Thursday, May 31, 2007

Tess - The Musical
When doing the last revue at Hofstra - Cole Porter in Concert - Annie told me that she was asking for one more musician for her musical, based on Tess of the D’Ubervilles. About a month ago, I e-mailed her wondering if she did indeed need me. And her wish was granted - she was given the budget for one more musician. I was honored and flattered that she wanted me to play for her musical. I mean, we’re talking about her magnum opus here, this musical that she had been working on for 10 years. Plus, I’d be the first ever to play the cello part. Ever. How often do you get a chance like that? So I was nervous, excited, exhilerated and so flattered and honored.

So I’ve just completed the first weekend of shows. It was not an easy week. We started rehearsals last Sunday and went straight through opening on Friday. Rehearsals were long - I wasn’t getting home until well after 11:00 p.m. each night. And getting up for work the next day was challenging.

But the music. What a beautiful cello part. I was swooning on the inside playing it. It’s so lyrical. And challenging. There’s one song where it’s just me and an actor on stage playing guitar. It reminds me of the video I saw of Harry Chapin doing “Cat’s in the Cradle” with the cello soloist. It’s like I’m getting a chance to do something akin to that 5 times a weekend. And it’s so so cool and so nerve-wracking at the same time.

Wednesday’s rehearsal, our musical director was working, so Annie filled in on piano. Of course we were running late, so Annie went into full musical-chick mode and started playing a bevy of crazy tunes, including the music from the original Mario Bros. Nintendo game, music from the Price is Right and the Dating Game. It was hysterical. Somehow this led to us all quoting from the movie, “Help!” and other assorted musical nerdiness. I love it. I love that I’m around other people who think almost just like I do. I love that we all giggle and carry on about tunes we remember from when we were younger. I’m just having so much fun with this show. These are the shows that just make me relish being a musician.

**Info on Tess here.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Ahhhh......the promise of an empty day.
I don't like being told I should have fabulous plans for the "holiday weekend." Everywhere I look I see ads and commercials toting how everyone heads somewhere, the beach, their summer home, etc. I like having empty days to do nothing. I like that I just took a nap at 12:30 in the afternoon. I like that I have the fan on, the classical station lulling me in and out of sleep and a full water-bottle type thing full of lemonade and ice right next to me. Part of this stems from the knowledge that I have a rehearsal tonight and figure why tax myself now when I'll be out the door at 7pm, not to return 'til probably 11pm. And the fact that I do need to practice later so I don't look like such a dunce later.

I did actually do something Saturday with Tommy though. He was cute. He gave me options for a fun-filled (and climate-controlled) day. We could go to a movie, go for a drive, go see my sister, things of that nature. I actually came up with the idea of heading to Macy's to spend some gift cardage we've been accumulating. We scored! Our deep wok-like frying pan was in sad condition - non-stick material coming off, grungy. So we got a new chef's pan. And new pillows for the couch. Dare to dream, right? Then off to Fatburger! We had it on our honeymoon in San Diego and never thought we'd have such delicious burgers again. One just opened up nearby so we went. It was yummy. So go find yourself a Fatburger.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Oh boy. This is one of those mornings where I know I'll HAVE to run out and get a huge, greasy Burger King breakfast.
And Now For This Short Break From Our Sponsor
I have the cheap(er) cable. No HBO, no STARZ, nothing like that. Which is perfectly fine. I get a lot of reading done. So when I do watch television, unless I'm watching PBS, Turner Classic Movies or FOX Original Movies, I'm stuck watching commercials.

Commercials That Suck and Piss Me Off
Three Musketeers - The commercial where the 3 women are at the movies, and one opens her purse and 3 candy bars float out. The one woman, who apparently is a complete moron lets it float away up to the balcony since apparently she has no clue that she can just GRAB THE DAMN THING. And then proceeds to be a complete bitch and snatches her friend's candy bar from her for laughing at her. First of all, I understand the premise that they're trying to tell us that 3 Musketeer bars are light. Fine. Go with that little premise. However, I hate that the woman in the middle is just plain a.) stupid. b.) mean and c.) talking so loudly in a movie theater. With movie ticket prices at $10, I'd be telling her to shut the hell up.

Arby's - The commercial where 3 construction-type guys are standing IN Arby's and one is arguing that there's no way you can get 5 particular menu items for only $5.95. They then proceed to make a bet about this. Okay dumbass. Aren't you standing IN Arby's and can you not read? Why the hell would you make a bet if there's an ENORMOUS sign right there above the counter telling you that you can do just that? They should have made the bet even better since it was such a sucker bet.

One Commercial I Actually Found Entertaining
Vitamin Water - 50 Cent guest conducting an orchestra with one of his homeys playing first viola (except the first viola would sit on the right hand side of the stand looking at them). I laughed my cute little heiney off. It was just too funny. Can you imagine being the orchestra that got hired to do that taping? How cool would that be?

Thursday, May 24, 2007

The Brave Little Shoemaker
So Tuesday, I raced from work to get to the shoemaker/shoefixer before he closed at 5:00 p.m. As I pull into his driveway, I see him locking up and moan in defeat (he wouldn't be back 'til next Tuesday). He sees me and re-opens his store. I'm sweating and gasping and ask if he takes a check or Master Card. Nope. "You pay me when you see me next." Ummm....okay.

Now. If that isn't service, I don't know what is. Who says the days of the independent business are gone?

You can be sure I will be there with bells on next Tuesday, money in hand.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

A Productive Little Glamour Girl
I'm actually suprised by how much I got done today:

Got up and started cleaning - cleaned the bedroom, went through all my toiletry type stuff, cleaned my closet and I mean, thoroughly cleaned my closet. Came up with 3 bags of garbage and 2 bags of clothes to give away.

Started setting my wireless router up and discovered I needed another network cable.

So at this point I made one of my world-famous lists and made a plan of attack. Showered and got ready to be uber-productive.

Went first to the little mom-and-pop computer fix-it shop (how Sesame Street - just like Luis' Fix-it Shop). They had a cable for $5. Not bad at all.

Then went to drop off my dry-cleaning. Done and done.

Went to drop some shoes off to be re-soled, but no dice. They're not open on Saturdays. On Sundays, yes, but not Saturdays.

Not dejected I pressed on. Went next to drop off 3 HUGE bags of clothing off to the Salvation Army. Check and check.

Then went to Shop Rite to get rid of empty bottles and cans and pick up some ricotta cheese for a lasagna I may make later. Also picked up some goodies. Cheese curls are so hideously unnatural, from their bright orange color to their unnatural crunch. And mango slices. I love mango, but any time I buy a whole one and try to cut it up it's a disaster; mango juice everywhere and very little eatable flesh.

Then last but not least - the library. To return some items and look for something delightful to watch. No dice again. Slim pickings in the DVD area.

Then finally home. Where I resumed setting up the wirelss (success!) and am now typing from the comfort of the couch whilst I watch the Heroes marathon, with a satiated sense of accomplishment!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Etiquette Lessons
People just have zero common sense these days. They talk on their cell phones whenever they feel like it, they walk in front of you like you're invisible (I'm waiting to use the snippy like "Am I invisible? No? Then why did you walk right in front of me like I was?" to some clueless dolt.), they don't keep their beastly children in control (no, I don't want to hear them scream that you won't buy them anything and I'm thisclose to tripping one of the laundromat rats that run laps with the laundry carts past me screaming), and they think everything is someone else's responsibility. are some little things I've noticed and am wondering if I'm wrong about.

Gym Etiquette
1. I don't want to hear you yapping on your cell phone while you're on the treadmill next to me. I don't care what your plans are for the evening and no one else does either. If I can hear you OVER my iPod, you're talking too damn loud.
2. Please don't douse yourself in perfume before coming to the gym. Quite honestly, I'd much rather catch an occasional whiff of sweaty person than be bombarded constantly with the hideous fragrance you bathed in.
3. Don't park your ass on one nautilus machine for 10 minutes. You might think your thighs really need work, and they might, but the rest of us would like to use that machine too.
4. If I put my step and weights out for a class and there's nobody else there yet, don't put your stuff right next to mine - there's a whole room full of space.

Drive-Through Etiquette
1. Don't lag in the line - some of us would like to move up in the line so we're not sticking out into the parking lot or street.
2. Figure out what you're ordering BEFORE you get to the menu/speaker. You've been sitting in line long enough and you can't honestly tell me you don't know what McDonalds/Burger King/Taco Bell has to offer.
3. Don't ask the other people in your car at the last minute if they want anything. This should all have been figured out before getting on line.
4. Don't order $30 worth of food. If you're ordering that much you need to do it inside and not hold up the drive-through line.
5. Pay attention for the 10 minutes you're on line. You can clean your purse/yell at your children and/or spouse/search for something under your seat later.

Laundromat Etiquette
1. Don't leave your clothes in the washer after they're done. Next time I will remove AND sell them.
2. Don't let your beastly children run around like savages. This is a place of business, not the locale for the latest "Survivor" series.
3. Don't let said beastly children run around with the laundry carts. It's dangerous and people actually do use them.
4. Ask before just grabbing the cart that is in front of my washers WITH my hangers in it.
5. See number 1. of Gym Etiquette.
6. Don't put one item in each dryer. While they are free, EVERYONE has to dry their clothing and your pillows aren't important enough to warrant a dryer for each one separately.

I mean, really, is that too much to ask?

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Shiney, Curly Hair
I'm still loving my haircut. My hair has been looking amazing lately. It's just this soft, curly delight. Very little frizz and poofiness. And I've been using my Nature's Gate condish. This stuff is amazing. My hair feels clean, well conditioned and no build-up.'s only $6 at Vitamin World.
Say Goodbye to Stars Hollow
Last night was the last episode of "Gilmore Girls." I know it's a cheesy little show, but I really had enjoyed it. It was unique - an hour long "dramedy" that combined elements of drama with lots of comedic dialogue, interesting characters (I mean, where else is Sally Struthers going to find work?), and a delightful setting. It was very well done, tied up all loose ends really and closed with a perfect ending scene. I was a little misty-eyed during the second half of the show but it was delightful. If I could live in a town like Stars Hollow I would.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Mmmm...another post about food
I can't help it. I get this little free recipe magazine in the mail from Kraft called "Food and Family." It's shamelss plugging of their new products in glossy pictures and all their recipes feature using Kraft products as ingredients, but I really find a lot of neat, quick and easy recipes in there. And it gives me my "new product" fix. Plus, a lot of the dishes are comforting type foods using pasta and rice. Last night I made the Bacon Cheeseburger Roll-up for my cowboy since he LOVES cheeseburgers and I knew he'd be coming home in a rush from a review session. It came out deliciously! It's basically ground beef, velveeta, bacon rolled up in a pizza crust. Tasty. Tonight I'm making the StoveTop Easy Cheesy Chicken Bake. I seriously get tons of recipe ideas out of here. And they do have healthy options, so it's all good. I mean, how can you go wrong following the people who make "Macaroni and Cheese"?

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Mmmmmm....Glossy Food Pictures
I love Saveur. Love it. I love how they talk about fancy, shmancy food with as much zeal as they do about food from fairgrounds. They give all kinds of food equal footing. They don't see any difference in savoring a good church potluck dinner and a meal from a roadside vendor in Asia somewhere. They take me to places I've never heard of, whether it's some small enclave in British Columbia or a village in Italy to tell me all about their cuisine. I love the photos, glossy and perfect, showing me tantalizing dishes with accompanying photos. I've even made recipes out of the magazine; spicy chocolate cookies and mac and cheese. I love the little sidebars in the beginning that give notices about upcoming food festivals all over the world. Or the Saveur List that is different every month. I keep these magazines and go back to them and read again and again about how something tastes or how this dish was passed down through generations of families. I tried reading Gourmet. I did. Simply because I love Ruth Reichel and her writing. But it was too......for lack of a better word, elitist. The recipes always contained bizarre ingredients that I'd have to pay and arm and a leg for. Saveur is more tangible. I feel like they're trying to just let you know of different things, not show you what you don't know. It's seriously the one magazine I wait eagerly for each month.

Oh, and "Real Simple" I loved you in the beginning. Really, I did. But you just started saying the same thing different ways. I mean, how many times can we organize, remove stains and make dinner easier? I used to tear tons of recipes out of you, but now I just leaf through it quickly and move on. Sorry. It was fun while it lasted.

And "Lucky?" Because a dress is $190 doesn't make it "affordable" or a "bargain." I understand in relation to the $300 dresses you show on your pages it is, but really.

I will however, always love InStyle. Where else can I find photos of celebrities sans the cheesy tabloidism (which sometimes is fun) and helpful hints and styles. I've gotten more outfit ideas from there more than anywhere else. It's my favorite magazine to take on a plane ride.

Oh...and by the way. Saveur has the best last page. They find these great photos and simply caption them with what they are. Whether it's a quirky restaurant in Taiwan where the patrons sit on closed potties and eat on covered sinks, or it's a vintage photo from the Hollywood Golden Era of the canteen, always something interesting.
Mmmm......Bone-Shaped Dessert
Yesterday I finally got my haircut. Went to Zeba in Huntington and saw Steven. He was fabulous. He told me me hair was "gorgeous" and "unique." I liked that. In having hair that got me teased incessantly from grades 6 through 10, it's so refreshing to be stopped by strangers to be told they love my hair. It seemed like every stylist in the salon had to come over to touch my hair and marvel at it's curliness. But I sat there and Steven shook out my hair. It looked messy but that sexy messy that you see in ads. Then he cut it (dry!) and it started to take some shape. It just kept looking better and better. It so needed something. It was just long and hanging there and when it was dry the ends would get poufy and it'd look silly. I was wearing it up more often than not. So he shaped and shaped. He stood back and looked. It was seriously the first time since my first Deva-cut where I liked what I saw happening. We talked about food and restaurants and he was just delightful - humming along with the music playing. It was really a relaxed atmosphere, which was nice. Then off to get "washed" with Deva products; Low Poo and One Condition. He had asked me a lot about how I had my hair done last and I told him how I walked out of Deva with my hair feeling very product-y and stiff and how it took forever to get the curl back. He was shocked that that happened and promised we'd find a way to finish my hair without it getting product-y. I was Low Poo-ed and conditioned. Not as luxuriously as at Deva, but nice enough for a Saturday morning. Then back to the chair, where Steven styled my hair with Aquage gel. He was great - didn't try to push a single product on me, and told me we'd try the gel and see if it works, since he knows you never know how it'll dry, but he liked the sound of the gel, as it was botanical and should give shape and some control without stiffness. So he worked the gel in sections - not how I do my hair, but that's such a personal thing with curlies. And then he sent me on my way, after telling me that it was such a nice way to start his day doing my hair. That's just nice. I'm definitely going back. It was WAY cheaper than a Deva cut and I was completely satisfied.

Then I met Diane for a meal and sorely needed hanging-out time. We went to
J.T.'s Corner Cafe. Thank goodness I had checked out the menu ahead of time. There were so many options in front of me. But I was in the mood for eggs and breakfast and went with corned beef hash. (My guilty pleasure when it comes to breakfast.) It was delicious. I couldn't even finish it - it was so plentiful. And we got orders of the "funny bones" to go. Oh sweet chocolately peanut buttery goodness. They were small cakes shaped like bones - a layer of devil's food sponge and a layer of peanut butter on top of that, all covered in chocolate. We were in heaven. And they were eaten whilst watching "The Night Listener." Not a bad movie - one of those quirky little films that I really enjoy. And then went home to veg out and fell asleep on the couch. Just what a weekend is for.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Slap a "New" Label on Something and I'm Sold
I can't tell you how many times I'm a victim of slick marketing. Really. Put a "new" label on something and I toss it right in the cart. So was the case on Sunday when I went food shopping since our cupboards were bare (or at least devoid of quick make-n-eat food to get through the end of the semester frenzy). And there it was. Not only was it "new" but on sale. So I bought the Quaker Granola Bites. They looked tasty and clever. Well. I can safely say I made a wise choice. They're like little granola treats with a tiny bit of chocolate on them. Enough to get me to lunch, but not too much to ruin my appetite. And only 90 calories per little pouch. Better than granola bars. Which I like in theory, but if they're of the chewy variety, it gets tiresome to chew them.
Every so often it's good to have a random post. Just to clear out all the stuff in the brain.

Random Piece #1
I had the oddest fortune cookie yesterday. It said, "Look closely at your surroundings." What does that mean? Did I lose something? Will I find something? Is it trying to tell me my apartment is too small? I don't know. It could have been worse though, Christine's said, "Pick another fortune cookie." I kid you not.

Random Piece #2
Cinnamon Toast Crunch is delicious. But you have to eat it quickly. It's sogginess speed is alarming.

Random Piece #3
CSI is just one of my favorite shows. I was watching a particularly good episode yesterday while cleaning and doing dishes. (That's one good thing about your kitchen being inside your living room.) The episodes are just so well-written and especially well-shot. They're like little feature films about a particular killer or lifestyle. I love them. And the whole miniature killer storyline is just outstanding. Love it.