioned. Sadly, the Annotated Tam Lin, where someone lovingly went through and noted all of the references in the book, is no longer active online, but thanks to the Internet Archive Wayback Machine, you can still see it here.

So now I'm at loose ends for something marvelous to read.  What's your favorite re-read?  What do you find more in every time you go back to it, or just enjoy picking up for comfort?

router help

Mon, 04 Apr 2011 20:25:11 GMT

I just bought a wireless router, so that my boyfriend can play networked games on his Nintendo DS and I can get better quality on streaming Netflix on my iPhone.  I already have a wired router in place for our cable modem in the living room, and I had hoped to daisy chain this one on in my bedroom, since I'm not sure the signal would be strong enough from the living room.  Turns out that you can't just plug it in with the default settings and have that work, though, and I don't know enough about networking to make sense of the solutions I'm finding online.  Anyone out there willing to help walk me through it?  Thanks!


Fri, 01 Apr 2011 13:58:15 GMT

I made this yesterday on asparagus, but it was so good we were dipping everything into it and practically licking the plates.  It would be fabulous as a marinade for fish, and I'm thinking of using some as salad dressing on baby spinach for dinner tonight, if I can bring myself to leave the house to get the spinach.

Lime-Soy Vinaigrette

2 tablespoons lime juice (from about 1 lime)
1/8 teaspoon cayenne (or less if you're me)
1 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce
5 tablespoons cooking oil
1/4 teaspoon salt

Whisk together the lime juice, cayenne, soy sauce, and salt. Add the oil slowly, whisking.