Sunday, August 30, 2009

Fringe-tastic 2009

It's that time of year again... the 2009 Philadelphia Live Arts & Fringe Festival is starting to kick into high gear.

For the third year in a row, I have the privilege to work with the very talented keila cordova dances. This year's production is called GOLD, and it explores the idea of the gold-digger, from 1930's MGM movies up to modern day video girls. Show information is here.

Rehearsals are well underway, in our fabulous new rehearsal space, the 954 Dance Movement Collective. As usual, the dancers look are working hard and looking beautiful, Keila is figuring out last minute choreography and our resident baby Dax is running around the studio, dancing to his own beats. We did a 10 minute preview performance at Plays and Players last week. The girls looked AWESOME! I'm really excited for the full show.

Getting ready in the cramped dressing rooms at Plays & Players: (l-r: Anna, Cristin, Zoe, Kate, Melissa)

I hope all of you Philadelphians will come and check out GOLD. It's going to be a great show!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Veggie Booty!

I just came back from the farmer's market with my bag loaded full of this gorgeous produce. All for only $15.

It's harvest time, and the overwhelming amount of fresh and local produce is absolutely inspiring. I haven't the foggiest idea what I'll do with the corn, sweet peppers, garlic, swiss chard, zucchini, onions and summer squash that I bought, but I'm sure I'll think of something.

Ideas? Recipes? Leave 'em for me in the comments!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Celebration Brunch

Deb started her 2009-2010 season at the Walnut Street Theatre today.

It's been a really great summer. We worked our little tails off on the house and squeezed in a ton of relaxation as well. Our home is beautiful and peaceful, our bodies are rested and our minds are ready for another crazy season at work.

To celebrate all of our accomplishments this summer, Deb and I took ourselves out for brunch yesterday at Bump, a fabulous lounge in the heart of the gayborhood that also happens to serve delicious and affordable food!

And did I mention their ($4!) Bloody Mary's are the best I've ever had?

Deb ordered the chicken-fried steak eggs benedict:

There's nothing like eating a delicious breakfast while getting slightly buzzed from the amazing Bloody Mary's to pat yourself on the back and say "job well done!"

Now me, of course, I don't go back to work until the end of October. But I'm keeping myself busy-- the Philadelphia Fringe Festival is just starting to kick into gear and I'm hard at work on my third Fringe show with keila cordova dances. This year we're doing a piece called Gold, which I hope you will all come and see!

But in the mean time, I'll send my girl off to work every morning with a packed lunch and a smile, knowing that this summer has rested us and fortified us for the long season ahead.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Like Glass, Baby

Deb stayed up all night last night, stripping and waxing our kitchen floor. Doesn't it look amazing??

When we moved in, the floor wasn't sealed. At all. The previous tennants had installed an industrial-grade tile floor (think of the type of floor in your high school), but had neglected to seal it. And then our landlord did some work on the kitchen ceiling and didn't bother to clean up all of the paint splatters that landed on the floor. This was all some years ago, so when we moved in, we got a dull, never-fully-cleanable, Jackson Pollack-decorated bright blue floor.

Until Deb pulled up her britches, went to the hardware store, bought floor stripper, wax & a cheap mop and spent all night last night in the kitchen, pausing as each of the 6 coats of wax dried to drink beers and watch her current obsession: Law & Order: Criminal Intent.

Isn't my girlfriend awesome?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Garden Delights

Deb made me this beautiful caprese salad today, with tomatoes and basil from our garden.

The late summer is upon us, bringing all of the goodness of the harvest and the smoldering heat that has been so elusive this summer.

I'm so grateful to be in a place with central air. That has a great little patio for me to grow my juicy heirloom tomatoes and savory basil. I wish the summer would never end, but I'm enjoying the progression of the season very much.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

New Arty-Farty Blog!

So I've started a new blog that I would love for you all to check out.

It's called The Stall Speaks, and it's basically going to be an arty-type blog: photos of bathroom wall wisdom.

I'm not talking your run-of-the-mill "Here I sit, broken hearted..." or "Jen loves Bill" or "Susan is a man-stealing bitch" type of bathroom sentiment, I'm talking more existential, perhaps unintentionally hilarious, out of context randomness that gives you something to think about while you do your business.

Now I can only peruse so many bar bathrooms (although I'm trying hard to hit them all, believe me) so this is where you come in. The next time nature calls and you see some wisdom on the walls, snap a photo and send it to me at It doesn't have to be from a bar bathroom, either-- all toilet sentiments are welcome!

I'll throw it up on the blog, and I promise to acknowledge the photographer! Be sure to include the location of said wisdom and the name you would like me to acknowledge you with. Here's the blog for you to check out-- become a fan, leave me lots of comments, submit photos!!

Happy bathroom hunting!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


Last night Deb, our buddy Amanda and I had the priviledge of attending Mauckingbird Theatre Company's annual benefit performance entitled Miss-Cast 2, which was described as "A cabaret of songs sung by the wrong people".

For those of you unfamiliar with Mauckingbird, they are a local theater company dedicated to producing gay-themed shows, especially classical shows with a queer twist. Check out this sexy-as-hell poster from their very first show, an all-male production of Moliere's The Misanthrope:

That's our buddy Evan on the right!

Last night's benefit was a blast. The girls sang songs normally sung by boys, and vice versa. Just to name a few, we heard lovely versions of Tammy Wynnette's Stand By Your Man, Dreamgirl's And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going and Sideshow's Who Will Love Me As I Am? sung by dudes, and equally amazing versions of Cabaret's Two Ladies, The Wizard of Oz's If I Were King of the Forest and Rick Springfield's Jessie's Girl sung by the gals.

The wine was flowing, the theater people were mingling, and we had just the best time chatting and laughing and supporting another great Philadelphia theater company. I highly encourage everyone to check out this young and very talented company. They need your support, and you won't be disappointed!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Central New York Adventures

Last week we packed up the old Subaru and headed north to visit my folks in scenic Homer, NY.

Hyde loves riding in the car:

After a very beautiful drive, we arrived! Molly the dog was at the front door, suspiciously guarding the house:

But soon she realized it was just us, and her and Hyde reunited in doggie bliss.

Dog fever is catching! Our buddy Christine was home visiting her folks as well, and brought her adorable new puppy Mo up to the hill to meet Hyde:

We spent a lovely day with Matt and Weas, starting with a trip to the amazing Ithaca's Farmer's Market. We then were inspired to pick some of our own Central New York produce:

There weren't a ton of berries, but I did get enough to make an awesome blueberry crumble that I took to Aunt Eunice's for a summer picnic. Thankfully I had lots of help-- Deb is an excellent blueberry picker:

The next day Matt and Weas took us on an awesome boat tour around beautiful Skaneateles Lake and we even managed to squeeze in a picnic before the rain came.
The next day, Mom and Dad treated us to the Cayuga Wine Trail, a large collection of wineries around scenic Cayuga Lake. My hilarious brother Joseph joined us, and provided some entertainment:

Deb and Joe take a break from sampling wine to play some checkers:
The next day Mom and Dad took us to beautiful Bowman Lake State Park. We took full advantage of the setting and tried all kinds of activities, including hiking:

And kayaking! (That's Mom and Dad on the lake-- they're a little hard to spot!)

And, of course, swimming:

That evening, we cleaned up and hit all of the crazy college bars in Cortland with my oldest friend Caitlin:
I have to give a huge shout-out to my little bro for being our designated driver that evening. And profess my awe of Caitlin's tolerance for alcohol.

And the next morning, quite hungover, we stopped at Coffee Mania to fuel up and made the long haul home to Philly.
We had a lovely time and came back totally rested! A huge thank you to Mom & Dad, Joseph, Matt & Weas for taking such good care of these city girls.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


So what do you think? Does this look like me, set in the Mad Men world?
She doesn't get coffee for anyone but herself, though.

Deb and I are currently hungrily tearing through Season 2, delivered to our door courtesy of Netflix. We just can't get enough!

Create your own Mad Men avatar here.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Summer Concerts

Deb and I have made it a tradition to pack our summers with as many cool concerts that we can afford. This year Deb really topped herself by getting tickets for two of my very favorite artists: Neko Case and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. The two concerts were very different in tone, but similar in AWESOME.

First up was Neko Case (sadly she did not bring her greyhound to the stage!):

Often described as "alt country", Neko is known for her deep alto voice, interesting and complex lyrics and wonderfully crafted songs. She was scheduled to play in Philly the same night as the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, so Deb got tickets for Neko's show in Baltimore-- a mere two hour car ride from Philly. I'd actually never been, so we decided to leave a little early and have dinner with our favorite Baltimore resident (and my childhood best friend's little sister), Christine. This made her sister Caitlin very upset, so naturally we took pictures. Side note: it may not be the wisest thing ever to upset Caitlin.

Getting ready for the concert, Deb came up with a novel way to avoid those horrid high beer prices in concert venues:
It's the right color, but it was awfully foamy "iced tea"!

The concert itself was really great. The crowd was mellow, the band was awesome, and the set had a giant owl with scary glowing eyes! Very creepy, very fitting with Neko's weird country-rock vibe. We scored some standing spots on the balcony overlooking the stage and had to hold our ground against some pushy people, but we made friends with our fellow standers and had a great time listening the music, laughing and singing along.

The next day was the Yeah Yeah Yeahs concert!
The Yeah Yeah Yeahs are often described as post punk, dance-able rock music. Lead singer Karen O is a fierce bitch with an incredible voice and some amazing fashion choices.

This concert was in Philly, at the Electric Factory, one of my favorite venues in the city. It was the best concert I've ever been to, hands down. The set was amazing, the lighting was incredible and Karen O and the boys took the stage and partied down for a head-banging, stunningly loud and wonderfully raucous good time.

I managed to snap one very blurry shot of the stage:

The big ball in the center at one point turned around and was painted to look like a giant eyeball. Creepy!

Deb and I had the best time at the concert, and left with our ears ringing!

And thus concludes our summer concerts for '09. We're trying to be responsible and not spend too much money this summer, but I'm glad we splurged for these two concerts. They were amazing! If either Neko Case or the Yeah Yeah Yeahs come by your town, I highly recommend you checking them out.