Tuesday, January 31, 2012


My last name isn't Keysor anymore, contrary to this blog's URL. So I've moved:


(The title is from the poem, "Under Which Lyre," which is one of my favorites.)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Christmas Village in Review

I’m blogging over at Church of the Resurrection today, sharing the tip of the iceberg of the craziness that was Christmas Village. The post focuses on the missions aspect of the Village, but much of my Christmas Village time was in the  days and weeks before, setting up and taking down, rounding up and organizing volunteers, and making sure the cookies were plentiful and the hot chocolate kept flowing. 

I shared at Rez the amount of money we raised, but here are some more numbers:

116 shoppers (people who donated gifts to missionaries)
70 volunteers (probably more, actually) working hard behind the scenes
50 live Christmas trees
12 groups of entertainers — singers and dancers, mostly, but also an exotic petting zoo and a pen of puppies
10 hours of Christmas Festival
8 countries represented -- more about this at RezBlog
7 hours of set up
2 hours of take down
1 break in the evening for the Christmas Pageant

Blade was invaluable; he helped run errands with me all day and made sure I got something to eat besides cookies.

I slept most of the following day, the whole thing was so exhausting, but it was all totally worth it.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

You can get poetry-ness.

Blade and I saw The House's production of Cyrano on our honeymoon. I considered writing a review of it, but Ada Grey beat me to the punch.

Ada Grey, if you don't know, is my favorite Chicago theater critic. She is 7 years old. She has this to say about the end of Cyrano:

I think she actually loves him in the end, but he never actually gets to marry her like he wants to. Everybody in the audience was touched except if the Joker was there. Then he would not be touched, because he is a supervillain. Catwoman and Poison Ivy would because they are more gentle-hearted than others. 

Here are a few more gems.

On The Adventures of Pinocchio and Emperor's New Clothes
I like grown-up shows better than kids' shows, which is weird because I am a kid. Kids' shows I can love them, but I don't double love them. Some grown-up shows have romance, adult jokes, killing people, tough words. If you don't know all the words it makes the play more complicated, and then it makes it a puzzle, and it is more fun to figure out.  

On Macbeth
I would recommend Macbeth for ages 10 and up, but I am a very brave 7 year old. 

On Liza Minnelli's Daughter:
At the end, her clothes were regular. ... She looked like a person that didn't do any plays at all. 

When I am just wearing regular clothes, I feel lonely because it makes me feel like I am not Ada Grey. I am just a girl wandering around. I am not somebody; I'm nobody.  
Don't you want to be her best friend? 

I think this is the proper use of a 7 year old girl. Remind me of this if I ever have a 7 year old.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

In the Major Life Transitions department ...

"Alyssa's been a glutton for punishment in the Major Life Transitions department these last few weeks." - Meredith

You may surmise these things from my blog silence:

1. I picked up a second job working at my church. I love it, but it means I'm still adjusting to 45-50 hour weeks (instead of 25-30, which is what I'd been working before).


2. Blade and I got married!
On the left: My dad, having just walked me down the aisle to Blade. On the right: The vows, which were, incidentally, officiated by my new boss.

And everything was wonderful. Friends, family, amazing food, hundreds of my mom's paper flowers ... check out more pictures on Maggie Fortson's blog. (Blade and I were a little nervous about pictures, since both of us are camera shy, but Maggie set us at ease. We highly recommend her!)

The only thing that didn't go according to plan: We'd bought tickets to fly to New York City for our honeymoon, but we found out on Friday (the night before the wedding) that Hurricane Irene had shut down all flights to and from NYC.

We ended up staying in Chicago, only 45 minutes from our own apartment, but that turns out to be the best thing we could have done. I wouldn't have wanted to mess with an airport that evening, and we already know our way around Chicago. That meant we could spend our running-around-the-city time visiting the Art Institute and seeing a play at The House rather than wasting energy trying to navigate an unfamiliar subway system.

Today, in celebration of our one week anniversary, we have been lazy around our apartment. (I've been lazier than Blade, who made delicious chicken for supper.) It's raining outside, and we have good books to read. We are cozy. 

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Exit, Pursued by Bear

I have a history of shrugging off minor bumps and bruises only to find out later that I should have gone to the doctor immediately. So when I got a strange spot on my skin -- could that be a spider bite? -- I decided would rather be extra cautious and had Blade take me to an immediate care clinic.

When I mentioned it on Facebook, my friend Steve replied that he'd just been to the ER. Right now, Steve and two of our other good friends, Marty and Tim, are backpacking in the mountains in Colorado. I was afraid one of them had fallen off a cliff or something.

Me (on Facebook): As everyone knows, the best way to finish a Very Long Day is at the urgent care center.

Steve (via text): Small world! We were at the emergency room last night, too!

Me: Who was hurt? Are you all ok now?!

Steve: Yes. Sorry, that was mean. Marty had a weird altitude-related breathing thing, but they checked him out and he's completely fine now.

Me: My awful sore was caused by falling asleep at the computer.* First world problems.

Steve: Marty's lung pain was caused by ascending and descending a 13,000 ft mountain too fast. Awesomely-in-shape-super-badass-problems. ...

Me: Do not scare me like that, Slagg.

Steve: You did the same thing to Facebook!

Me: Sort of, but urgent care and the ER are nowhere near the same thing. Urgent care is for bug bites and flu shots, things like that. The ER is for when you get mauled by a bear while camping.

Steve: Fair enough. No, getting mauled by a bear isn't likely to happen until tonight. ...

*I take medicine at night for a sleeping problem, and I usually have about half an hour before it kicks in. Once it kicks in, though, I'm asleep immediately. This weekend, I misjudged that window of time, and I sat down at the computer to catch up on a couple of things before the medicine knocked me out. 

Five hours later, I woke up, still sitting on my couch, with a blister where my arm had been resting on the edge of my laptop. 

At least, I thought that's what it was, but I wanted to make sure it wasn't a spider bite, because it was more painful and angry-looking than blisters usually are. I knew a guy who waited too long to treat a spider bite on his leg, and his muscle was permanently damaged, so I am now absolutely paranoid about spider bites. 

I am very aware of how ridiculous it is to have a falling-asleep-at-the-computer injury.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Audrey (II) Hepburn would be proud.

If I've learned anything from an absurd number of viewings of My Fair Lady, it's that flower shops should be overflowing with bright colors, elegant British accents, and extravagant hats. Also, you are required to study linguistics for months before they let you work in a flower shop, don't you know?

I haven't found any florists like that.* I've only visited one, and he didn't seem like a good fit, despite his glowing review on Google:

Seriously? Only one person found this review helpful?

Blade would love a gag carnation, right? I think a single black orchid might have been over the top for an afternoon wedding, but I so had my heart set on carrying a delicate bouquet of Venus flytraps and garage-shaped ivy. They're just so classic, so Audrey.

I'm sure I'm not the only one who can't distinguish between Audrey II (left) and Audrey Hepburn (right).

*Actually, I haven't found a florist at all. When my parents visited last week, my mom brought her paper tendonitis flowers, and I liked them so much that we're not going to bother with fresh flowers at all.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

She should at least log her hours.

Blade and I have been talking about jobs, particularly about how we'll balance our jobs and our friends and our church as a married couple. We started the conversation with our premarital counselor earlier this evening and continued it as we cleaned up our supper dishes in kitchen.

Blade took over loading the dishwasher, and I sat down to think. And this is what I thought --

Me: Something's bothering me. 

Blade: Work stuff? 

Me: Uh, yeah. How come the Watcher's Council doesn't just pay Buffy? 

Blade: Because being the Slayer is a calling, not a job. 

Me: But they pay Giles. 

Blade: That's different. He chose his job. Buffy was fated. 

Me: But Buffy can barely keep a regular job. She should get paid for all the hours she puts in being the Slayer. 

Blade: Functionally, I think it would taint the position.

We are absolutely mature grown-ups, who discuss mature, grown-up things.