Friday, October 31, 2008

Let's Go Phillies! clapclap clapclapclap

Today was the victory parade for the Philadelphia Phillies! All day the radio was reporting millions (yes, millions!) of people flocking to Philadelphia from all over, the public transit being completely overwhelmed, Broad Street shut down...

My new apprentice Melissa and I are in our pre-production week for our first show of the season, A Tuna Christmas. Today was floor taping day. For those of you not familiar with this term, part of my job is to get a groundplan of the set marked out on the floor of the rehearsal hall with tape. This way the actors can rehearse with a spatial sense of where the walls will actually be once we move from the rehearsal space into the theater. Sounds fun, right? It's not, really. I never thought I'd use trigonometry after high school. Turns out I use it almost every day. How irritating.

Anyway, stuck in the rehearsal hall with rolls of tape and a scale ruler, we could hear the pandemonium from the street. I decided we needed to check it out. This is a historic event! We grabbed Bethann and Bruce Meyers, our head of maintenance and all around big guy (very helpful in the unruly crowd!) and set off toward Broad Street.

As we approached, the roar of the crowd got louder and louder. People were everywhere. We walked around for a bit, hoping to get to Broad Street, marvelling at the crowd.

We didn't get much past 13th Street. It was absolutely packed. People were doing whatever they could to get a good view of Broad Street:

We quickly learned not to walk under parking garages, due to the rain of beer and god-knows what else:

Finally, the closest we could get to Broad was a parking garage entrance between Spruce & Locust. I didn't see much over everyone, but the excitement was palpable. Everyone was in a great mood, cheering and chanting and blowing air horns. There were kids everywhere, and everyone was sporting their white and red jerseys. It was an awesome spectacle.

Melissa and Bethann show their Phillies spirit:

A big congrats to Bethann, who recently announced that she was pregnant! We declared her yet-unborn babe to be a Phillies fan who experienced victory for the first time in utero. Many more to come!

First rehearsal is Tuesday. I'm really excited. It's going to be great to see the boys and Madi again. Taping out the set was like revisiting an old friend. It's going to be a great start to our new season!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

5 More Days

First of all, YAY PHILLIES!!!!!!!!!!!

Secondly, I can't WAIT for this election to be over. The suspense is killing me.

Hey, if the Phillies can do it, so can Obama. I am (cautiously) optimistic.

All Trash, All the Time

Sunday night 2nd Street had more trash on it than the day after New Year's. The party was a raging sucess, and as far as we know, no one got pregnant. Here are some of my favorite moments of the night. A huge thank you to everyone who came, and who really brought their A game with some awesomely trashy costumes.

Of course by now you know that me, Deb, Melanie, AJ and Kelley Faulkner went as polygamous fundamentalists. Our outfits were a huge hit, and our unibrows impressed everyone. I was even told that mine was a little sexy. Okay, that's going a bit far, but it was nice to be appreciated in one of my uglier moments.

As we waited for the party to start, the "family" watched the Phillies game. (l-r) Deb, Melanie (classy as ever) and our husband, AJ.

Soon Michele Traub showed up as a trashy mother. With a drink, of course.

And Jess Hogan came as Michele's trashy son. Who had a Mac attack, apparently. Love it!

Rachel and Leo as Dog the Bounty Hunter and wife, Beth. They later arrested our baby.

Hey look! It's Joe and Josephine Sixpack with their hero, Sarah Palin! L-R: Steve, Dalice, Sara.

This is how our family rolls.

And the grand prize winners of our costume contest, Amanda and Beth as Jimmy and Tammy Faye Baker. As always, they were super committed to their concept, preaching and converting party-goers all night.

And, as I drunkenly labelled them later in the evening, the Slutty Apprentices. L-R: costume apprentice Alison, wig apprentice Rachel, costume apprentice Julia and MY apprentice Melissa.

Touch tummies! Lindsay and Carrie came as actual white trash. Hilarious!

Sister wife Kelley tries a pork rind for the very first time. It's good for that bun in the oven she's sporting!

Me and my "husband" AJ. Don't we look.... frightening?

Jimmy Baker saves sister wife Kelley's baby. You know, for Jesus.

Jim Baker and husband AJ get DOWN!

I beat the word of god into slutty apprentice Julia. She looks so innocent.

Rob and Stephanie came as a North Philly prom couple. They were amazing. Here they get freaky while Alison and Bridget look on.

This might be my favorite picture of the night. Perfectly trashy, on so many levels. Rob and Alison, ladies and gentlemen.

We are sister wives and we will CUT you. L-R: Kelley, me, Melanie.

Sister wife Kelley is very devoted to our prophet.

Mark Murphy, everyone!

Husband AJ reads the good word to sister wife Kelley.

Ah, the day after... let me please point out the fake nails, fake flower and beer straw.

Our apartment had that wonderful stale beer and cigarette scent as we stumbled from the bedroom, clutching our aching heads. Also our feet stuck to the floor. But we celebrated with a trip to the Melrose Diner with Melanie and AJ and declared another huge sucess.

A big thank you to all of our super attendees! Stay tuned for next year!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Sister Wife

The White Trash Party was a huge sucess. I have many photos to post, but I'm pretty beat after my first day back at work, so I leave you with this:

Oh yes. My "family" group theme. L-R: me, sister wife Melanie, our husband AJ, sister wife Kelley, sister wife Deborah and child.

Much more to come soon.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Shuffle Off (back) To Homer

Deb and I decided to do a quick get-away before the White Trash Party, as she had a few days off between shows. We decided to go back to my hometown because it's cheap, has lots to do and we could bring the dog.

There must be something in the air around here. We're feeling pretty relaxed, and Hyde is absolutely in his element.

More updates soon.

Hope everyone's ready to get trashy....

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

On crappy mornings and afternoon beers

On my agenda this morning: a lady doctor appointment and a rabies shot. Ugh.

It was just one of those mornings. I woke up too late, ran into the shower and out the door with slightly damp hair. The dog wouldn't pee, so I fretted as I dashed out the door that he would go in his crate when I was gone. I didn't have time to eat or get any tea before my appointment with the lady doctor, so I spent my time in stirrups with a pounding headache and a grumbling stomach. As if the lady doctor wasn't fun enough...

After I was done at the lady doctor's I grabbed some tea and a pumpkin scone from Starbuck's and headed to the ER for my rabies shot. The tea was awesome (must remember not to take a sip of hot tea before they take my temperature-- I got a very concerned look from the triage nurse before they figured out why I actually had a temperature of 105 degrees...) but the scone was a powdery, gritty mess. Ugh. Naturally the ER was packed and I waited a very long time for the rabies shot, but I am getting used to this. Only two more to go.

I left Center City with a pounding headache, a sore arm and a shitty mood. But I couldn't help but notice that it was actually a gorgeous fall day. I couldn't let my morning get me down. I called Amanda, who was hard at work (after having risen from bed at 1pm) cooking a delicious fall cabbage soup. She agreed that we needed to take a walk and enjoy the weather. I grabbed my faithful canine companion (who hadn't peed in the crate, glorygloryhallelujah) and we trotted off into the bright day, hoping for a cure for the headache and the mood. (The arm I decided to ignore)

Naturally we came upon the best way to enjoy a beautiful day free of responsibilities:

Beers outside! Here Amanda protects her suds from the gusty leaf-laden winds.

I love eating and drinking outside-- it's one of my favorite things about summer. I'm always the first person in the spring shivering at the table and the last one in the fall trying to keep my butt from freezing. It's worth it to me, though-- one of life's simple pleasures.

Sitting at our table, talking and reconnecting and shooting the shit, I found myself finally relaxing. I'm so lucky to have such supportive, funny friends. And we had many visitors-- Rachel called Amanda to say that she drove by and saw us, Melanie rode her bike by on the way to work and stopped to say hello, and just as we were paying our check and getting ready to leave, Sara Nye walked by. The three of us ended up walking home together and after Amanda sent me home with a bowl of cabbage soup, I realized that both my headache and my bad mood had vanished completely.

It just goes to show you that no matter how your day starts, with friends like the ones I am blessed with, everything can turn around and be just wonderful.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Comfort Food

I'm having a really hard time kicking this cold-- I woke up this morning feeling like crap. Ugh, the fatigue and the stuffiness are never-ending!

There's really not much a girl can do about a cold like this except for drinking lots of orange juice and generally wallowing in her misery, but even that gets old after a while. Instead I've been catching up on my politics and soothing my aching throat, stuffed head and cloudy brain with my favorite comfort food: a grilled cheese sandwich and a cup of tomato soup.

Of course the above picture isn't mine-- my homemade meal isn't nearly as fancy. I just crack open a can of Campbell's Tomato soup and throw a mixture of thinly sliced sharp cheddar and pepperjack cheese on some toast. Delicious, filling, satisfying... comforting. I like to dip my cheese sandwich into the soup, and when I've finished the sandwich, I eat the rest of the soup with some Cheez-Its, which Deb thinks is weird and gross, but I think is delicious.

Anyway, catching up on politics has brought me (and my friend mona-- great minds think alike!) to be incredibly angry about the McCain supporter's remark about Obama being an Arab and McCain's response. Why aren't more people angry about this? Although Obama is neither Arab nor Muslim, neither of those things ARE BAD! We are talking about a whole race of people, a world-wide religion, how dare we have the blind, willing ignorance in this country to continue to insinuate that all Muslims are terrorists?

Lest we forget, before 9/11, the last terrorist who struck American soil was himself an American, and a Christian. Timothy McVeigh does not represent all Christians. Why on earth would we assume that Osama bin Laden represents all Muslims?

Okay, rant over. Here are a couple of clips regarding this whole situation that I've found amusing and thought-provoking.

SNL, you've done it again:

And this is a great clip from Real Time with Bill Maher (I know, I know: I think he's a blowhard too, but much to Deb's chagrin I'm kind of amused by him) that has some interesting points about socialism, and it's role in world politics. But more to the point, at about 5:15 into the clip, Ben Affleck nails the whole Obama/Arab point home. Good on you, Affleck! Who knew Benny from the Block was so articulate, educated and thoughtful?

Okay, I'm going back to bed. Hopefully I will feel better soon, because being sick really blows.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Counting down to trash day

One week from tomorrow. Our world-famous White Trash party. This year is our 4th such party in Philadelphia, although I've been throwing White Trash parties since before I was legal. (How trashy is that??!)

My first was in summer stock, and it was such a huge success that the cops actually were called for a noise violation. Imagine, if you will, trying to chat pleasantly with a policeman while sporting a huge pregnancy belly and a black eye. For some reason the young officer kept his eyes at my feet as he sternly told me to "keep it down". I was trying to avoid a ticket all the while stalling the cops enough so that the under-agers at the party would have a chance to discreetly get rid of their Solo cups filled with jungle juice. The cops actually came up the fire escape, which struck me as an awesomely trashy way to break up a party.

My second party, and the first time I used the theme of White Trash to celebrate an actual holiday, was at my alma mater, SUNY Purchase. Traditionally in the Design/Tech social strata, the freshmen were responsible for throwing an illegal Christmas party in a drafting studio. There were only 3 requirements: the party must have a keg of beer (which was illegal on our campus), a Christmas tree that was stolen from somewhere (we were cautioned against stealing from federal property) and it must be a rocking good time (obviously). I'm proud to report that our party was a trashy success and we were not caught by campus police. It looked dicey in the beginning-- we didn't have quite enough money for a keg. Just when we'd given up our keg dream as lost, Rich and Leo huffed and puffed a full keg up 3 flights of stairs and saved the day. I introduced Jello shots (such a good way to get completely blasted) and a costume contest to this party (Ray Harold, my hat's off). My clearest memory of the actual party was being lifted for a keg stand, the beer running down my pregnancy belly. (I had yet to diversify costume-wise at this point.)

The next day, we got a raised eyebrow from Dan regarding the trail of pine needles in the Design Tech hallway, but that was it. No major damage, and the drafting studio only vaguely stunk of beer. Success!

My three White Trash parties here in Philly have been equally awesome-- I have so many drunken, jumbled memories that are just serving to get me all excited for this year. Some highlights? Meeting Lindsay & Carrie for the first time (White Trash I), the naked man (White Trash II), Deb removing her pants (White Trash I-III), Kelley Faulkner's adult diaper (White Trash III), the guy who came as a child molester (White Trash I), Angela walking into the screen (White Trash III), Rachel's boobies (White Trash II), AJ & Melanie as Brett & Heather-- "We would have been here earlier, but AJ thought I looked hot so we did it" (White Trash III), Lindsay & Carrie taking sniper positions to ward off "terrorists and Mexicans" (White Trash II), Amanda and Beth as very dedicated Siamese twins-- they even went to the bathroom together (White Trash III), Jon Carter teasing my hair so high that it took a whole bottle of conditioner and a lot of tears to comb out (White Trash I), Amanda's Detroit Trash (White Trash II), various end of-the-night wrestling matches (White Trash I-III), a winner of Project Runway changing the aforementioned adult diaper in the middle of the dance floor (White Trash III)...

Not to mention the food: pork rinds, tatertot casserole, mock apple pie, cheese doodles, Nutella (Euro-trash!), Jaritas soda pop...

And the drinks: Schlitz beer, Hazelton special, ghetto margaritas, Jello shots, National Bohemian beer...

This year is going to be bigger, better and even trashier. Are you ready? I am. Melanie and I are going shopping for our costumes today. We have a bit of a group theme going here, and I think it's going to be awesome. Everyone had better up their game this year, because if a woman can win the first costume prize for wearing an adult diaper last year, I have a feeling it's going to be even more over-the-top this year.

How do I know this for sure? Because the other day my college buddy Magic Mike told me that he was going to be in town on Sunday and that he and his lovely wife are coming to the party. Now I'm not sure you Philly people are ready for Magic Mike. That boy knows how to PARTY. Just take a deep breath, prepare yourself mentally, and get ready to do a few shots of Bacardi 151, Mike's specialty. Ask him to see a card trick-- you won't be disappointed. And I have to remember to tell him that he has to go outside to eat fire, breath fire or play with flammable liquids of any kind.

To prepare yourself for the trashy awesomeness that's coming your way on Sunday, share your favorite White Trash memories here! And we hope to see YOU this Sunday, October 26th at 8pm. Yee-haw!

Thursday, October 16, 2008


Phew, it's been a rough week/month/year. Sometimes it feels like the crap just keeps piling on, all on top of itself. Ever have a time in your life when you feel like your problems don't get resolved, just added to? Yeah, that's where I am right now.

I now have a black eye to add to all of my various other physical woes, thanks to a mildly aggressive Hyde. I bent down to pet him while he was on his bed, and I don't know if I startled him or what, but he jumped up barking, bent my glasses to shit and knocked me in the eye with his hard head, resulting in my aforementioned shiner. Sigh...

Anyone have any advice? I've never seen this type of behavior from him before. I think it might have something to do with his trauma from the attack, but I'm no doggie psychologist.

Anyway, I'm determined not to let financial woes/rabies shots/black eyes/fall colds get me down, so I've been trying to cheer myself up. I made a kickin' fall chili today-- I even incorporated some of my newly picked New York apples!

Here's my world-famous recipe:

1 onion, chopped finely
1 garlic clove, chopped finely
1 red bell pepper, chopped finely
2 medium baking apples, chopped finely
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded & chopped finely
1 lb ground turkey
1 cup apple cider
1 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon mild chili powder mixture
1 can red kidney beans
2 cans diced tomatoes
1 can tomato paste
olive oil
salt & pepper

Brown the turkey, drain excess fat. Combine the chopped onion, garlic, bell pepper, jalapeno pepper and apple, saute until soft with a dash of olive oil.

Combine turkey with vegetable mixture, add beans, tomatoes, tomato paste, cider, chicken stock, vinegar, chili powder in a large stock pot. Add salt & pepper to taste Cover and simmer for at least an hour.

Let me tell you, it's freakin' delicious. Despite an incident involving jalapenos and Sara wiping her eyes after chopping them (ouch!!!), I've been enjoying the process of cooking and tasting all of my homemade goodies. And the best thing about my chili? You can add any veggies you want to it, depending on the season and what you've got lying around the house. I usually substitute beer for the apple cider and the vinegar, but I figured they would give it a nice fall kick.

I also made an apple crumble and boiled some chicken for the dog. He's been really excited about the kitchen, getting under my feet to make sure that I didn't drop anything. What a helpful dude. We're trying to learn the command for "shake", although that's not going as swiftly as I'd hoped. And I'm trying not to hold the black eye against him, but I must confess that I'm still a little tentative around him.

And the last thing I did to cheer myself up today? Watched this video:

So cute. Always puts a smile on my face.

So despite my woes, I'm struggling to put on a happy face and do things that bring me joy and contentment. Taking the bull by the proverbial horn, as they say. Tonight I am FINALLY going see the Walnut's production of State Fair. It's about time-- the show closes on Sunday!

Thanks to mona for the Sesame Street video!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Fall Back

My visit home was so peaceful, homey and fun. I completely overdosed on all things Fall-- it's been such a long time since I actually enjoyed this season! It didn't hurt that the weather was unseasonably warm and absolutely GORGEOUS.

I took so many pictures, gorging myself on the colors of the scenery and the wonderful times spent with the family.

Roadside pumpkin stand:

Mom and me by the pumpkin house:

We stopped by to visit Joseph at school and he allowed Mom to snap this shot of us: (it was a tough sell on her part, let me tell you)

The next day we went to the Lafayette Apple Festival. We'd heard that it was going to be super crowded, so we went right as it opened up, just in time for breakfast:

Let's see, what do I choose for breakfast? Apple turnovers, apple dumplings, apple pie, apple doughnuts...

I know! Apple pancakes with sausage!

No Central New York festival would be complete without chainsaw wood carving:

There were many interesting signs at the Apple Festival. I couldn't resist snapping a few. Here's my favorite:

What's that? It's lunch time? Let's go stand in the apple fritter line!

For those of you unfortunate souls who have never experienced an apple fritter, let me explain the general recipe to you: take your apple slices, bread 'em, fry 'em and then... voila!

Sprinkle some sugar on top, and deliciousness ensues. I ate my weight in these puppies.

So many choices.

More delicious treats to tempt me...

And there was a bagpiper... bestill my beating heart!

We met up with the extended family there-- here's the newest addition to the clan, Harper Patterson. She wasn't too thrilled about the pumpkin, but she was okay as long as she had a sure grip on the water bottle.

Chillin' with Johnny Appleseed.

The festival got a little crowded as the morning wore on, so Mom, Dad and I decided to leave and continue on our fall theme by going apple picking! We first went to Beak and Skiff, but it was so crowded that we purchased a caramel apple and searched for greener, quieter pastures.

We found a smaller, family-run orchard and got to pickin'. Here Mom holds her sack as Dad forages in the apple trees:

Me and my Dad:

The next day we decided to have a family picnic. We started the day with a trip to Hollenbeck's to pick up some cider and donuts. Check out the cider-making operation:

And it got pumped right out into our waiting jugs:

Back at home, Molly the dog helped with picnic set-up by looking cute:

And by pretending she knew nothing about this hole Dad found in Mom's garden:

And the picnic begins! Joseph and Maggie chill as they watch a fierce game of cornhole:

And for those of you snickering at the term "cornhole", for your information, this is what it looks like: (check out my awesome form!)

Aunt Eunice, Dad and Grandpa May check on the burgers:

Of course a picnic wouldn't be any fun without a bonfire at the end:

And I played with the exposure on my camera and the full moon:

I had such a wonderful time this past weekend. A huge thank you to Mom and Dad, who were so much fun to hang with and who just showered me with love and fun. Home sweet home indeed.