Sunday, November 30, 2008


So here I am, gimping about on my bum leg. I decided not to go to the Emergency Room, since I know that after waiting for 12 hours, they would probably just x-ray me, wrap up my leg and tell me to make an appointment with a specialist. So I decided to cut out the middle man and just go to the damn specialist. Thank god for Workman's Comp.

I'm still having trouble putting any weight on the leg at all, although some of the severe pain has gone down, thanks to my constant icing and elevating routine, overseen by the ever vigilant Deborah. Seriously, my girlfriend rocks. She is in quite a bit of pain herself with her bum knee, but she has taken over my care and refuses to let me walk the dog, fix myself breakfast or go to Starbucks.

You'd think it would be a luxury to be waited upon, but actually I'm bored and antsy. I just want to walk to the Starbucks, dammit! I just want to take my pup for a walk! Being mildly incapacitated sucks.

I still can't pinpoint exactly what's wrong with the leg-- I have no bruising or swelling, and it's not sensitive to the touch. But when I put any weight on my left leg, the lower portion of my calf bone feels like it's on fire. Severe pain shoots up my whole leg from the bottom of my calf. If this makes any sense, it doesn't feel like muscle pain, it feels like bone pain.

Jeez. I can't wait to get a doctor's appointment to get this checked out already. Until then you'll find me with my leg propped up, ice packs at the ready and a bored expression on my face.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Grateful Day

As promised, here are some of the pictures I snapped on Thanksgiving day in Homer, NY. We were greeted with about a foot of snow on the ground, something that Hyde had never seen before, being raised a southern dog. He took to it immediately and began frolicking with his girlfriend, Molly the dog. Seriously, frolicking. Like jumping and running and generally being the cutest thing ever.

We spent a lot of time outside, sledding and making snow angels and of course, getting into a huge snowball fight. I haven't done that for years. I'd forgotten how much fun playing in the snow was. Of course we chucked snowballs at the house and got yelled at by mom, just like old times. Of course we all ganged up on Jonathan and Deb. Hyde and Molly provided us with reasons to avoid the yellow snow, but all together we had a blast outside. We really worked up an appetite for dinner!

I love the snow, Momma:

Hugging my boy:

I did not think ahead to bring winter gear, so I was playing in the snow in jeans and sneakers. Happily my baby brother Joseph lent me his Carhart hat. Boy was my ass cold and wet when I went inside. Worth it, though.

Deb likes the snow too:

Molly the dog and Hyde chased each other around for hours. I finally got them to stay relatively still for one picture:

I didn't take any pictures at dinner (I was too busy stuffing my face!) but I did manage to get a shot of dessert:

Uncle Jim really out-did himself this year with the pies: he made an apple, a pumpkin, a pecan and a grape pie. They were all superb.

Maria and Ellen tasted all 4 pies:

And on an annoyingly somber note, last night the ladder to my lighting booth slipped, with me on the top rung. It took me to the floor and now my left leg is fucked up something fierce. I probably should have gone to the ER last night, but man, have I spent too much time in the ER lately. I decided to wait and see how it felt this morning. No better. Sigh. I'll keep you posted.

I'm just glad I got to play in the snow before this-- I'm hobbling around now like one of our ancient subscribers.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Left Over

We're back in Philly after a crazy, food-filled day yesterday. Hanging with the family and stuffing my face was all kinds of fun, but one of my favorite parts of Thanksgiving is chilling in my fridge even now-- the leftovers. In fact, after dropping Deb off at the theater for her matinee I drove home, unpacked the car, walked the dog and then had a quick cold turkey sandwich before I had to run to back to work myself. (Yes, I'm typing from the booth while Madi does some scene work with the actors. I'm an awesome multi-tasker.)

Deb was on leftover duty yesterday, and managed to snag us two complete dinners (turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, squash, green beans, dinner rolls-- all smothered in delicious gravy) plus some extra turkey meat for sandwiches. I'm psyched. Last year we forgot our leftovers in Mom's fridge, which was such a bummer.

I'm totally wiped out. I've had maybe a total of 8 hours of sleep over the past two nights, and I guess I didn't realize how much tech had exhausted me before the holiday. But it was so wonderful to be home, even for a short amount of time. It was great to see the extended family, and Hyde and Molly the dog had tons of fun playing in the snow. I took lots of pictures, which I'll post soon.

Okay, maybe I should go do some actual work now. Pictures to come shortly, after I get through this evening's show and get a good night's sleep.

Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!!!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Turkey Day

This cartoon gets me every time.

Anyway, happy Turkey Day to everyone-- hope you stuff yourself silly with all kinds of good food. Deb and I are headed back to Homer, NY to celebrate with my family, as we've done for the past three years. Hopefully this year we won't end up in the Emergency Room. Deb is under strict instructions to keep her inhaler on her person at all times. Jonathan and Maria will be joining us this year, so with Joseph, Deb and I, Hyde and the two Puerto Ricans it's going to be a full house.

For one night. Naturally Deb has a performance of Hairspray tonight and I have a preview of A Tuna Christmas. In years past we have bravely made the four hour journey after our shows, landing us in Central New York around 3am. With the addition of the dog and the fact that we aren't those crazy spring chickens any more, Deb and I have decided to skip the overnight drive and simply leave early Thursday morning. Very early, because we want to get to Homer in time for my mother's amazing Thanksgiving morning breakfast.

And we get right back on the road early Friday morning, because Deb has a matinee and I have rehearsal. Oh, life in the theater is grand. But apparently there's lots of snow on the ground at home, a colossal home-cooked meal awaiting and the dog will get to meet the rest of the family finally. I just can't wait.

I haven't seen Jonathan and Maria since the wedding, so I'm really looking forward to that as well. I have so much to be thankful for this year-- my wonderful girlfriend, our awesome dog, our supportive and loving group of friends, my incredible and expanding family, my great job... we struggle and complain day to day, but really, life is wonderful.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

A Taste of Tuna

I took some pictures during our tech run last night. I'm hesitant to publish them all, because we have so many new characters and so many funny costume gags that I don't want to give away until people have a chance to see them in the show.

But for now, I leave you with two of my favorite characters, R.R. Snavely (on the right, played by Ben Lloyd) and Petey Fisk (on the left, played by John Zak), returning from last year's production of A Greater Tuna:

Things get interesting for these two in this play... without giving anything away, let's just say that Petey is struggling with a new influx of animals at the Greater Tuna Humane Society, and R.R.'s aliens won't leave him alone.

Of course these two characters are only a taste of the many, many citizens of Tuna that Ben and John portray-- and let me just say, those boys look good in drag. You haven't lived until you've seen Ben as Bertha Bumiller, a frazzled mother hen and John as Vera Carp, the town snotty know-it-all and now head of the Greater Tuna Smut Snatchers. And many, many others, including new (and hysterical!!) characters that will have you laughing until you pee.

I hope everyone who can comes to see this-- we run this Tuesday through January 4th. It's hilarious and sweet-- just the right thing for this time of year.

Friday, November 21, 2008

First Snow

Betty loves being out on the deck. Except when it snows. She hates snow.

I can't believe it's already snowing. Wasn't it 70 degrees just last week? Our apartment is still freezing. The dog is almost permanently hibernating on the couch. Deb and I have been sleeping under TWO down comforters. Brrrrr.

Summer is just so much more fun than winter.

On a positive note, we had our meeting with our dog walker, Sarah, this morning. She's super nice, and Hyde took to her immediately. It's going to be such a relief to not have to rush home between shows on Sundays.

I just looked down and noticed my fingernails are blue. You know it's bad when you look forward to going to work because it's warm there.

Stupid winter...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Winter Wonder Woes

It's official-- we had our first snow flurries today. I was sitting in rehearsal, my head in the script, when my phone buzzed with a text message from Deb: "Snow." I looked out the window and sure enough, flurries were swirling by.

As much as I hate winter, snow flurries make me feel all warm and cozy. Especially watching them from a big window like the one we have in the rehearsal hall. I think it's pretty ironic that I had to get a text message to actually look up and see them, but hey, at least I can say I was really focused on my work.

And speaking of work, tomorrow we move from the rehearsal room into the theater to start our tech week. This is going to be an intensive tech-- we have a lot of elements that we have to bring together. Fortunately we've almost done it before-- last year's production of Greater Tuna gave us a nice blueprint to base our costume, lighting, sound and set choreography. Because that's what tech is to me: choreography. The assembly of so many different elements into one cohesive piece of art.

Yesterday was my last day off for more than a week and a half. Normally I get every Monday off, but because of the Thanksgiving holiday, we're working this coming Monday and taking Thursday (Thanksgiving) off. Ugh.

But on the bright side, I had an awesome day off yesterday. Deb took me on a very romantic date to... drumroll please... Red Lobster. Oh yeah, that's right.

Believe it or not, I had never ever been to a Red Lobster before! I was expecting a truly trashy experience, but we actually had a lovely dinner. I mean, it certainly didn't compare to Maine seafood. But cold beer, lobster, drawn butter, warm biscuits... who could turn their nose up at that???

After dinner we went to see the new Bond movie, Quantom of Solace. We went to the King of Prussia mall for this, as the crappy theater near us is often an adventure, and not necessarily in a good way. But at King of Prussia we can enjoy stadium seating, suburban parking lots and no crying babies at late night shows.

All together, my day off prepared me quite nicely for a long week ahead. I'm actually really looking forward to teching this show.

In not-so-exciting news, we finally broke down and took Hyde to the vet today to deal with his diarrhea. She prescribed Hyde special (read: expensive) food, so keep your fingers crossed that this works out.

Also, our deadbeat landlord is refusing to fix our busted heat. We pay an exorbitant amount of money in heating bills, and yet our apartment is FREEZING. Right now I have the heat turned up to 75 degrees. The thermostat is reading 55 degrees, and has been for several hours now. And I've had the oven on, cooking some of my world famous beef and barley stew! Deb is calling PGW tomorrow to see if there's anything they can do. Or at least to report our landlord. Currently I'm heavily layered and shivering next to a space heater. This sucks!!!

Anyway. I'll stop whining now. I've got my girl, my pup, some yummy soup and an interesting week of work ahead of me. Things are gonna work out just fine.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Week Two: Down

It's Sunday night, the end of our second week of rehearsal. Hyde and I are unwinding on the couch.

Rehearsals are going well-- I think we're in really great shape as we go into tech this week. I'm looking forward to seeing this on the set, with the costumes and the lights and the sound. The whole picture, if you will.

Until then, I took a quiz and received this disturbing news:

Is your cat plotting to kill you?

I knew Betty was up to something.

Have a great Monday, everyone!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Hairspray opening night

Dancing, bourbon, fancy dresses, catching up with old friends. I love opening nights.

(L-R: Melanie, Amanda, Rachel, Sara Nye, moi)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Sounds of Tuna

Today the cast and crew of A Tuna Christmas took a field trip to a South Philadelphia recording studio to record all of our voice-overs and sound effects.

I missed this last year, as I was in Puerto Rico for Jonathan and Maria's wedding. The studio was super cool-- it was a loft-like apartment that had been modified into a recording studio (complete with a roomy control booth), a living room and a bar. It would be a kick-ass place for a party.

We kind of had a little party today, as we shivered through the cold wet rain and into some hilarity. John and Ben did great with all of the radio voice-overs, and then the rest of us got to join in the fun. We recorded barking dogs (listen for my growling, I modelled it after the sounds Hyde makes these days around pitbulls), humping dogs (that was squirm-inducing and hilarious), sniffing dogs, chickens, UFO sounds, birds in flight, car sounds, cell phone commands... I don't want to give anything away, but man, do you have to see this show. It's going to be hilarious.

After a nice lunch at Royal Tavern, we headed back to the Walnut and finished up our day of rehearsal. I had a lot of fun being silly with the boys, Madi, Melissa and Katie today. I'm looking forward to tech and the run.

And on a totally unrelated note, the dog has discovered the couch and is currently being the most snugly creature I've ever met. It's very cute, although we're working through dominance issues. He has the bad habit of growling like a grumpy old man when I move around too much, and that's just not acceptable to me. Every time he growls, off the couch he goes. But when he's being all cute and cuddly, it's really kind of nice to curl up on the couch with him.

I spent the night on the couch, curled up with my dog and the new issue of Bust. Heaven.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

On warm kitchens and surprising blowhards

I'm not going to post anything lengthy today, because after a big day of costume fun at rehearsal, I came home and cooked, in this order: spaghetti sauce from scratch (including home-made meatballs), chicken & rice for the dog (both just boiled in plain water, no fats, no seasonings), chicken cornbread casserole (for which I cooked the cornbread topping myself)and pumpkin bread pudding (which I just pulled out of the oven and burnt my fingers sampling). I don't mean to brag, but I'm feeling pretty good about myself right now. My back hurts, but we have food for the WEEK!

I'm not going to think about the mountain of dishes I created and am currently ignoring.

Anyway, I just checked out this:

What do you think?

I think he's a bit of a blowhard, like all pundits are, but just as I started to really roll my eyes, he got shockingly sincere. I find his lyricism a bit weird after a while, and what is with all of the camera cuts?

But all in all, I appreciate such a statement. And a such an unlikely advocate.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Obama Zombies

This had me pissing my pants-- so funny, so scarily true:

(I especially like the news scroll at the bottom!)

But seriously, the election is over. We won. Now how about everyone stops their gloating and maybe reaches out to all of those people who voted for McCain, so we can get some real work done in this country?

Sunday, November 9, 2008


This kitty knows what I'm doing tomorrow, my day off:

First week of rehearsal. Done. Things are going really well. I'm enjoying working with the boys and Madi again, and with Melissa for the first time. It's going to be a hell of a show-- so funny, so sweet, so many fake boobs & butts.

That being said, I'm exhausted. I'm getting my rhythm back, but boy oh boy did I forget how much work rehearsal can be! Not to mention that this year Deb and I have had to adjust our schedules to take care of the dog. It's something you never think about until you get a pet (or have a kid, I would imagine...) but the change in routine is a definite adjustment. Our hours are staggered pretty well during the week, but on weekends we are both simply at the theater, all day. It's hard to get away to feed and walk the pup.

So I'm very proud to say that we are hiring our good friends, Lindsay & Carrie of the Monster Minders to walk Hyde on the weekends. We haven't fully worked out the details yet, but hopefully we will sit down some time next week and hammer them out. I'm so excited. Lindsay & Carrie are not only super friends, but also the absolute best dog walkers in the city... no, in the WORLD! (Bold of me? I think not-- they're just that good!)

Tomorrow Deb and I are going to do some cleaning, some grocery shopping and then I think we're going to drag the mattress into the living room and veg out with Thai food in front of the TV. Sounds heavenly to me.

For my theater peeps, have a great day off tomorrow! For everyone else... well, screw you. You get weekends. :)

Oh, and for my mom, who is now an avid blog reader and prompted me to show a picture of my awesome new bangs after she read my post mentioning them:

Here ya go! (That's me on the right. No, mom, I didn't cut the rest of my hair short, I just have it pulled back.)

This picture was taken at my friend Rachel's "If You Voted, Come Eat Pizza and Get Drunk At My House" party on Friday. Me and Melanie chilled on the floor for almost the whole party.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Silence is boring

My life has been so quiet for the past few months. I didn't even realize.

But rehearsal has started, and with it my One Job. Communication. In my opinion, the main job of a stage manager is to make sure that all of a particular show's information floating about gets transmitted to the correct sources. If the director casually mentions that she would prefer the leading lady's dress to be green, it's my job to make sure the costume designer knows about it. If the set designer tells me that a doorway is too small for a table to fit through, I must make sure the directors and actors know about it. And on and on and on. I also convey message from our administration, from the actor's professional union, from the marketing department, from all of the technicians and designers, from the actor's families... you get the idea.

I firmly believe that if the different facets of a theatrical production aren't on the same page, it's the stage manager's fault.

That being said, communication is happening at full swing after a long period of (relative) silence. It's nice to stretch those muscles again, to get crackin'. I really love stage managing, as cheesy as that sounds. Every time I think about how stressful my job is, I have to remember how much I love it, how much it just fits who I am.

I hope everyone's listening, 'cause I'm ready to communicate.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Last night was truly an amazing night. It was so incredible to watch history unfolding, to hope and pray for something and then actually have it happen. For our jaded and ironic generation, this was a clear moment of patriotism and faith.

Because I felt like I couldn't be alone with the election returns, I invited a few friends over to share in my joy/pain/stress. We finished off the White Trash beer and ordered pizza and yelled at the television set as we watched the results start to trickle in.

Melanie was thoughtful enough to bring Electoral College maps that we could color in-- here she adds some Blue States to her map:

Democracy, Sara-style:

OBAMA! (L-R: Amanda, Carrie, Lindsay, Kelley, AJ, Melanie)

When the final results came in, we took to the streets with sparklers.

Deb was on Broad Street, where people filled the street again for a spontaneous parade/celebration. The energy in this city was amazing.

Yes we did!

Now let's get down to business.


I'm a little tipsy right now... we had an amazing election-watching party and an even better celebration when the announcement came in.

I don't know what to say.

The whole room was rapt and crying during his speech.

I am so proud to be a part of history, to have an event of this magnitude happen in my lifetime.

More when I'm sober.

Now the real work begins.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Yes We Can

I voted early this morning. It was pretty exhilarating, but at the same time a truly South Philly experience. I walked by one polling place that had McCain/Palin signs inside (which is illegal) and my own polling place had someone inside handing out fliers for the Democratic ticket (also illegal!). I waited behind the long line of little old ladies, each one confused about how this new-fangled voting machine worked. Thankfully the poll workers were very helpful. Maybe it was because they knew all of the little old ladies by first name. Maybe it was because they were all little old ladies themselves. They even served refreshments right by where you signed your name! Very funny.

Currently Barack Obama is leading in the polls, but I refuse to get my hopes up, especially considering the fact that the last two Democratic candidates for president actually won the popular vote but somehow we still ended up with a half-witted cowboy in the White House. We'll see. I'm having some friends over tonight to watch the results come in, as Deb is hard at work on the first preview of Hairspray. I can't be alone with the television tonight. Watching the Phillies win the World Series alone sucked. I hope to celebrate a second victory with my friends.

I think I might wear my Phillies T-shirt, for luck. I've got champagne cooling in the fridge. Either we'll celebrate noisily or drink our sorrows away.

Go Obama. Go Obama. Go Obama.

On a totally unrelated note, today was our first day of rehearsal for A Tuna Christmas. It was so wonderful to see John and Ben and Madi again. The moment they stepped onto the "stage" we'd taped out on the rehearsal room floor, it was like going home. I saw my old friends Didi and Bertha and Arles and Thurston again. It's going to be so great to spend Christmas in Tuna. And it was so great to get back into rehearsals, back into the swing of things.

Go Obama. Go Obama. Go Obama.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Last Weekend

This weekend marks my last run of consecutive days off until the end of June. After this, it's just Mondays off for me. Melissa and I were able to get all of our prep work done by Friday, so I decided that we should take the next 3 days off.

I'm trying to make them count. The weather has been absolutely gorgeous (I can't believe it's already November...) and now that I have a little money in my pocket, I'm really stretching my legs and trying to make the most of my last precious moments of free time.

Friday night I found myself alone in the house with all of my theater friends occupied, so I called up Lindsay & Carrie and we had a spooky good time, drinking leftover beer from the White Trash Party and eating giant grilled steak burritos from the Taqueria La Veracruzana.

Yesterday I treated myself to a haircut (some fierce new bangs!) and an evening with my girls Melanie and Amanda. We went to National Mechanics and enjoyed nachos and their featured draft beer, Gritty McDuff's Halloween Ale. Delicious!

Today I have errands to run and a dirty house to clean. Tomorrow I am determined to go on a date with my girlfriend, although apparently our car has been possessed by some sort of electrical poltergeist, so we may have to take a trip to the mechanic's. Sigh. It just never ends, does it?

In the mean time, I am absolutely on pins and needles about the upcoming election. Tuesday is a big day for me-- the start of rehearsals, the election... thank god for Xanax, right?

I'm also hearing more and more about Proposition 8, the proposal in the state of California to amend their constitution in order to ban gay marriage. (Gay marriage is currently legal in California). I urge all Californians to vote NO on Proposition 8. To pass this amendment would be to legalize discrimination. As a gay woman, all I ask of this nation is the same rights as heterosexual women enjoy. I want to be able to marry the woman I love, to have a family with the woman I love. This is about strengthening families and commitments. This is about the freedom to live and love as you chose, a very American concept. This is about equal rights for all races, religions and sexual orientations.

But don't take my word for it, do as Tim Gunn says!

Or listen to Ellen...

Now I'm going to go and enjoy the rest of my Last Weekend.