The Casting Dock

Posts from — February 2012

Texas: a breath of warm air in February

Jerry and I just got back from a week spent in Texas visiting my family for February vacation.

It was one of my best trips home in recent memory.

I have had this weird thing about going home ever since I left for college. I’m really not sure why I have this pseudo-aversion to the idea of Texas in large doses. Generally at the end of my week-long visitation, I am more than ready to go and more than happy to call Massachusetts, and not Texas, home.

I don’t really get it. I had a really idyllic high school experience–lovely, no-drama best friends; successful (relatively speaking) sporting and academic experience; wonderful boyfriend whom I adored; very low conflict, easy relationship with my mom; supportive and encouraging church community–and I love the warm weather and friendly, laid back culture.

But regardless, for whatever reason, I was always ready and willing to go.

This week was the first time I can ever remember going to Austin and thinking,
I could live here. I wish we could live here.


It seriously weirded me out.

But anyway, since my camera is off in the shop getting pieced back together again, I had little to work with. Regardless, here are a few shots from the week, meager as they may be.

Meet Noah. My friend Ashley’s little guy.

Little Noah with his bright red/orange hair, pleasant temperament, and good eating habits (the kid seriously eats everything) was my little envy baby. Getting closer to really craving one of my own…

Driving over the Lake Austin bridge on a beautiful 70 degree day. This drive through the rolling hills on the way to my dad’s house is a very nostalgic one for me.

Salt Lick barbeque with some old high school friends. One of Jerry’s two food requests while in town.

Speaking of old friends from high school…I got to see lots of them, especially considering I only graduated in a class of 17! I was exceptionally fortunate to have such quality friends for so many formative years. As I spend more and more time in schools (and the world in general) I realize how tricky (and catty!) girl friendships can be. Somehow I escaped all of that and had really easy, natural, gossip-free friendships even through middle and high school. Complete blessing!

Surprise hit of the trip! Mexican mineral water that’s taking Texas by storm. And inevitably bringing along with it a host of the-one-thing-you’re-told-in-Mexico-is-to-not-drink-the-water-and-now-you’re-paying-to-have-them-bottle-it-up-and-ship-it-to-you jokes. Literally heard this joke from five separate people, all thinking themselves quite clever…and I must say, I found it amusing each time.

Tyler and Dani. OH.MY. I adore these two. Tyler is one of my very favorite people and a good friend from high school. I just have such a soft spot for him.

And Dani is Lauren’s (one of my college roommates) sister. She is just adorable–laid back, easy to get along with, lots of fun. Her family now lives in California, Lauren and I met in Massachusetts, and she and Tyler started dating in Texas. Such a fun connection. SO glad we got to see them.

A week of warm weather and time spent with family and friends was exactly what Jerry and I both needed to recharge for this final push through (our mild) winter!

February 25, 2012   4 Comments

Great Moments in Bryan’s Commenting

Alright, so I know full well that this post will be amusing to no one save my mother, my brother Adam, my husband, and perhaps one or two other family members/close friends who know my brother Bryan in real life, but I couldn’t help myself. My apologies to everyone else. I recommend just leaving now and saving yourself the next 3 minutes of your life. Seriously.

I got the following email a few days ago from Bryan:

I’ve saved a draft of my greatest hits for your perusal.

I think there are three rules for having a great life.
One of these is to amuse yourself.
I can’t tell you the other two yet.

But I am, by a margin, my favorite commenter on TheDock.
No dis to no other playas. But I just brings it harder.


So I log in to my blog and find this draft of Bryan’s favorite comments from himself on my blog. WHO DOES THIS??!!?? Only him. Now I love my eldest brother something fierce and I know I am biased in gauging his comic ability. I have always been a very generous laugher with him and Adam. I find them irrationally funny. Love clouds, I suppose? Or maybe it’s a mere exposure thing. Anyway, for anyone interested in Bryan’s favorite comments from himself over the past 15ish months, his list is below.

Some of them will make no sense without the context of the post (I think it’s better that way though) and some of them never made sense in the first place (my favorite kind). Either way, here they are (#10 is my favorite all-time comment…props Bryan):


Thanks for the insight into your job. I liked reading about it. Your job does sound like a good challenge. I don’t know if it’s my kind of challenge, but I think you’re well suited for it and glad you are enjoying it so.

I especially don’t envy you for the paperwork, but I guess that’s just part of the bargain. Also, I would not be one of the people asking ‘what problems could they have?’… I know a lot of elementary students, and they are terrifically disturbed. I don’t doubt you’ve got a workload!


…if I don’t become dictator of the land, I’ll take up video games.


all of your friends are photogenic, i think. they are like the friends on Friends. Steph Acker, if I remember your old facebook page, was always one your ‘interests’. She’s the cutest thing around.

Also, I think Steph Acker is a cool name. Lisa Logan is pretty cool too. That is such a roll of the dice. I mean, getting married. People meet fall in love get married forget punctuation rules. But they don’t make these decisions based on their future husband’s last name. It’s just luck. Some girls get Logan. Some girls get Vanderslice. Ya know?

Steph Acker… if you get married, i hope it is to a dude named Acker. (make sure there’s no relation.) and then you can maintain your cool name. Like those Kelly Hillebrands from Good Morning America. Cept not quite cuz there probably aren’t any men named Steph Acker, but there could be, like a black stephon acker, like stephon marbury or stephen curry, and they go by steph… so that’s possible.

In any event, I hope steph meets a nice Acker and settles down.


You don’t follow the Alexej blog? Why should Alexej follow you, yes? I think you have your principles all wrong if you think Alex will follow you with you not being able to follow his writings. That is all


That looks like a nice wedding…

you’re really getting good with the photos or maybe it’s the camera… if i get married, will you be the photographer? it’d be a real treat if you took the photos for me. Also, i want to change my last name to Logan. it’s really growing on me. though if i do, people who meet you through me in the future will assume that either Jerry is my brother or that he took his wife’s last name… those would be inaccuracies. You know how I hate inaccuracy. Drats! Perfectly good idea ruined!

*Why is drats underlined in red. Drats? Is that not a word, like a comic bubble word at least?


Just think, someday you’ll be helping people just like this pick the college that’s right for them!

Tangent… I’ve been thinking of just getting in the car and driving to Monterrey. They say the road is lawless, though. Still only 6-7 hours away. Can’t wrap my mind around the fact that I live 6hrs from Monterrey. I’ve never been to Mexico. Do you think that Juarez and the near-interior roads get a bad rap? I mean State keeps issuing warnings to Americans that if they want to stay alive AND travel that they book a trip somewhere not through a Mexican border town. But that’s probably all hype.

The other thing and maybe your worldly blog readers can help me here… How come Mexican cities don’t have nicknames? Is that only an American thing? Almost every one of our top 20 has a nickname. Emerald City, Beantown, Tinseltown, Big Apple. Is there a nickname for Juarez but it’s only known to Mexicans? What is the nickname for Monterrey? Don’t-Drive-to-Us-City, Take-a-Flight-ville? I dunno.

It’s a rambler. Seriously, I could have a topo chico in Monterrey and be back before the end of the weekend. Probably not smart though… Where would I get pesos on a weekend, right?


This is such an interesting topic, Lisa. You are getting pretty bold. The main problem for me is that as I get older it gets harder to keep up with the current sexy magazine gals. Who is considered sexy right now? Megan Fox, ok. I can’t think of anyone else. So I am not totally sure what is the current definition of sexy, as defined by society through the media.

Sexy doesn’t last all that long usually. I know that I am less sexy than I once was. (Some will argue this point, but, come on, there has clearly been some slippage.) When I was a big media consumer and watched TV shows, the top models were Cindy Crawford, Elle McPherson, Tyra Banks, Claudia Schiffer, etc. I don’t think any of those women are working as models anymore and it’s only been like 10 or 15 years…

But, just as Tyra Banks has expanded her offerings into television, I too have adapted to compensate for my loss of sexiness. The main tactic I employ is innovating new social trends and slangs. This gives me prestige and status that makes my diminished sexiness unnoticeable.

I use this equation:

Appeal = Sexy + Status

Me, 2002: Sexy = 10, Status = 0; Appeal is 10.
Me, 2011: Sexy = 9.99 Status = 0.01; Appeal still 10.

As you can see, I am still a catch with no quantifiable drop off in market value.


you’re really good at picnic or whatever it is… I love what you’ve done with pics. OMG!


One last thing. When I mentioned ’94, I was referencing the most influential film of that year, especially for young cinephiles. This movie featured another line that caught my fancy at the time, a line I later adapted for my own purposes. Perhaps there are others that recall it. Here’s the line…

Spoken like a true prodigy. How about you, Lash LaRue? You think you can keep your spurs from jinglin’ and janglin’?

Can’t believe that was 17 years ago.


I envy you. Looks like that great scene in Star Trek: Generations where Picard is reunited with his family inside the Nexus but realizes, with Guinan’s help, that he’s inside an alternate reality existing outside the space/time continuum and therefore not bound to temporal laws and conditions. This, of course, forces Picard to make a decision as to whether or not to return to normal space/time and, naturally, at what point in the continuum he should make this re-entry considering that his goal of stopping Soran from launching the rocket that destroys the Veridian star will be difficult for him to accomplish on his own. This leads to the film’s great decision, one of the most critical in all of the Trek canon, wherein Picard decides he needs Capt. Kirk’s help. They meet and join forces to attempt to save the Veridian system from certain destruction at the hands of the madman Dr Soran.

I doubt I need to go on. The parallels are pretty clear.


**editor’s note from Lisa: I’m sending my camera to be fixed on Monday. Once I get it back, my blog should be colorfully brought back to life.

February 11, 2012   4 Comments

fat talk forbidden: a necessity for our kids.

As a child, I always thought I had a bit of a pudgy stomach and a big nose.


Our little insecurities are funny sometimes. In hindsight. And with greater perspective.

But in the moment, they are devastating. Sources of tremendous angst, endless obsession, and potentially substantial repercussions. They consume us–overriding our rationality and influencing so many decisions.

I remember lots of little insecurities from childhood and adolescence, but the most prominent revolve around appearance.

Not wanting to take off my shorts at the beach:: Always wrapping a towel around me before bending over in a swimsuit so my (imagined) stomach-rolls wouldn’t be visible to others:: H-A-T-I-N-G sitting in shorts because I thought my legs looked massive:: Trying to squeeeeeze into size-too-small jeans hoping they would stretch out just so I could know I had the tag hanging in my closet.

Wha, whaaaaat?

I know we often blame this thin-obsession on the media and our broader culture. And of course I would agree. We have all seen THE dove commercial. We all know that people on magazine covers are always airbrushed. And they’re already the top 1% of attractiveness as it is. Sheesh. Talk about impossible.

But you know what else feeds this thin-obsession for our kids and our youth?

We do. You and me. The average, every day, middle-to-upper-middle class woman, shopping on amazon, pinning on pinterest, dreaming about character-rich houses, creative cuisine, and cute kids in artsy photo-shoots.


We feed it with our incessant fat talk. Sipping on lattes, chatting with friends, updating statuses.

Fat talk is all of the statements made in everyday conversation that reinforce the thin ideal and contribute to women’s dissatisfaction with their bodies.

Think about it. We fat talk all.the.time.


I feel fat today:: I hate the way my legs look in these pants:: I had three cookies today and I just feel huge:: That tiramisu was delicious but now I have to get to the gym:: If only I could lose 10 more pounds:: If I could just shave these saddlebags off my thighs…:: Ugh. I hate these pants. My love handles always hang over:: Do you think my legs look fatter? But do you see this part here where they are touching each other? It looks gross:: I hope my jeans still fit after all this food.

We send mixed messages to our kids and we wonder why our kids, girls especially, are more and more appearance-conscious at younger and younger ages. We tell them they are beautiful; they are unique; they are lovely just the way they are; and they are certainly NOT fat.

But what do they see and hear and observe?

They hear us talking about ourselves, complaining about our imperfections, making little jokes and comments about food&calories, setting goals to reach a number on a scale, complimenting another’s appearance while degrading our own. Kids are unbelievably perceptive. It doesn’t matter that we tell them they are beautiful. If they see that we don’t find ourselves beautiful, if they see us obsessed with food&weight&wrinkles&little imperfections, our actions will undoubtedly speak louder than our words.

As a teenager, I made a promise to myself that I would never, ever make any of these silly fat talk, food&weight obsessed comments when I have kids. I will never talk about my weight, my need to diet or cut back on certain foods, or how “fat” I look in certain clothes. I just won’t do it. It sends the wrong message to kids.

I have decided to start that commitment today.

I am absolutely, positively guilty of being a fat-talker.

And let’s be clear, I’ve never actually been fat.

I am 5 feet 5 inches tall and I weigh 130 pounds.

I am not fat. I have never been fat. And yet I definitely fat talk. I know it’s been annoying to my husband at times and it’s sent the wrong message to younger ears. So no more. No little jokes about food or calories or how it’s going to my thighs. No more I feel fat today or I feel like this makes me look fat.

I want fat talk to have no place in my home when I have kids so I am starting the habit now. I also want to someday run some body image & self esteem groups at school so I want to be sure that I am setting the proper example. And I think by setting this as the definitive date, I will realize how often I make these little comments.

I implore my husband (and my friends! real and blogger!) to hold me accountable. Call me out.

I know that food&weight&bodyimage&women is a HUGE topic. And I know there are lots of reasons why women talk about it all so often–to process and find support and community and encouragement. I get that. But I also think it’s REALLY detrimental to the little lingering ears. And I think it perpetuates the cycle.

So as for me and my household, fat talk has no place here.

Starting today.

February 2, 2012   9 Comments