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 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