Wednesday, April 30, 2008


I'm not really sure what's going on with our city lately, but I just don't think I can take it any more.

Yesterday I was almost hit by two cars. The first was during the day-- I was crossing the street on a clear green and a lady, not paying attention, actually tapped me.

The second incident happened after work, as Deb and I were walking home. Again we were crossing the street on a clear green, and a gentleman was inching towards us, talking on his cell phone and clearly not paying attention to the pedestrians in his path. When we shouted "hey, hey! The light is green! Watch it!" he proceeded to roll down his window and say:

"Fuck you, bitches. I will shoot both of your asses right now. I will fucking kill you. Fuck you." before speeding off.

Really? Really? You almost hit two women because you aren't paying attention at a red light, and then you threaten to kill them?

So I guess I'm asking for a little more kindness from the citizens of Philadelphia. We all need to see the humanity in everyone, we need to respect and honor the people around us a little more, even if they are strangers.

I guess I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around people being cruel or hurtful to others for no good reason. Maybe this makes me naive, maybe I should just expect this from my fellow citizens. But it seems like lately, at least in my life, things have come to a really ugly head. And naive or not, I truly don't understand it.

So I guess I'm calling for a truce.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Last First

It's amazing what you get when you type "theater preview" into google images.

But I digress. Tonight is our last first preview of the season, and it's going to be a great one. The show run is, anyway. I'm not sure about the first preview, only because I never am. It's bad luck, anyway to be sure about a performance before it actually happens. You're just tempting Fate with your arrogance if you're sure.

First previews are always so nerve wracking and thrilling. Sometimes they're amazing, sometimes they're horrible, but they always tell us so much about the show we've created.

"So here's to you, as good as you are, and here's to me, as bad as I am. As good as you are and as bad as I am, I'm as good as you are and as bad as I am".

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Self Contained

I started my container garden on Monday! I'm so excited. I planted peppers, tomatoes and cucumbers, with the intention of adding green beans, carrots and maybe some lettuce or spinach. I also started an herb box-- lavendar, thyme, rosemary. I need some cilantro and mint.

I also finished my bike sculpture... and by finish it, I mean I took out my toolbox and banged ths shit out of my bike some more, twined Christmas tree lights around it and locked it to the deck upside down and twisted. Rad. Funnily enough, my bike was surprisingly resilent. Those assholes fucked it up more by kicking it around a post than I did with a hammer and needle-nosed pliers. Ah, beer muscles.

I planned to buy ivy to grow around my bike trellis, but a fellow customer at Lowes suggested a flowering vine that I can't remember the name of right now. She really sold me with the line "You can practically see it growing!" and sure enough, when I checked on them today, they had already started climbing the bike. Awesome.

And last but not least, Deb and I FINALLY went out for our anniversary-- only a month and a half late! We went to Lolita's, the restaurant we went to for our first Valentine's Day. Despite the fact that it was packed with obnoxious prepsters drunk on their BYOT margaritas, we had the most amazing meal ever. I got the lamb, Deb the carne asada. Incredible. We shared a pitcher of margaritas and talked about marriage and kids and buying a house. Perfect.

We're dreaming big, folks.

Pictures of the garden soon.

Friday, April 18, 2008

My Week of Nights

This week marks my last week of nights free until the middle of August.

Quartet has closed (finally!) and we're currently rehearsing The Irish during the day. So after 6pm, I'm a free agent. Just like a normal job. Just like most of the world. Just like people with lives outside of their jobs. What a strange concept...

Having nights free is totally weird to me. I hardly know what to do with myself. Deb and I are on completely opposite schedules this week-- she's got her days free and her show at night. So my super-industrious girlfriend has been doing massive spring cleaning.

I tell you, there is nothing so amazing as coming home to a clean house. And having the evening free in this clean house to do what I please.

Although I've enjoyed a few nights of vegging in front of the TV, it's also nice to go out with friends (the few friends that I have that aren't currently in shows, that is) and... drumroll please... go see theater that I'm not working on!

Tonight Angela and I are going to see InterAct Theatre Company's production of Frozen. I'm totally excited-- not only will this be the first time I've been back to InterAct since I started working at the Walnut, but it's a great show and we just finished working with most of the cast. Not to mention my good friend Michele is the stage manager there now (thanks for scoring us tickets, Michele!) and Jess is working the show as well! It will be great to see everyone again, but it's going to be even more great to simply be an audience member.

Although I'm really enjoying myself this week, I must confess that much prefer to be in a show run, with my days free and work at night. My body is completely adjusted to that rhythm-- I'm definitely a night person. It's actually been really tough waking up every morning at 7am. But worth it, naturally, to be a part of such a wonderful production. (Seriously. Everyone come and see The Irish. It's awesome.)

But until my show run starts, I'm going to enjoy my free evenings. Who's up for drinks? Say around 7pm?

I'm there!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Sometimes rehearsal is the most fun ever

We've been having such a blast during rehearsals for the Irish. Today Angela and I took down the curtains hanging in front of the mirrors so the actors could learn their dance steps, which left us facing our reflected selves all day. But it was worth it to get to hear all of this great music and watch this fun dancing. The cast is really kicking ass and taking names-- they are having to learn lines, complex vocal harmonies, dance steps and instrumentation! My hat is off to them for not only all of their hard work, but their wonderful attitudes as well.

Learning the combination for "Give My Regards to Broadway" (written by an Irishman-- George Cohan)

l-r Jon Shade, me & Angela in the back, Sarah Gliko, Jenn Rose (our very talented choreographer) and Phoebe Silva. Cane choreography is hard, yo!

A view from the stage manager's table during dance rehearsals.

It's Irish Step Dancing time! Jenn teaches Bennett Dunn. Keep those arms straight, Bennett!

And best of all... Bennett brought his BAGPIPES!!!!! Man, they were loud. And totally awesome. I love me some bagpipes. I hope that we use them in the show, but our director Megan O'Brien is concerned that they're too loud. Ah, well, it was fun to have them in rehearsal anyway.

It's days like today that remind me how much I love my job.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

When Irish Eyes Are Smiling...

We've started rehearsals for our latest production: The Irish... and How They Got That Way. I couldn't be a happier camper.

Not only are the director, the music director and the cast all young and enthusiastic and very talented, somehow in the past two days of rehearsal they've managed to take this kind of schlocky piece and turn it into something pretty wonderful.

In our cast we have a fiddle player, a flute player, a bagpipe player, a guitar player, a pianist and a drummer. Plus they all sing and act. Our director is hard at work trying to un-cheese the script and create a cohesive piece. Our music director is taking some of the "ha-cha-cha" out of the songs and creating a folky, accoustic sound. It's an incredible process to be a part of.

Angela and I are in heaven-- we get to listen to this great music, hang out with these chill people and do our jobs without any of the negativity and interference we'd grown accustomed to. Plus the material itself, despite dealing with potato famine and discrimination and all manner of Irish hardships, manages to be positive and uplifting, a huge change from our last three shows.

All together it sure is making these Irish eyes smile.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Do you hear the people sing?

Les Mis fever is already sweeping the Walnut... the costume shop is awash with artfully drab costumes, the marketing department is in full swing with their promotions and it is absolutely impossible to walk into the building without hearing selected songs blasted at the entranceway. (Side note: "Master of the House" is one of those songs that will NOT LEAVE MY HEAD, so if I'm walking into the building and it's playing, I must look like a crazy person trying to distract myself: "Lalalalala!!") And the actors, who have been crazy for it since last year, are gearing up.

Ever since it was announced that we were doing Les Mis, every actor I know has had the same sort of reaction: "I want this so bad, I love this show, I want this so bad, I was born to play (insert character here)". Then auditions came around and that was the newest subject of obsession-- I mean conversation: "I nailed it, I was awful, I was awesome, they'll never cast me, they'll HAVE to cast me, I want this so bad, I love this show, I need the money, I want this so bad". Then the cast was announced, and that was all we heard for a while: "Did you hear that so and so got cast? Did you hear that so and so didn't get cast?"

I thought myself as above all of this-- the "too cool for school" Studio 3 stage manager. I'm not involved with the show, so no point in getting too excited about it, I reasoned.

All of that changed when I got a call from my boss Roy. It seems that Debi and Lori, the mainstage stage managers, need to take their 2 week vacations during the month of July so they need an Equity stage manager to cover the whole month-- was I available?

Yes, yes, YES!!!! Count me as a fellow obsessive. I'm so excited! Not only is the money awesome, especially during a month when I would normally be unemployed, but I'm really thrilled to be working a big show on the mainstage again. What an awesome challenge! What great experience! What fun!

In honor of my new appreciation for the Walnut's production of Les Mis, I would like to present the following "trailer". Thanks to Lori A. for this.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Life Improvement #1: Shampoo-Free

I've given up shampoo for life.

Since things in my life have been so tumultuous lately, I've decided to take the bull by the proverbial horns and start working on improving myself, my body and my surroundings. And I'm trying hard to be more environmentally aware, to take care of not only myself, but the world that I live in.

My first step was to give up shampoo. I was inspired by a recent article in Bust magazine (to which I am a loyal subscriber and rabid reader) that commented on most commercial shampoos doing nothing but stripping the natural oils out of your hair, which you then have to replenish with a conditioner. More products, more profits for the shampoo company. Plus the chemicals in most shampoos are harmful to the environment, not to mention all the waste generated by non-recycled shampoo and conditioner bottles.

All of this seemed like a good reason to give it up for good.

Now before you start avoiding me, fearing a greasy, smelly haired Sara, don't worry-- I am still washing my hair. Just not with shampoo. I'm following Bust's recommendations and I have to tell you, seeing amazing results. My hair has more texture and much more body. It's only been a week and I am seeing an incredible change. I've always wanted full, wavy hair, but thought that I was just born with limp, straight hair. Well, I give up shampoo and voila! Full, wavy hair. That stays in place where I pin it. That doesn't have those annoying fly-aways. And I'm not spending hardly anything to get these results-- saving so much money on hair products that I might just be able to afford those pricey haircuts that I love so much!

Here's what I do: to wash it, I make a paste of baking soda and water. You want the paste to be watery--not too thick and not gritty, so be sure that the baking soda is blended very well. I apply this to my wet scalp in the shower and rub in. (Not too hard-- be careful of breakage!) Rinse your hair throughly in the hottest water you can stand to get rid of any leftover baking soda particles.

Then I rinse my hair with a mild acid solution-- I've been alternating between apple cider vinegar and beer. (Bust also recommends diluted lemon or lime juice, which I haven't gotten a chance to try for myself yet) Of course you want to dilute both of these with lots of water-- about 1/4 cup of cider or beer to 1 cup of water. This gives your hair lots of shine. Rinse thoroughlly with water so you don't smell like a distillery.

If your ends are a bit dry (and mine are!) rub a few drops of essential oils to the ends. This works especially if you have longer hair. I'm loving rose oil right now, but of course you can choose whichever scent you like best. Rinse this out as well.

And the last (and one of the most important) steps is to comb your hair with a natural bristle brush. This helps to distribute the oils from your scalp through the rest of your hair. They're a little pricey, but totally worth it for the results!

The first week or so you'll notice drastic changes in your hair, but roll with them! Your hair is adjusting to all of this. My roots are still a bit oily (combing them with the natural bristle brush helps) and my ends are dry (essential oil and, if your hair is really parched, I recommend Burt's Bees Avocado Butter Pre-Shampoo Hair Treatment) but gradually I'm seeing positive changes and am very happy with the results.

I used to blow-dry my hair every day, but I've stopped because without conditioner and product, it was really drying my new hair out. But I don't miss it, because I'm getting my volume naturally instead of with hot air.

I can't say that I'll never ever use shampoo again (it's going to be interesting to see how different seasons/temperatures affect my hair) but I am so blissed out with the results now that I must recommend it to everyone.

And I have to give Bust all of the credit for this advice-- I lifted most of this blog from their most recent April/May Issue, which also happens to be the annual Men We Love issue, for those of you straight gals out there. (Eye candy!!!) Pick up a copy, or better yet, subscribe today. You won't be sorry, it's my most favorite, women positive, fashion forward magazine out there.

So the next time you see me walking down the street, flipping my full wavy hair, you'll know my litte secret-- I've given up shampoo!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

From the Bottom of my Heart...

For all of your support, your outrage, your love.

This experience has really brought my amazing circle of friends and family sharply into focus.

I love you all. Thank you. We're getting less shaky and more angry every day. We will not be bullied by drunked cowards.

And I am saving up money for a new bike. My old bike I'm going to turn into a planter and train my tomatoes and morning glories and moonflowers to grow around it. From destruction comes life.

From this horrible incident comes reassurance and love and support from all over the place. Thank you. Thank you.

Thank you.