Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy Christmas Eve!

Well, I'm counting down the hours until the shows are over today and I'm officially OFF for 24 hours! Ohhhhhhh, it's the little things...Anywho, thought I would take a sec to do a little holiday post before I head to the theatre. I'm just snuggled up by the tree, drinking my coffee, and blowing my schnoze repeatedly. Yes, ladies and germs, it's Christmas and I'm sick. Blah. But I'm refusing to let it hinder what little time I actually have to celebrate.

So as you know, Dave and I are celebrating solo in the city. While I always miss my family, it's so nice to spend the day with each other. We can wake up at our leisure, open the gifts when we feel like it, stay in our pajamas all day, and best of all, not spend the day bouncing back and forth between houses that you forget it's even Christmas, because you are too busy watching the clock and traveling between families. If you've ever seen that movie Four Christmases (if you haven't don't, because it wasn't good) then you've seen a pretty vivid picture of our holiday. Ahh, the joys of holidays with divorced parents...If I had it my way, I would just park my booty wherever that sweet baby Hayden was. This sweet child gets so excited about Santa and every single little gift that I sometimes worry he might pass out!!! It's the most precious thing in the world. Plus he always looks adorable in his Christmas pajamas: those little chubby legs normally sporting a candy cane stripe! I love that boy.

It's been a busy week. Had a press event at Serendipity launch of the cast album and a naming of a sundae after us. Very cute. Click here for the link to the article and photos from that morning on Broadway.com. Total Disclosure: I ate that gigantic sundae before 10 a.m. I have no shame. Meghan and I also had an afternoon of beauty and exchanged our gifts on Monday. This was much-needed and a ton of fun. We hired a stylist to come over to the apt. and give us cuts and a blow-out while we drank champagne and opened gifts. SO. MUCH. FUN. Sweet Meghan gave me my very own copy of The Pioneer Woman's Cookbook. We so enjoy her blog and musings on life, love, cattle, and cooking! I finally settled on getting Meghan these awesome cashmere hand-warmers and a subscription to Food & Wine (my ultimate addiction). Oh, and Meghan also scored a gorgeous vintage bracelet from her beau, but I'll let her tell you more about that. What I WILL say is, 'Good job, Garrick!' So, looks like we were good girls this year. These belles are having a good Christmas!

In other news, our Christmas Eve plans have changed. We received a really cool invitation to make some new friends and nosh on some fantastic food by Danny Meyer's exec. assistant and her husband. 8 of us will be celebrating first with cocktails in the rooftop bar at The Gramercy Park Hotel, followed by dinner at Balthazar! So excited.The group is really diverse, working and successful in different fields, so I know conversation will be interesting. And they are all either married or engaged. As cheesey as it sounds, we need more couple friends. So, it should be a really fun night.

Well, gang, I gotta go play dress-up and jump around on stage. Hope you are all enjoying time spent with those you love! That's what it's all about...

xoxo

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Sancerre and Christmas Tree Cookies on a Sat. night...

Let me just start out by saying how incredibly jealous I am of anyone who has any sort of Christmas 'break' whatsoever. Also, apparently today marked our 100th show. Who knew?!

Work has been crazy, and Dave and I have been busy with two sets of parentals visiting in the last two weeks. First, my dad and his wife, and then Dave's mom and step-dad. To say that we were a little worn out after the consecutive visits would be an understatement, but it was nice to play host to family, especially during the holidays. Barb, if you are reading this (which I know you sometimes do), we are mailing the cd of pics on Monday.

I've been burning the candle at both ends trying to complete all my shopping, wrapping, decorating, baking, etc. And I must say, I'm pretty pleased with my level of commitment to making sure the holiday is just swell, even if I only have Christmas Day off and will have slept maybe 3 1/2 hours leading up to the day's festivities. I kid, I kid...

The one thing I HAVE NOT done is plan the menu. I have a general idea but need to make it a bit more cohesive. The big debate: Standing Rib Roast VS. Leg of Lamb??? Another dilemma: Roasted Garlic Potato Puree VS. Root Vegetable Gratin?? or both?? Probably both...ohhhhhhhhhhh, or maybe Cauliflower Gratin? My friend, Cauliflower, gets a bad rap but when in season and from my favorite purveyor at the farmers market, it's really wonderfully delicious! In all seriousness, please weigh in on the protein. My head is spinning right now and I can't really think straight, so any help in decision-making is greatly appreciated. Also, I haven't nailed down a dessert so please, fire away. Cristin, I know you have an arsenal of sweet treats, so lay it on me!

What I can say is this: there WILL be caramelized brussel sprouts, wasabi and ginger deviled eggs (one of many nods to our Southern heritage--very excited about these! I'm soaking them in a soy, orange peel, and anise mixture overnight before peeling and stuffing them with the wasabi/ginger yum yum goodness. eloquent, I know.), creamed onions with lardons, bacon fat, and chives (mmmmm), roasted mushrooms with garlic and thyme, and a few stinky cheeses with prosciutto-wrapped figs and local honey to nosh on while cooking. I need to figure out a green or two to throw in there...I think I can handle that. Seriously, this is what is getting me through the next week. Well, if I'm being honest, it's the food and the impending Christmas Eve viewing of The Black Swan. Excited. Very excited, indeed.

As far as libations go, I've infused 2 vodkas: Pear and Ginger (this will make a divine martini) and Pomegranate and Rosemary (this will make a refreshingly festive vodka soda). I'm gifting some of the small batches I made, so no need for concern. I'm not going to be polishing this off all by my lonesome...Honestly people, what do you take me for? The only thing I've left to do in this department is gather the final ingredients for Dave's favorite winter cocktail: The New Deal It's an updated/modern twist on a Manhattan with a splash of pickled cherry juice. So good. Trust me, or rather, trust Dave's palette...

I made the traditional Smith family Christmas tree cookies yesterday afternoon in my few free hours. This was bittersweet, as I was alone (boo hoo), but thanks to my Pandora Christmas station and a slight mishap with a hand-mixer and a generous amount of flour, I was laughing, singing, and dancing all over that kitchen!

Tonight, I had the most wonderfully fulfilling conversation with my beautiful, stunning, smart, strong, and loving sister. Hilly, if you are reading this, then please know how much I love you and how proud I am of you. I miss that infectious laugh!! So glad I got to hear it several times tonight. That should be enough to hold me over for 48 hours or so...

And now, sweet friends, I sit here tending the blog I neglected yet again, sipping Sancerre, eating cookie after cookie, and feeling thankful for all of you. Not a bad way to end a 3 show day, if I may say so myself. Wishing you all the happiest of holidays! If you find yourself without plans for the 25th, then make your way over to 281 Devoe St.! The more the merrier! All my love and best wishes!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Tis' the Season

As I type, I am wrapped in my coziest blanket, drinking coffee, listening to some holiday tunes, and sitting in front of our CHRISTMAS TREE! Hooray! It's up! And that makes me happy...

Well, much has happened since our last chat. I have now viewed Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt. 1 twice...once as a wizard, once as a muggle. I must say, I LOVED it. Both times. I was a little worried, seeing as how they totally missed the mark with Half Blood Prince. Among my favorite moments from the movie: 1) Alan Rickman's perfectly-understated-but-oh-so-telling reaction when he first enters Malfoy Manor and sees Charity Burbage suspended above the table. I love Alan Rickman. I love Snape. 2) The telling of the Tale of the 3 Brothers. I loved the execution of it. I don't want to spoil anything, if you haven't seen it and are looking forward to it, so I'll limit myself to that statement. 3) Anything Dobby. He's one of the most endearing characters I've encountered. 4) The current state of Lucius Malfoy: emotionally, physically, mentally. It's wonderfully portrayed...5) How brilliantly crazy Helena Bonham Carter's 'Bellatrix' is.
I thought they did a good job of bringing Pt. 1 to a close. It was a legitimate and good conclusion. Now, having all of that said, Pt. 2 is going to be pure insanity. I'm bringing boxes of tissues and a stress-reliever ball....
And now, photographic evidence that we are super cool.

Schmorgs and Joey as 'Luna' and 'Harry'...

Thad: EXPECTO PATRONUM! Morgan and Wes: Just looking out for Snatchers

Youuuuuuuuuuuuuuu.....


Last Sunday after the show, I spent a very Parisian evening with my two dear friends, Joey and Andrew, making Boeuf Bourguignon, listening to Edith Piaf, and watching La Vie en Rose. Joey and Andrew had never seen it. That film is so brilliant. Everything. The performances. The direction. The cinematography. There are a few moments that truly leave me speechless. If you haven't seen the film or maybe haven't seen it in a while, PLEASE re-visit it. PLEASE.
I just have to say that NOTHING is better than sitting around a table with friends...


Thanksgiving has come and gone. We had a lovely celebration here. Dave and I celebrated early at The Waverly Inn on Tuesday with my 'sister' and fellow belle, Meghan, Garrick (her boyfriend), James (her brother), and Liz (his girlfriend). It was such a wonderful evening. Lots of food, wine, lots of laughing and reminiscing. We are truly like family, and it was so nice to spend time around the table giving thanks for each other and all the memories and experiences we have shared over the years.



We spent Thanksgiving day with some of Dave's friends from work. The food was spectacular(!) and the atmosphere was so laid back. Just what we needed. One of the chefs from Gramercy came with his girlfriend. They are Turkish and had never celebrated Thanksgiving before. It was fun to introduce them to the concept and answer their questions about the holiday. He, of course, had lots of questions about the food. Why certain dishes were mandatory/sacred? But they loved it and said they'd like to have Thanksgiving every 3 months. I could be up for it...

Finally, I leave you with photos of my tree...I love this time of year. I do have to toot my own horn here: I am almost done with the Christmas shopping. Ahhhh, such a good feeling. The only thing I'm missing right now is a house-full of family. I am making this declaration now: THIS IS THE LAST CHRISTMAS I WILL SPEND AWAY FROM MY MOM, SISTER, NEPHEW, COUSINS, AUNT, ETC. Luckily, we are fortunate in the 'amazing friend' department. We truly have become family for one another. I love seeing our own traditions unfold...






Tuesday, November 16, 2010

YESSSSSSSSS!

It is currently, 4:53 p.m. and I am on the couch in Dave's sweatpants, wrapped in my favorite blanket, grazing and watching Law and Order SVU. It's been a good day...

In my defense, I did rise and shine at 9 a.m. only to sit on the couch, drink my morning cup(s) of coffee, watch Brothers & Sisters (i love that show soooo much; reminds me of/makes me miss my mommy, sister, aunt, cousins, etc.), and send a few emails. AND I went to the groce (pronounced 'growsh'). If you are in NYC and looked out your window today, then you understand why I limited myself to 'indoor activities' only.

On another note, I thought I would share some things that are wonderful and deserve to be celebrated:

1) A 2 hour skype date with my dear friend, Miss Meghan Dailey. I cannot tell you how good this was for my soul and my heart.

2) Hitting up the official Opening Night Party of the Radio City Christmas Spectacular with Mr. Thad Wilson for the 2nd year in a row. Martha (Stewart, that is) redecorated the lobby and lounge this year, and I have to say, Martha, it's not your finest work. SHE TOOK DOWN THE CHANDELIER!!!!!?!????? If you've ever seen said chandelier, then you know this is a punishable offense. But, the party was lovely and the company was even better. Love my Thad. Love sharing in all this 'adult-life', 'from dream-to-reality' goodness.

Align Center
You are missed, my crystal-laden friend...


3) HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS PT. 1 MIDNIGHT SHOWING ON THURSDAY!!!!!! I will, of course, be attending in full-costume with my NY-based Potter clan. A special shout-out to my old Potter croonies in B'ham and Jupiter, FL. You know who you are...
This is my favorite of all the HP ads in the subway right now...


This was Pre "Order of the Pheonix"


EXPELLIARMUS!


AND PRE "HALF BLOOD PRINCE"
Harry


Ron


Luna


Tom Riddle

Let me just add that this year we have out-done ourselves in the costume dept. Last time we procrastinated (as I'm sure you can see) and ended up with only mere suggestions of the characters. For this premiere, money has been spent. Serious thought has gone into it all. You. Have. No. Idea.

4) Having hour-long phone conversations with Thaddeus Biddle and Wade Van Seals this morning, even though we live in the same city and see each other, AT THE MINIMUM, once a week.

5) This youtube video:


6) A sense of humor

7) The Horseradish and Chive Butter I made last night. YUM.

and I'm going to stop there because I enjoy the number '7' and it's time for a cocktail and 'face time' with Dave.

Toasting life, love, and happiness with a bourbon, pear and cinnamon cider.

Cheers!

Monday, November 15, 2010

How we celebrate a birthday...

Dear Friends,

Let me begin by apologizing for being M.I.A. recently. To say that I've been a bit overwhelmed and busy would be the understatement of the year. Having that said, I'm relishing the first of two days off with my Trader Joe's Wintry Blend Coffee (Sumatran and Guatemalan beans with red and green peppercorns, whole cloves, and cinnamon---soooo goooood) and a few Dried Cherry and Granola cookies (don't judge me). While the last 3 weeks have been a bit intense, there have been a few recent events that kept my spirits up and gave me even more reason to be thankful and happy. The most important of these was Dave's day-of-birth.

For those of you who know me, you will recall that I have a very specific way of celebrating one's birth. It commences with breakfast in bed and ends a week later. For me, it's all I've known. Blame my parents. They did this to me. I kid, I kid...but seriously, this is the only way to celebrate a b'day, as far as I'm concerned. This year, we were forced to actually start the week on Monday prior to the big day, due to our work/performance schedules. And it should come as no shock to you that the celebration somehow mostly involved food. It started with our favorite cocktail at GT and ended with us being seated for a 3 1/2 hour meal. Yes, you heard correctly. 3 1/2 hours. I'll spare you all the details and just hit the hilights for your enjoyment and my own nostalgia:
1) Foie Gras Custard with a veal jus reduction and bartlett pears. oh. my. stars. you have no idea.
2) Chickory, Apply, and Celery Leaf salad. So simple but RIDICULOUSLY GOOD.
3)Merguez Sausage with caramelized carrots and parsnips, and black lentils. The lentils and caramelized root veggies were oh-so-complimentary to the slight 'gamey-ness' of the lamb in the sausage. UGH!! HEAVEN. I have had this dish before but the set was different---had more of a South African influence. This one kicked it's butt, and I didn't think that was possible
4) Red Kuri Squash Soup with Brussels Sprouts and Fried Oysters. 'nuff said.
5) Goat's Milk Cheesecake with a Concord Grape Sorbet!!!!! This was so unbelievably good.
6) Warm Chocolate Bread Pudding with Cocoa Nib Ice Cream!!! Amazing.
7) As some of you know, Dave is really into craft beer/brewing and vintage beers. Instead of going with a dessert wine, port, or sherry at the end of our meal we had 2 vintage beers. They had aged for so long that they had lost that somewhat effervescent beer quality and taken on this rich color and caramel flavor. It was uncanny, and I didn't miss my glass of Sauternes one bit...

Ok, so that was Day 1. Next up, was a more low-key evening at home. Movies/delivery...We needed a day off from eating...

Day 3: Favorite neighborhood burrito joint for some delicious grub and Margaritas!!

Day 4 (The Big One): I had 2 shows that day. Dave came to see me in the 2nd matinee. From there we headed down to Union Square where we sipped Martinis and snacked on Rosemary/Parmesan Fries at Olives, in the W hotel. From there we headed up to Madison Square Park and cozied-up to the bar at Eleven Madison Park. There we entered cocktail heaven (seriously, the drinks/garnishes looked like works of art and had a specific way you were supposed to drink it/hold the glass, so you experienced the extent of the aromatics, etc). After downing 2 bowls of their homemade potato chips and briney, citrus and garlic marinated olives, we headed up-town for our reservation at The Modern. Our table wasn't ready yet so I hydrated at the bar with a little club soda and truffle-scented popcorn. mmmm. The restaurant itself is gorgeous. Sleek and modern but still warm. The dining room looks out over the sculpture garden at MoMA. The meal was fantastic, and the staff, managers, sommelier were so attentive.
And now for the highlights of the second 3 1/2 hour meal of the week:
1) Upside-down Tuna Tartare with Japanese cucumber and fennel, topped with a bruleed soy sauce. The presentation was beautiful and the bruleed condiment added crunch/texture
2) my cocktail: The Hinny Kick- spiced pear vodka, lime, jalapeno, and ginger beer
3) Dave's Mushroom Soup--it was the earthiest, mushroomie goodness I've ever tasted. The flavor was soooo concentrated.
4) Slow-Poached Farm Egg with Maine Lobster, Salsify, and Sea Urchin Froth. You have no idea how rich this was...
5)Dave's Braised Pork Belly with a Ginger Jus
6) Beef Tenderloin with Oxtail Bread Pudding and Hen of the Woods Mushrooms! AH!
I could go on, but I'm just making myself hungry...

Day 5: This was Dave's actual B'day. I woke up to make him the traditional breakfast in bed (it has to happen on the actual day) and was quickly asked not to. And I quote, "Hey. Can you please not make me eat anything this morning? I'm still full." I didn't push it because I, myself, was still uncomfortable from the prior evening's food intake. He opened his gifts and cards, we snacked on some gyoza (??? random) and then we both launched into our busiest 3 days of the work week.

We are picking up where we left off tonight. I'm making a boeuf bourguignon and am decanting some fancy-pants bottle of wine Dave brought home from the restaurant. It's the perfect day for it--gross, rainy, cold. I've got nothing better to do than to cook all day!!

Tomorrow's our 'Wild Card'...Wanting to host some of Dave's friends. We'll see what trouble we get into...All in all, though, I think it's been a pretty good celebration of life. Great food, great conversation, great friends...an excellent way to kick off another year!

On another note, my sister got my 3 yr. old nephew a Great Dane puppy...

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Food. Glorious Food.

Well, I've been eating my feelings lately and thought I would share some recent culinary endeavors that have made my day, week, month.

For starters, let me introduce you to my new best friend, The Salted Caramel Brownie.

Sorry about the paper towel. Didn't anticipate posting the pic--initially just sent it to my mom and sister in hopes they would be so jealous/tempted they would both hope a flight and join me in eating the entire batch...it almost worked, might I add. A hearty 'thank you' goes out to my BFF Lauren Roden for introducing me to the wonders of 'P Dub', as we fondly refer to her in all her wisdom.

Next up, my other close friend and partner-in-crime, The Fancy Grilled Cheese. This little sandwich has become my shoulder to lean on after long days at the theatre when I'm too tired to actually cook OR don't feel like waiting around for delivery. shameful, I know...
BEHOLD: Grilled Sourdough with Brie, Arugula, Pears, and Fig Preserves.



Guess what? I stuffed pasta the other night and it was super easy and super delicous. I opted for large shells over the manicotti (just because) and stuffed them with a mixture of ricotta, mozzarella, sauteed mushrooms, onion, pancetta, and radicchio, and some fresh basil. Baked those bad boys in a homemade tomato sauce and topped them with more cheese and more sauce...comfort food to the max.

mmmm, the filling...


because why WOULDN'T you dot each one with butter???


holy. moly.

Since it's getting cold (it's in the 40's now), all I want to eat is heavy heavy heavy foods...I even managed to make a salad heavy. One of my dearest and best friends, Cristin, forwarded me this recipe for a Spicy Roasted Butternut Squash and Lentil Salad. Only I nixed the lentils, added a drizzle of honey to the squash (tossed in olive oil with cumin, cayenne, hot smoked paprika) threw in mushrooms and bacon for crunch and a TON of goat cheese. Does it make it better that I tossed it all with arugula in a homemade red-wine vinaigrette???? I think so....
Seriously, this salad rocked my world. Click here for the original recipe. I embellished, because I don't like to play by the rules...Cristin, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

And tonight it's smoked chicken, apple, chardonnay sausages with caramelized onions; roasted brussel sprouts; and homemade roasted garlic mashed potatoes. For cocktail hour: The Cider Smash--bourbon, fresh lemon juice, sparkling cider. Bottoms-up!


Please note my new cocktail napkins that I'm obsessing over.
Also, I'm gonna make a pie. A Pumpkin Pie. It will be my first attempt. An endeavor such as this deserves it's own post. Until then...


Signing off! Your friend, Morgan: Kitchen Warrior and Consumer of All Things Edible

Thursday, October 28, 2010

I had a dream! I dreamed it for you Dave...It wasn't for me, Thad...and if it wasn't for me, then were would you be, Wade Van Seals?

Sorry for the Gypsy reference, complete with name substitutions, so early in the morning. But, in all seriousness, I had the BEST dream last night. Dave and I opened a restaurant and it was SOOOOOOOOO COOOOOOOOOL. Let me tell you about it.

So the focus was obviously on local, sustainable, and seasonal food. The entire restaurant was set up like an old general store. Please DON'T think Cracker Barrel, think really old wood, a refurbished bar, huge tables, and lots of natural light. There were massive bins of local produce, artisan cheeses, cigars (I don't know where that came from, but hey, it's a dream. I have no control over these things), gorgeous flowers, so that people could not only dine but shop as well! The bar served only craft and vintage beers and signature cocktails, the food looked AMAZING, and the best news was, it was PACKED!

Needless to say, I woke up feeling like the highly-successful restauranteur that I'm not. I'm writing this down because I think I might be on to something. Dave and I talk about this alot...he's obviously on the path towards ownership. BUT we never know what kind of place to open. THIS SOUNDS AWESOME...to me. If there was a restaurant like this in my 'hood I would go all the time. Maybe that's because I'm just a dorky foodie. Would you?

Finally, in keeping with tradition, here's another YouTube gem. YOU MUST WATCH BOTH. Clip #1 is the original interview. Clip #2 is the autotune version. I generally don't like the autotune song/clips but this one is HILARIOUS. ENJOY:


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Trick or Treat!

Let me just launch right into this: I LOVE children, and children in costumes?? Even better. And, this is now the 2nd Halloween I will have missed trick-or-treating with Hayden, my amazing nephew who I love more than life itself. Trick-or-treating with him was always truly a highlight for me, as he is the most adorable child I've ever encountered, has no filter, and is a really great sport about donning whatever outfit my sister, mother, and I collaborate on. Year 1: He was a skunk...with a bow-tie. Year 2: The Cowardly Lion (Post-Emerald City Makeover) Year 3: (which I missed) He was a Dinosaur and Year 4: He's a spider. At 3 1/2 years of age, I figure this is probably one of the last Halloweens we can dress him up in something WE like. From here on out, it will be 'Batman', 'PiderMan', or 'Mimja Turtles', as he refers to them.



As I may have mentioned, Hayden is a bit of a social butterfly. He really likes making new friends, and what better opportunity to get to know a complete stranger than ringing their doorbell and asking for candy? The Year of the Lion, he really seized the opportunity and not only exchanged pleasantries and made lasting friendships, but investigated their homes, interior design choices, and whether or not they were pet-owners. He's a quick little guy who totally knows when/how to turn on the charm. He was wooing everyone. These women gave him handfuls upon handfuls of candy (he wasn't even 2 yr.old, by the way, and can maybe eat 1.33333 (repeating, of course)% of what was in that bucket), they would answer his questions (he's been a talker from a very early age), and then, no lie, invite him in for a tour. WHAT??? He's a toddler.

I have this really bad habit of laughing when I'm uncomfortable; this is only exacerbated by my sister who just laughs at everything, period. So, as you can imagine, we were doing a great job of trying to wrangle him/and the multiple invites he was receiving. Seriously, the effect he was having on these people was hilarious. He had totally caught-on by this point, and was now really laying-it-on thick in the good-manners department and giving them his best smile. Hillary and I were fielding these offers to come in with, 'Oh, no! Thank you for the invitation, but we should be heading home. It's past his bed-time...blah blah blah'. But Hayden would just shoot us a sideways glance, take the hostess' hand and peak into the home. Some homes warranted an 'Ohhhhhh...' or 'mmmmmmmm...'. Others, he got right to the point and said, 'Dog?' If the answer was no, he quickly turned and said, 'Come on, Mommy and Morner. Gotta go.'

The situation worsened at the next house. Upon answering the door, the woman gasped, fawned over this little lion, had to put down the candy bowl, get her camera, and take a picture of the little guy...for which he posed! I'm not kidding, the child was on to something...and that 'something' was a 2 year supply of Halloween candy.

I miss my lil' boodiddles, one of my many nicknames for him. Soooo wish I could be there this year to see him work the crowds...

Monday, October 18, 2010

Adventures in Traveling

Morning, world. How goes it?

I'm back from my whirlwind trip to Mobile for the concert. When I say 'whirlwind', I mean that in the literal sense. Flew out Thurs. afternoon, tech-thru and performed the show on Friday, pick-up for airport at 4 a.m. Saturday morning, which had me back in NYC for 2 shows of FFS Saturday afternoon. In all seriousness, I'm tired. However, I have to admit there is some sick part of me that LOVES being ridiculously busy. If I'm not juggling at least 3 things, I feel like a failure. I don't understand it but I'm starting to accept it and THAT, my friends, is the first step on the long road to recovery...

I love flying. I fly a lot (on planes, that is)...I fly alone a lot. It doesn't bother me. I like it. It makes the 'people watching' much easier (fewer distractions, you understand) Anyway, flight no.1 of the day went well. We landed in ATL safely but slightly behind schedule. Now, of course, our next departure gate was on the other side of the airport and OF COURSE this airport was filled with 80% novice flyers. I don't mean to be rude, but when you are in an AIRPORT and not at your local mall please don't stand in aisleways, escalators, or the middle of the shuttle doors so travelers who are in a hurry can't get by/make it to their connecting flight. In all seriousness, I reached the gate at least 15 minutes later than I would have had these people been mindful of others. SO. FRUSTRATING. Luckily, the flight was held for us. Now, I'm waiting to board and see this charicature of woman flipping out because they need to check one of her 3 carry-on items (tiny plane=no overhead storage space). For those of you who have ever been on a small plane, you know that this happens all the time. She was beside herself. Nevermind the fact that she still had the largest purse I've ever seen PLUS an enormous Barnes and Noble bag which I later learned held not books but a variety of household items, a map, and various other sundries...

I took one look at 'Evelyn' (let's call her that for now) and knew in an instant she would be sitting next to me. And, DING DING DING, I was correct. First, after barreling down the aisle, she PANTOMIMES to me that she's sitting next to me (I'm not making this up). After I guess correctly, she agrees to speak, only after I get up to let her have her window seat, and tells me she prefers the aisle. Ok, sure. Sounds good to me. I scoot back in and soon feel the weight of Evelyn's bags on my lap. Once she gets comfortable, she awkwardly moves the bags to floor, exhales, rubs her temples, and let's out a 'Good God'. She removes her massive sunglasses, looks at me with her crazy eyes, and takes inventory. Seriously, looks me up and down. She smiles and puts her shades back on.

The two gentlemen behind us had struck up a conversation about Bud Light (Welcome Home, I thought). This conversation lasted the duration of the flight. However, I found it highly amusing so it didn't bother me. Evelyn, on the other hand felt differently. She kept turning around in her seat to glare over the chair at them. After about the 4th time she did this, she looked at me and said, 'Well, it looks like we've got to listen to THOSE voices for the ENTIRE FLIGHT!' Right on cue, the flight attendant's bell chimed and Rudy (that was his name) began the safety presentation. Evelyn reacted like a dog does to high frequency pitches. She doubled over, grabbed her head, and said, "no, no, nooooo. Jesus Christ!" Then she bounced right back up, looked at me with a grin, and said, "I have such a headache." She then reached into the Barnes and Noble bag and pulled out an Aleve bottle. To my dismay, when she dumped the contents into the palm of her hand I saw that it was not Aleve but unmarked yellow capsules. She elbowed me and said, "How many should I take?" and then quickly shoved some in my face and said, "Want any?"

After I refused the prescription drugs, she then interrupts my reading and says, "Hey, look at that plane over there." "Oh, yes. How about that?" I say...(we haven't taken off yet, so she's referring to the plane at the gate next to us) She then proceeds to talk to me about the importance of enunciating and the fine line between good diction and obnoxious over-articulation. Rudy, our flight attendant, she tells me is a 'classic example of the latter'.
Right on cue, Rudy walks by in preparation for the in-flight beverage service. Evelyn grabs his arm and says, 'Good Afternoon, Rudy. Listen to me. You have excellent enunciation, but, and I'm sure it's the systems fault, it's too loud and too much. Now, I'll have an ice water with no ice, and sweetie, what would you like?' Great, people think I'm associated with her. " I'm fine Thank you." I said, since Rudy had neither begun the drink service nor had his festive little concessions cart with him. To which Evelyn replied, "Suit yourself."

After a 10 minutes of temple rubbing, moaning, and 27 'Jesus Christ's', Evelyn began grooming herself. It started with the nail file, escalated to the tweezers, and then an entire make-up kit, complete with a mirror and more appropriate lighting. Once we got through that, it was time to read the magazine. Now, Evelyn couldn't see some of the small print captions under certain photos. This annoyed her. After commenting on it several times, the only obvious solution was for her to rip out the pages with said photos and hold it as close to her face and the light as possible. Worked like a charm.

She soon came to a fragrance add. Now I smelled this coming a few pages back, but thought surely she wouldn't attempt to apply perfume from a magazine on a small flight. Boy was I wrong. She ripped that page out and rubbed that scented tab all over her neck, arms, clothing, and then politely offered me a rub-down. 'No, thank you,' I said...again.

After another interruption about whether or not I knew the ingredients and flavor profile of the free cookies they offered, the pilot came over the intercom and announced our dissent into the Mobile-Bay Area. Thank you, Lord. Evelyn, must have been nervous because she gathered her gigantic bags in her lap, clenching them to her chest, while complaining about the lack-of cool air on this flight. As we approach the gate, Rudy asks us to applaud and thank a uniformed to soldier who was on our flight. We all showed our appreciation, but Evelyn took it one step further. Not only did she employ the use of the slow clap that builds momentum, but she also threw in some 'Yeaaaaaaaaaaaahs!' and Yeeeeeeeeees!' and 'Absolutelyyyyyyyy!!' After this, the plane went silent for about 45 seconds. And perfectly placed in the middle of that silence, Evelyn turns to me and says, "I liked that. I liked how I did that." Clearly, she showed a lot of gusto and appreciation and didn't want it to go unnoticed. I said, "Yes, Evelyn. You did a great job with it."
"I know," she said. "Thank you." I believe this was truly the turning point in our relationship.

Finally, we were at the gate. As we de-boarded the plane, Evelyn stopped at the flight deck, blew the most grandiose kiss I had ever seen and, with arms outstreched, said, "Rudy, my darling. Have a nice life." And that was the last I saw of Evelyn. I can't help but feel like I experienced something really special on that connecting flight to Mobile. Best part is, it was equally rivaled by my flight home during which I sat next to a couple whose combined weight had to be at least 900lbs. Upon taking my seat, I quickly pulled out my book. The lady gasped. I looked up to see what was wrong only to find her staring at me and my choice of literature. Apparently, she didn't approve of "My Horizontal Life". I gave her a wink and said, "It's my 2nd time reading it." She quickly reached in her bag and pulled out her Bible. I'm not making this up. She said a prayer for me, and read her Bible the entire flight to NYC. As we flew over the city, I said quietly and to myself, "Ah, so good to be home."
"Hmph. Figures." She said, never looking up.

What fascinating creatures.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

I'm Still Here!

Good Morning, friends. Hope this finds all of you doing well. Between the shows 'official opening', recording the cast album, a few auditions/callbacks, and rehearsals for this AWESOME concert I'm doing with the incomparable Rebecca Luker, I've been a bit overwhelmed. So, I thought I would do a quick blog-a-roo before I head to the airport.

a few points of interest:

1) The concert/show is tomorrow in MOBILE!! I get to head south, even if it's only for 2 days. Only wish there was more time to see my friends and family. BUT I shall be making another trip down very soon. Hoping to drink some sweet tea and eat some yummy seafood while I'm down there!

2) My sister had portraits taken of my adorable nephew Hayden. I'm gushing over the outcome. He is going to break soooooo many hearts. See for yourself...the proof is in the puddin'


3) I seem to be coming down with some sort of cold, which is no good, so if you have a moment please think of me. Traveling/performing with a sinus infection=no good.

4) And, in keeping with tradition, here's my latest YouTube obsession...Please watch ALL of it.



Love to you all! I'll be back after the weekend

Sunday, September 26, 2010

because it's Sunday

I love this: His impromptu song, his 'happy feet', the moonwalk at the pulpit, the little old lady with the walker. Just watch it. He really get's going around the 1:50/2:00 mark. You can't help but smile and dance around! Ha!

Friday, September 24, 2010

new project

So, I'm incredibly excited because I'm performing with a Broadway star I've never met but always looked up to. REBECCA LUKER: Gorgeous soprano, Tony nominated actress, and guess what?! She's originally from Alabama!!!! We've been asked to perform for a major industrial by this fantastic production team here in NYC. I received the breakdown for the show yesterday and I'm doing a duet with Ms. Luker!! A duet. Just us. I'm a little ecstatic.

I feel so thankful for all the wonderful things that are happening for Dave in his career, me in mine, and in our relationship. It seems like just yesterday we were in Alabama loading up the moving truck. If this is what's happened in our first year here together, I can't wait to see where we will be in 3! Apologies for the cheesey, sentimental nature of this post. I'm just feeling exceptionally grateful lately. It's a good place to be!

And now I'd like to leave you with this fantastic and informative video that a castmate shared with me.


And here are some pictures...just 'cause...

always missing my mommy

love this completely candid moment our photographer got of my sister and me

love this for so many reasons. no.1) it reminds me of our childhood. Laughing with my oldest pals and my sister. So grateful to have grown-up with such wonderful people.

and finally, because Halloween is right around the corner. Missing that sweet boy!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

a case of the mondays...

and it's Wednesday. Well, I'm coming off my high of having 2 whole days of not being at the theatre (nevermind that I filmed on off day#1 and cleaned my house on off day #2). Naturally, I needed a little pick-me-up this a.m., in addition to my coffee, of course. I thought I would share some of my go-t0 'mood enhancers'. ENJOY!

My friend Charlotte played dress-up (wig and all) and posed with art. I think it's hilarious. She did this alone. For those who know me, and I mean really know me, you know I am no stranger to this.


And then there is this woman and her two teeth.



here's a pretty pic from where we filmed on Monday. Same location they shot 'Doubt'. cool. One step closer to Meryl Streep.

Speaking of Meryl Streep, here's a clip from one of my fav movies. HILARIOUS!
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ok, now let's just get through this day.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Best New Tradition. Ever.

So, I'm loving Dave's new schedule. We've had the last 3 nights off together! If you know us and our work schedules, then you know this almost NEVER happens. For some reason, I was craving a vodka Martini yesterday, slightly dirty with cerignola green olives. Specific, I know. So, after work, I picked up all the necessary ingredients from our neighborhood 'Bottle Shop' and nabbed some of those delicious briney olives from the olive bar at the Food Emporium.

I got out my favorite martini glasses (they have a really long stem. and i like that) and then let Dave do the rest. He's better at it. Discovered a 1/4 lb. of a funky blue cheese that Dave had picked up the other day. I couldn't let that go to waste. And let me tell you how fantastic it was to sit on the couch, gab about the day, eat cheese, and sip a perfectly-made martini with one of the most interesting people I know. It felt so very 'old school'...but such a great way to connect at the end of a long day. I'm really on a kick about this right now. I realized that in this city with so many distractions, it's very difficult to spend time with someone interruption-free. There were no distractions in our living room. No all-to-present cocktail server checking in/pushing $15 drinks/or trying to get us out of there. No loud music to compete with our conversation. And before we knew it, it was 9:30. woops. So then we ordered delivery from our favorite thai place and called it a night. the end.

Have a great day, everyone. It's a beautiful one, here!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

R & R

I'm in desperate need of a little getaway. My friend, Adam, gave me the best advice about maintaining your sanity in this crazy, bustling, city and that is to get out of it from time to time. I'm not talking about trips home (although that sounds heavenly right now) or some major vacation. I'm talking about heading up-state to a little Bed and Breakfast for the weekend or hitting up a vineyard or going apple picking (hello, Fall!). Just a quick sojourn somewhere that's green...with cars, and curbside farm stands; where buildings peak at around 3 stories and everyone moves at a slightly slower place.

This reminded me of how we celebrated the Fourth of July. We traveled 1 hour and 45 minutes west to Dave's Aunt and Uncle's Farmhouse and nursery in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. The house is just spectacular--a refurbished farmhouse--and sits on the most amazing grounds EVER. Since Ridgway (Dave's Uncle) does exotic landscaping and has his own nursery, the house is nestled in the middle of plush gardens and manicured lawns. It was exactly what we needed. No noise. No traffic. Just friends, family, and each other. Woke up and had breakfast on coffee on the porch, played Badminton until it got too hot, then hit the pool until we were ready to throw dinner on the grill. Opened up a bottle of wine and walked through the gardens, stopping along the way to appreciate the uninterrupted views. HEAVEN. Thought I would share some pics from our weekend in July...can't believe it's already September. Where has the time gone????

What a gorgeous drive!


The back of the farmhouse


Dave. Back porch. Swing. I could get used to this...What you don't see is that this looks out over an entire valley. GORGEOUS!


Courtyard and Archway to pool


Caretaker's Cottage


A small portion of the tree farm


Hydrangea will always remind me of home. And look how adorable the town is! Cobblestone streets, boutiques, restaurants...


Seriously, this may be what keeps me from ever moving back to the South. Stunning scenery, precious towns, gorgeous homes, a sense of community, and an easy commute to the city. It's like the best of both worlds...now if only I could convince my family to move nearby...