Quiet Night In (Not)

I’d planned on having a quiet night in on Saturday night. I really did. I was planning on cooking, hanging out with the furbabies, and possibly reconnecting with my acoustic guitar for the first time in WAY too long. I’d gone to a Kundalini yoga class in the morning and to see Marvin’s Room with Matt (I heart him living closer) in the afternoon and I was getting ready to take off my clothes and settle in. I’d even canceled a tentatively planned date because it was quite obvious that neither one of us was all that interested in the other (as evidenced by our infrequent texts, inability to make ACTUAL PLANS, etc.). I wasn’t upset (my ambivalence over this perfectly nice dude was why I canceled). It just was what it was. I’d even made the choice NOT to ghost him and to actual tell him that I was canceling. #adulting

Then Kristen texted and said she was at a bar on the UES after a friend’s baby shower and I should come over. I dreaded the process of actually getting to the bar (Infirmary on 89th and 2nd) because it took forever last time I had to get to that area, but the train and bus actually synched up pretty well and I got there in 20 minutes. We ate appetizers, drank fRoses, and then I dragged Kristen a couple of blocks away to Caledonia East, a great Scottish cocktail bar where my friend was bartending for the night.

About 30 minutes after we arrived, I noticed a couple walk in and sit down next to us (technically next to Kristen) and I was 99% sure it was the guy I’d canceled on with a new date. I immediately felt less bad and laughed. Out loud. I think he saw me and they then moved to the far end of the bar and a few minutes later left altogether. I told Kristen and my friend who was bartending and we laughed at the coincidence that he would roll into the bar we were in out of all the others in the neighborhood. Only happens to me. (And I’m cool with that because it makes for a great story.) A little while later he texted me saying he was surprised I was on the east side. I guess it was him.

We Uber’ed it back to my apartment after a drink so I could feed my the furballs and we headed over to The Hamilton, which is owned by the same gentleman as Caledonia, and it is equally as amazing. After a few more drinks, we headed back to my apartment and promptly passed out. Kristen had planned to drive home about 5 hours earlier but any attempt to operate a motor vehicle in her (our) state would have resulted in a swift tit punch from yours truly, so she passed out on my couch and I in my bed.

It totally wasn’t the night either one of us had planned, but it was a great night. We spent morning eating egg and cheese sandwiches, snuggling with the cats, and watching The Big Short.

 

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Oslo: #Not90MinutesNoIntermission

 

I’d mentioned a few weeks back that Kristen and I had bought a bunch of tickets on TDF after the Tony Nominations were announced and one of those shows was Oslo at Lincoln Center. It had a great cast and it was historical. How could it be bad?

Oh yeah, it was three hours long.

Should we get large coffees at Joe beforehand so we’re properly caffeinated?” I’d texted Kristen that morning. She concurred and with large cold brews in hand, we walked over to the Vivian Beaumont. We took our seats in the orchestra, off right of center. The seats were, once again, fantastic. TDF is really killing it lately in that sense. Although it must be mentioned that there’s literally not a bad seat in that theatre. I’ve sat in all of the sections, top and bottom, and they’re all good. A few minutes after 2pm, the incomparable Jefferson Mays walked onto the stage and the lights shifted.

In case you’re living under a rock, Oslo is about the Olso Accords that took place in Oslo (duh) from 1992-1993. Given that I was 6 years old when this happened, and we all know how anything we weren’t responsible for directly is skimmed over in the US school system, I was unaware of everything that went down.

Mays played Terje Rod-Larsen, a Norweigian sociologist and politician, who had a method for conflict resolution that he greatly wanted to attempt to use to solve the conflict between Israel and Palestine. His wife, Mona (the fabulous Jennifer Ehle) worked at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and together they worked “in developing the back-channel communications that (reportedly) saved the Oslo negotiations from collapsing.” Because despite what our current president might think, it’s pretty hard to negotiate peace in the Middle East and the US and major world powers in 1992 were attempting the same thing and fucking it up royally. His theory was, I believe, that it was more affective for people only associated with two side’s governments to be at the table, rather than the government officials themselves.

It’s incredibly sad to see how hard people worked on this and then how quickly it all fell apart. The last sequence is the cast onstage together reciting the events that lead to the atrophying of the peace agreements and the eruption into the chaos that we know it is today.

Besides Mays and Ehle, Michael Aronov, Anthony Azizi, Dariush Kashani, and Daniel Oreskes all gave powerful performances as the people who involved in the actual negotiations.

But let’s get back to the length for one second. This was by far the quickest 3 hours in a theatre that I’ve ever experienced. I sat through (the slightly longer) August Osage County and that felt lightyears longer than Oslo. Oslo was so engaging that I was never, ever, even for one second bored. I never flipped through my Playbill or checked my watch. THAT’S how you know you’re experiencing a solid piece of theatre.

Oslo just won the Outer Critics Circle Award and I bet that’s not the last award it will win this season, at least I hope not. This is a simple, yet thoroughly engaging production on a timely AF topic with a top notch cast. Get your tickets.

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My Fair Lady Will Return to Broadway in 2018

My first response to this: Must we REALLY? Then I thought about it for a minute, and I’m all, OK, fine. This hasn’t been on Broadway in a few decades and it is a very Lincoln Center-esque show to produce. To say this show is old fashioned is an understatement (IMHO). 

I read through the script the summer after my senior year of high school. We were going to do it at a theatre that I’d performed at the two summers prior and when the production didn’t come to fruition, I was relieved. I wasn’t a fan of the music and I’d rather watch Pygmalion > My Fair Lady any day of the week. Did I mention that it’s long? Yes, it’s long. It’s your average two and a half hour (forty five minutes?) musicals and that’s way too long for this.

I’m interested to see who they cast but I doubt I’ll be seeing it (unless it’s for free) because there are many other things more worthwhile for me to be doing with my time (like sleeping, for example). 

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This Week’s Adoptable Cuties 

 In addition to volunteering at the Petco on 100th, I’ve also been volunteering with another organization at the Petco on 92nd and Broadway. They’ll usually have 3-4 cats, max, but this week they only have two. 

Hillary (tabby in the first photo) was feisty. She had no desire to be pet or played with but she loved to stick her paw through the holes in the plexiglass to try to swipe at my hand. 

 Tiramisu, the beautiful black cat on the right, was the sweetest and most affectionate cat I’ve ever met. She was adopted and then returned once her elderly owner became ill and couldn’t manage to take care of her properly anymore. Super sad. But she’s gorgeous, so I know she’ll get scooped up soon. (Luckily, for me, she hates other cats, so I can’t be tempted to adopt her!)  

Go to their Saturday event and meet these awesome felines! They’ll be at the Petco on 92nd and Broadway.

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Guster is officially old enough to rent a car.

When I’d purchased my solo ticket to Guster’s annual Thanksgiving tour stop at the Beacon Theatre, I’d completely forgotten that it was their 25th anniversary until I showed up to the theatre. When I arrived and saw the displays of all their old tour tshirts, drum sticks, backstage passes, etc. It was super neat. I sat down in my seat and waited for the show to begin, after the opener, The Pisapia Love-In, who was pretty fun, but let’s be honest, we were there to see Guster. The lead singer did come back out during Guster’s set to sing a few songs with them which was fun (1st photo)I sat down just to promptly stand back up the moment they came out. Everyone in the Beacon was excited to be there and so were they. Guster has three main groups of fans: families who have been fans for forever, bros, and nerds. I had a family of four sitting in front of me and their youngest daughter slept through the entire thing. Amazing. 

Ryan announced at the beginning that they were going to play all night and play the longest concert they ever played, and we all cheered, but we knew there were rules. In the end, they ended up playing for about 2.5 hours. A generous concert, indeed! They even brought up one of their oldest fans (in the fourth photo) who has seen them hundreds of times and always makes a point to be super honest and critical about how their performance was. 

They also brought out a choir from Long Island to sing a few songs with them. “We thought it might be fun to have a choir and then my manager goes, ‘I know this choir on Long Island but their audience is mainly the 60-70 year olds,’ and I go ‘Look no further! That is exactly what we’re going for!’” But the choir added a fun element to Empire State and Jesus on the Radio

The entire setlist (here) was a good time and I had a great time rockin’ out for two and a half hours. I hope they stick together long enough to celebrate their 50th. I will definitely be there. 

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Gratitude List

I have an alert set on my phone that goes off nightly as a reminder to make a mental list of things I’m grateful for that day. Thanksgiving Day was yesterday and I’ve just gotten done eating a second plate of leftovers today. I’m grateful for that today.

I took the train out to my parent’s house yesterday for an early dinner with most of my mom’s side of the family. A cousin’s fiance commented on my plate above, “Wow, you’re going to eat all of that?!” I’m thankful to have the self control not to punch you in the face. There was lots of talk about the election. I’m thankful that it’s over. I was thankful to see my family, who I hadn’t seen since before I went to Poland. I was also thankful to have the chance to play with their 12-week-old kitten. She’s weighs a whole four pounds now. And she’s cray-cray. 

I stayed the night and left early this morning to return to my apartment for a day of relaxing with Playbill, watching Confirmation on HBO Go and another episode of The Crowns, and tonight I’m going to see Guster at the Beacon Theatre. 

There are still two days left to the holiday weekend. I hope the rest of the weekend has yoga and coffee in it. 

Oh, Hello! (aka We Laughed So We Wouldn’t Cry.)

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Little did Kristen and I know that when we purchased our tickets to Oh, Hello! how much we would need a laugh that night. It was the day after the election and we were in shock, like much of the country. I’d been told that it was about two old guys talking about theatre for 90 minutes. I thought this sounded great – like The Drowsy Chaperone minus the plot line with Sutton Foster. Just perfect. 

I have to say, we laughed our asses off. The irreverent, inappropriate humor written by Nick Kroll and John Mulaney was just what was necessary to end such a depressing day. Now before you come at me and ask why it’s OK for a Broadway show to include crude and somewhat-racist humor but not our President-Elect, I’ll tell you: These comedians weren’t (and aren’t) running for president of one of the most powerful countries in the world. Thank you very fucking much.

It’s the day after the election and Donald Trump has just won. LET THAT SINK IN.

I can’t remember any of the jokes now, and I’m pretty sure at least 50% of the show is improvised. They commented on the election apologizing in advance to people who thought they’d have a night of escapism after it, but no such luck. They categorized the audience as theatre nerds, New Yorkers, tourists, and “old men who haven’t admitted to their wives who they’d voted for yet.” They played two old men who shared an apartment on UWS, one of whom is a “Tony Award-viewing playwright.” 

I had no idea that there was a special guest that they interview each night, but there was and it was Geraldo Rivera, who is a friend of Trump’s and it was perfect. 

I had no idea what kind of humor I was getting myself into when I walked into the theatre that night but I’m sure glad I walked in because I needed it. Mulaney and Kroll were fucking incredible at improv comedy, and acting, too. I hope to see them again onstage in the near future. 

This is the one show on Broadway that had me walking away thinking, “You know, I really want to see that AGAIN,” because I’m sure it’s different every night. As are all shows, because that’s what’s so amazing about the theatre. 

Still Breathing.

If I’ve been a little quiet the last couple of weeks it’s because a) the atrocity of the election, and b) I was laid off two weeks ago. The first part of that sentence makes me way more sad than the second part. 

My layoff was not really a surprise. There was a hiring freeze, so there was no recruiting to be done, and running the office and HR for a staff of 15 was not a full time job. Honestly, I was bored and just sticking around so I wouldn’t look like I was jumping around again on future resumes. The office felt cold for the last few months. But I do miss most of my colleagues. They were (are) a good group. 

Since I have savings, I decided to take a week off before I dove into job hunting 100% and after the election on Tuesday night, I could not have been happier to not have to show my face to the world or be forced to talk to people in an office. The Democrats fucked up and nominated a bad candidate (not saying she was unqualified, just not a good candidate because she was too strongly disliked). I never thought Clinton had it in the bag, despite what polls told us, and my deepest fears were confirmed that the American people are, collectively, pretty stupid. Clinton included. She didn’t even GO to Wisconsin. Come on. 

How did I cope on Wednesday? I ordered a Trump cat toy off Amazon so she could scratch his face off and went to yoga. 

The toy didn’t go as planned. She likes to sleep with it. I pretend she’s smothering it.

I’ve spent the last two weeks going to yoga daily, cooking, sending out resumes, chatting with recruiters, and hanging out with my cat (her birthday is tomorrow, so I’ll tell her you all say happy birthday). I’m also shocked at how much fun unemployment is with a cat. Speaking of cats, I’m volunteering with a few adoption organizations to clean and feed cats who are waiting to be adopted at the UWS Petcos. This is also fun. And kind of sad. I might adopt 5 more cats. Who knows. No promises.  

And while contemplating my next steps, given my savings and severance, I’m considering doing a 200-hour yoga teacher training course in January with one of my favorite teachers. I don’t know if I necessarily want to teach yoga, but it’s been a constant thing in my life for so many years now and I want to deepen my understanding of the practice. So, I might sign up for that and do temp work until then to keep myself afloat. 

Lastly, I’ve been sucking at this blogging thing lately. I’m still backlogged on my Poland posts and I have so many things that I could just ramble about. So, I’m going to try write once a day if it kills me. Starting today, starting now. Here’s to post #1!

(Really, lastly, don’t forget to donate to Planned Parenthood.)

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Election Day 2016

My polling place on the upper west side was busier than it ever has been before! I went by around 8:45am and luckily, I only had to wait around 20 minutes or so, but I hear it got bad in certain parts of my ‘hood. Hopefully everyone voted!

I spent my day in meditation, then a kundalini yoga class, then I cooked lunch, followed by catching up with a friend that I hadn’t seen in a while, and then we went to an Urban Zen yoga class. Everything was about stress reduction and it was lovely.

This election has been awful. Donald Trump is an atrocious excuse for a human being with some (emphasis on the word some) of the most awful, racist, misogynist supporters out there. But for those supporters who aren’t the bottom of the barrel, I get it. Sort of. You want lower taxes and you don’t want the country flooded with immigrants from cultures that don’t easily or at all assimilate. I don’t agree with the lower taxes for all. I believe that the super wealthy should start paying their fair share (again). But we’ve been seeing how loads of immigrants haven’t been assimilating into European countries and so it’s understandable and reasonable that some Americans don’t want that here.

That said, I’m not giving the nuclear code to a man who is so volatile that questions about his statements regarding a beauty pageant winner send him on Twitter rants at 3am. He is attention deficit disordered narcissistic misogynist fuckwit. I know people like him because he has no experience in government, but that is not a plus for me.

So, I empathize with the other side, but truly, I hope he loses. I hope we can wake up tomorrow to a world where it is no longer unimaginable for a little girl to dream to be president one day. HRC has a ton of baggage and is not perfect by any means, but she’s what we got so I hope she wins.

Now watch your alcohol intake tonight, please. 

Ghost Tour in My ‘Hood

The day I left for Poland, I convinced J to buy tickets for the UWS Ghost Walking Tour on Halloween because I love walking tours (I did, like, 8 in Poland) and especially ghost ones! On Halloween nonetheless.

We met at the “Ghostbusters” building at 55 Central Park West (you know, the one Sigourney Weaver lives in) and there was one other person there, as well as our tour guide, an older man wearing a cape and a black hat. He looked the part, for sure.

During the 90 minute tour, we weaved through the streets from 65th and Central Park West back to 72nd and Central Park West. First we took a detour along 69th Street between Central Park West and Amsterdam. The neighborhood association shuts down the street every year and goes really insane. It was quite the scene to walk through. There are some photos after the jump…

Back to the Ghost Tour: It was a ghost tour along with some history thrown in. We saw the Masonic Temple on West 73rd Street; we heard a story about a single woman who lived at 234 West 72nd Street and liked to pick up men at the bar across the street and once was killed by one of them in that apartment; we heard the history of the grand Ansonia. Our guide also pointed out that the first ever automobile accident was at the corner of 74th and Central Park West where someone was hit by a car while getting out of a horse-drawn carriage. Supposedly if you stand in the middle of the street, you’ll feel the hand of the man who was killed pulling you back towards the sidewalk. The townhouses on the north side of 73rd Street were designed by Henry Hardenberg, who designed The Dakota and later The Plaza. Our guide also pointed out the building where supposedly the first rock’n’roll song was ever recorded in this country (”Rock Around the Clock”) and it later became condos and home to Lady Gaga’s parents and later Lady Gaga. He said he likes to think the spirits of those musicians had something to do with her musical talents. 

We ended at my favorite building in New York City – The Dakota. If you’ve seen Rosemary’s Baby, you’ll recognize it. It’s the only movie that was ever permitted to film inside the building. I watched with envy as we stood outside, listening to ghost stories, and watching the occasional resident run inside. Edward Clarke, the original owner of the building who died two years before it was finished, still haunts the building, we were told. There’s also the ghost of John Lennon, of course. And the ghost of a crying woman who can occasionally be seen.

The tour was less informative than some other walking tours I’ve been on, but it was still the perfect way to spend a chilly Hallow’s Eve.