Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Mrs. Incredible Photo Gallery






Mrs. Incredible


This is the best photo I got so far. I wish it had the entire boot. I should have asked the coned guy who pulled over just to take my photo, to email the one that he took...rats.

Jack o Lantern



My daughter thinks that I carved this face into the pumpkin she is holding...she has a good imagination.

No such thing as a free lunch?

Tomorrow is the big second round for the music school for my darling daughter. Not gonna think about that right now.

Ironically, tomorrow is also the day that I am taking a business lunch with the Dean of the School of Music at DePaul University. My, how swanky. Ever since his office contacted me to set up this lunch, I have been thinking about my experience at DePaul.

As soon as I got there in 1997, I realized that I was in the wrong place. I was in the vocal performance program which focused completely on opera, and I had no aspirations to be an opera singer. My last year there I finally switched to a teacher that understood that. So, she gave me really great classical training but applied it to my voice and my style of singing. She taught me to mix for Broadway so well, that people think I can belt much higher than I actually do.

I was not an operatic stand-out at the school, nor did I want to be. I didn't practice enough, I didn't care enough because I was not passionate about opera. I explored musical education as a pursuit, but realized I was not passionate about that either. I finally settled on music/business because it was the shortest path out of there (I graduated in 3 years), I had a mind for business, and I could begin focusing on what I really wanted to do, which was audition and act/sing in the theatre.

Many of my fellow music students who were still in the vocal performance track started taking a master class from Catherine Malfitano. Catherine and her class were a major talking point among the students, and I just couldn't get excited about her b/c I wasn't pursuing opera...so I didn't sign up for the class, I just went along my music/business way.

My senior (really junior) year I was finally cast in a role in the opera, with a primarily acting role (and one teeny tiny short very small singing part). This was where I found the comedienne inside of me. Even though I had a small part, I must have stood out because all of a sudden I was getting attention from professors, deans, and you know who. Catherine called me and invited me to be a part of her class. I stupidly said NO. At the time, I think I just thought it was too much work, and I already knew everything that she could teach me...but that was an adolescent perspective, and I wish I had just gone and tried to have been open-minded about what she could offer me.

I was flattered that with my small part and few lines, that I stood out, and that call from her actually gave me a lot of confidence, and knowledge that upon graduation, I really should pursue my dream of being an actress. So, away I went.

I must be doing ok if the Dean wants to take time out of his busy NYC trip to wine and dine me (take me to lunch with my two kids in tow), and catch up on one of his not-so-standing-out-while-attending-Depaul alumni. I guess maybe I have had one or two accomplishments that are worthy of free lunch!

Monday, October 30, 2006

Halloween Stock


I have written about stock photography before, if you want a refresher, click here. Last Halloween my girls and I did some stock around a Halloween theme. It was really fun and festive, especially because it was time-appropriate. The Christmas photoshoots are always in July or October or January (when all the wardrobe is cheaper), so it feels a little strange.

Anyway, this shoot was really fun, and I recently found one of the shots from this photoshoot in a Sears Portrait Studio Ad:

I remember feeling less than cute at this photo shoot. I was ok with my hair and makeup, just not my body...my baby was about 6 months old, but I still needed to lose about 10 pounds, so I was feeling a little blah...but I had fun nevertheless. It was on this photoshoot that I learned a friend of mine was getting her long-awaited daughter. I remember sitting at the kitchen table of the house where we were shooting and hearing all about the last-minute-ness of adopting a baby from out of state...it was exciting.

Here are a few more of my fave shots...fake Dad and all:





Friday, October 27, 2006

CD Shipment

No fair. My mother received the first shipment of my CD's today. I had 3/4 of them sent to her house, and the rest to mine. I will be making several appearances in my hometown of Naperville, IL in December. I am hoping to sell a large portion of my albums at a few of those events, so this is why she gets a large portion to store in her much-larger-then-my-apartment house.

She said the return address was Terra Haute, so I am guessing that my shipment is probably just a day behind hers. She opened one and played it, and looked at it, and it all seemed fine, so I don't think they need to be sent back! She listened to the track of my 4-year-old daughter and me singing Mother, Tell Me the Story, first, and called me crying. That is a super-good mom/grandma thing to do...I am pretty sure she was sincere.

I am still so involved in the business side of this that it is hard for me to make that emotional connection to it. I am not quite sure how to feel about it yet. I think it was a great moment for my mom to have heard about it, heard just a few tracks of it, seen a few drafts of the artwork, and then to have 8 huge boxes delivered to her door, pull one out, touch it, feel it, see it and listen to it. I think she was proud of me in that moment...and I can understand that...I am just not quite there yet.

My coping mechanism my entire life has always been to pick a moment in the future, and think about it. When I was growing up, almost every night it was to lay there and think about my wedding day. It was always extremely abstract, blurry, generic, but it was just the feeling I was after. When I have a lot going on I will think about something in the future that will make me happy. Right now, I keep thinking about Christmas Day or January 1st.

I know that on Christmas I will be surrounded by my family, and the LONG crazy month that will be December, will be past me. I know on January 1st I will be looking at a clean slate of a year...and it won't be full yet. My friends and family know that I completely thrive on chaos....and I do...but every once in a while I need to go to my happy place, and right now, that is about 2 months in the future. In the meantime, I am going to try to enjoy this ride of performances, events, selling, promoting, and trying to look and sound fabulous. And I have a feeling, that on one of those two "happy place days" I will finally realize what I have achieved, and I might just have a very specific feeling about that, but for now, I will enjoy how my mom felt today when she had that very special delivery. Let the selling begin!

It continues...

Yesterday was a rollercoaster of a day. First my baby was having "one of those mornings" that usually result from waking up prematurely (5:40 AM), and again, not having her precious bottle. After a lot of screaming and tantrumming, I decided that she would not accompany me on my adventures, and would instead go to the handy dandy day care down the street.

I explained to the teachers that she had a mild form of coxsackie virus, and not to worry about it. I was so happy to be free of her, and then the phone call came. A half hour later they called and said they had done some research and it is contagious for two weeks and to come get her. I almost started to cry. I was looking forward to a morning alone, and now I had to bring her with me.

Turns out, it was a blessing in disguise. My go-see was near Times Square and so I decided to stop by Toys R Us so that the baby could run around, and so that I could check out a few things for pre-Christmas shopping. We walked in and I picked up their SALE flyer, and found a few photos of kids I had wrangled. Then, as we walked through the store I remembered that my older daughter had done a Toys R Us job. I asked the sales girl about the product, and lo and behold...it was there in the store.

50 dollars later, I not only have my daughter, the stroller and my heavy handbag...but an awkward, large box of dress-up that I did not need. Why? b/c my daughter was on the box...

I had a plan though. I would take it home ever so carefully, scan the cardboard cover, snap a few photos of my daughter, and return it. Perfect. And that's what we did:


Then just about a half an hour after the photo was snapped, another call came. This time it was Martin at the Special Music School. I got that glunk in my stomach that happens to me whenever I get an unexpected phone call. Martin called to invite my daughter to a second "music class" at the Special Music School next Wednesday. Yup, the morning after Halloween folks, they really want to test her don't they!

I am so happy. And I am so glad that this is going so fast so that it can be over, and I can know her fate. I told her about it and she had a non-reaction. Just sat there and kept doing her homework. So, that's a good sign too.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Website Updates

I made some updates to my website today. There will be more to come, but nothing too major until the new year. I added some clips and some pages and finessed the links page etc. Enjoy.

Third Person Thursday

She tried so hard to be on time that morning. She arrived 15 minutes before she wanted to get there, but she was waiting on the wrong floor. By the time she figured that out, she was one minute late. She rushed up the two flights to get to the RIGHT floor. She had been doing a good job of keeping her cool and composure under the stress, but to be late made her very flustered.

The school was very organized, and being one minute late meant her daughter was bumped from the 10:40 group to the 11:00 group. She and her daughter went into the holding room with the other kids and moms. They played legos until it was time for her daughter to attend her music class...which was really an audition for kindergarten.

She took a seat and started talking A LOT to another mom nearby. She realized while she was doing it that talking is how she deals with her nerves. If she talks fast and furiously, the energy leaves through her mouth instead of through the shakes. She was making friendly banter with the mom when the topic of work came up. She did a lot of print work, the mom she was talking to, worked for a Travel Magazine. They exchanged words about the industry, editorial work, the magazine, and covered a lot of ground about each others' jobs.

A second mom came and sat down on her other side. Her son was having issues with leaving her company. To distract her from her dissappointment, she started talking to the second mom. She learned that she worked at Morgan Stanley, but that was about it because then her son started acting up again, and she left the room.

She looked around the room, and then lit upon the first mom that she had already had quite a conversation with and asked: "What do you do?"

The mom stared at her for a second and then said: "I work for a travel magazine" in this "what-are-you-kidding-me-we-just-talked-about-what-I-do-for-15-minutes-are-you-a-total-nut-job?" tone of voice.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Costume Clue...the final



Costume Clue #3

Costume Clue #2

Costume Clue #1

Trippy TW3 Moment



Yesterday I noticed my daughter was watching The Suite Life of Zach and Cody. There was an older woman on who immediately seemed so familiar to me. I decided that I thought she was on Days of Our Lives. I looked up the episode of Suite Life on the IMDB and her name popped up as Millicent Martin.

I thought….not the same Millicent Martin that was the original TW3 (That was the week taht was) girl? I scrolled down….indeed it was….she was on Days of our Lives as well, but I just couldn’t believe the coincidence. And even though I knew who the young Millicent Martin was, I had never made the connection with the older version.

See, I was the new TW3 girl a few years back. It was short-lived, but nevertheless it did occur, and I watched her tapes to study up on what it meant to be the TW3 girl. I hope that I continue to follow in her footsteps, because she has had a great career, and I think my grandkids would think I was pretty cool if I was making appearances on the Disney channel in my seventies…

To watch a clip, click here, and scroll down.


Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Virtual Shout Out

This past weekend I spent a lot of time outside of the home having a fun time with some friends. My husband graciously and willingly took time off of work so that he could parent our children solo. I had a guilt-free, stress-free long weekend that was really refreshing for me. Thank you so much for helping out with not only your own children, but our daughter's friend too.

It has been a little slow in the auditions department lately, but I am glad because I had a pretty bad cold that is just now getting better, and I need a little recovery time from lack of sleep and too much partying.

I am on vocal rest again. Yesterday went well, mostly because I tried to stay indoors and away from social interaction. Today will be more difficult because I have a doctor's appointment for the little one and I need to make headway on a few items of business that require telephone calls...maybe I will push them off for one more day.

The thing about vocal rest is that you have to fully commit to it. You can allow for NO exceptions, no "HI!"'s, "How are you?"'s, no laughing...nothing...or else you will make exceptions all day long and pretty soon you are just talking all day. Yesterday was fun because my baby started talking a little bit more, I am sure just to hear some noise! She has recently discovered our LIttle Tikes karaoke machine, and she loves to "sing" into the microphone to hear herself.

Speaking of karaoke, this is one of the reasons my voice is fried. Saturday night I co-hosted a Karaoke Baby Shower for my girlfriend at Gagopa Karaoke in Koreatown. It was so much fun, and utterly taxing. I sang Hero, You Oughta Know (forgot about the bad words in that one....made up new ones), Dancing Queen, and I am sure something else, but I have little recollection...and all I drank was water...

Anyway, it was good times, and here is a photo that captures the magic:

Yes, I have turquoise eye shadow on one eye, and pink on the other. A crazy makeup technique I had been wanting to try all summer, and this outfit, and that night was the perfect opportunity.

CD Sales are still going well...I have been given a ship date of Oct. 26th, so I should have them in hand by November 1st!

Monday, October 23, 2006

Unfortunate Candles

My mom decorates the house in a different theme every month. Growing up, some time during the first week of the month, we would come home from school and the house would be transformed. January-snowmen, February-Valentines March-St. Pats April-Easter (though sometimes this was tricky depending on when Easter hit), May--can't remember June-probably something summery, July-red, white blue, Aug-can't remember, Sept-back to school, and the last three months are obvious. The last three months are also the most outrageous.

When I went home that first weekend of October, I smiled when I walked right into a 3 inch ghost that she always suspends from an archway...ever since I can remember that little ghost has swung from an archway somewhere. I love it. I don't decorate to the same extent in my home (apt), but I LOVE that my mom does it. Christmas...forget about it...it's like going to Macy's Santaland...but better.

My mother of course has a hard time resisting said decorations when she is out and about shopping with her friends, so each year there is usually a little something new or different. A few years ago it was candles. I walked into the family room, sat down and looked at her new Halloween candles and I gasped. It doesn't take a dirty mind to see why I might have gasped...I expressed what I thought the candles looked like and my mother was aghast as well...especially when my Dad was quick to agree. I guess he hadn't said anything before...I blurted it out.

Oh my...it was hilarious. And despite my making fun of the candles, they are still up...going on three years now. I love it.


Sunday, October 22, 2006

Pumpkin Business


Even at the pumpkin patch, business must go on.

Friday, October 20, 2006

60 bucks...

What could I do with 60 extra bucks in my budget?

~Lunch out, heck, dinner out.
~take my daughter to the Bronx zoo with her class (30 dollars for her, 30 dollars for me...I know a rip off of a field trip)
~save it...sorry, burns a hole right through....thus my strict budget
~new toy for my kid
~new cds
~put it toward a new dvd player, since ours is on the rocks
~manicure/pedicure
~few hours of babysitting and a movie
~makeup
~jewelry
~new shoes
~haircut
~hair color
~christmas cards

No....I am feeling generous, so I bought a tiny little something for one of Oprah's Katrina homes, and stopped by the GAP to buy something RED.....have you bought your red today? I bought this, in raw indigo, and a pin for $1.00....LOVE IT....and I am helping to stop the spread of disease in Africa.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Third Person Thursday

She is on her hands and knees scrubbing the kitchen floor, which she faithfully scrubbed once a month when she had only one child. Now that she has two, it is more like once a year. She hears a "knock knock" at the door. "That's strange," she thinks. The only person who knocks is the landlady...or the superintendent, because she lives in a 3 floor walk-up and there is a buzzer outside the first floor door.

She gets up, removes her purple, non-latex "rubber" glove and goes to the door. "Who is it?" she inqures. No answer. She undeadbolts the door that she always has locked when she is inside the apartment, even though she rarely even locks her door when she leaves home, knowing the front door will be enough to keep the bad guys away. No one there. Hmmm, also strange.

She goes back to her scrubbing, and then again, the knock on the door. She again, stops what she is doing, removes her one glove and answers the door to an empty landing, silence all around. She shakes her head, re-deadbolts the door and goes back to her scrubbing.

This time when she hears the knock she sees that it is the scrub brush, in her very own right hand, knocking against the refrigerator door as she scrubs. "Wow," she thinks....just......wow.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

It begins...

Have you ever heard about the rat race that is education for your child in Manhattan? I hear stories and rumors about children being put on waiting lists for elite schools while they are still in utero. Public Schools are shunned, private schools lauded.

Since I live in Queens, I have ignored this situation. I know there has GOT to be a way to get your child educated without doing backflips, and spending a large fortune. So far, I have decided to go the private route. Reasons include: location of the school (7 minutes walking distance from my house), the tuition is the same as what I was paying for 2 days of daycare for my child, so no change to my budget, and the public schools do not guarentee spots for pre-K students. The last reason is the main reason that I signed up...I wanted to be sure she had a place to go this past fall.

I really like the school she attends. She always leaves in the morning with enthusiasm, and she is energized after school. She likes her classmates, and she loves learning. Starting with kindergarten, however, I am not interested in continuing with private education. I want to support the public schools.

However, not all public schools are created equal, so there is some manipulation that must occur in order to get my daughter in a school that is just right for her. My first plan of action started today. I found out about this really cool public school that has music lessons within the curriculum. They "audition" kids in the fall by having them attend a music class with 8 other kids, and then having a 10 minute individual assesment. The school advised the parents to tell their child they are attending a music class.

I told her about the class just a few days before it occurred, and she had little reaction to this news. This morning I was nervous...mostly because I wanted to be on time. I was 20 minutes early (they told us to be 15 minutes early). I signed in and asked: 2nd floor right? The front desk said yes.

I wondered why the other mom and child in the elevator did not get off on the same floor as us, but noticed there was a lot going on in the school, so they were probably on their way to something different. After sitting on a pretty abandoned floor for about 15 minutes, I made the phone call and found I was on the wrong floor. I raced up two flights of stairs (the elevator was slow), and walked into what was OBVIOUSLY the assesment registration. I explained I had been waiting on the wrong floor and they were really nice and just switched around a few kids, and got her into the NEXT class.

Since I wasn't the one auditioning today, I realized that when I am nervous/anxious/etc.... that I talk. I struck up a conversation with another mom, and learned a lot about her son in college, her job etc. It helped me to expell my nervous energy, and made the time pass quickly. After their 25 minute class we went downstairs to wait for the individual assesment. This time, I read books outloud for a few kids to help pass the time.

When it was all over I had to jet to New Jersey for a quick wrangling job, so it wasn't until tonight that I got to talk to my daughter. It took some nudging, but finally she told us in detail much of what happened in both the class and the individual assesment.

Based on what she reported, and what I experienced, I know she did her best. That is all I wanted. She was well-rested, healthy and courageous, and I am proud of her, no matter the result. Tonight was an open house to learn all about the school, but since we will know in 2 weeks whether or not she is progressing, I decided I will go to the NEXT open house, so that if she doesn't continue, I won't dwell on what I am missing...

I don't know how my mom handled the many auditions that I attended over the span of my life....I am certainly feeling crazy right now, wondering what the letter will say............

Amazing Internet

When I was 16 I met a boy while participating in all-state theatre. Kids from all around the state auditioned for a production, and the "best" kids were cast in the show as the ultimate in high school theatre. We practiced over long weekends about once a month from August to January, when we presented the show at Theatrefest at U of I. We were in Man of La Mancha. I played Antonia, and the boy played Sancho.

We became quite fond of each other rather quickly, and tried to "date" despite him living in a suburb of St. Louis, which was HOURS away from my home in the suburbs of Chicago. He suggested I get the internet, so that we could communicate via email.

I asked my parents about it and they just laughed...I remember I was standing in the loft area of our home which looks over to the family room below. It wasn't even up for discussion. I was ok with that b/c I didn't know what I was missing, but looking back on that moment...it feels like a very ancient story....the internet? are you joking? ......What is it?

That was 1996.

10 years later, a lot has changed. You might say I am co-dependant with the internet...weather, movie times, imdb database, online bill paying, itunes, email, blogging...the list goes on. The internet has some scary parts to it of course...and being out here in the public domain puts me in a vunerable position I am sure, but so far so good.

Today I got an email from Lorraine in Louisiana, who saw me in a Nuvaring Commercial, who did this google search: nuvaring and haircut. I just did the search, and this blog does not come up until page 14. So Lorraine from Louisiana had to search through 14 pages of search results, click on the Glass Posse September Archive link that page 14 provided for her, make her way to my OTHER website, and find my email on the last page of that website, in order to contact me.

Wow. This girl wants new hair bad.

But seriously...how awesome is that that she could find me? How scary amazing is the internet?

And just a quick note to Sancho...I am glad that we didn't have email, because it was fun talking on the phone, and getting the occasional videotaped message delivered to me by the United States Postal Service.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Costume Clue #3


Please excuse the schmutz on my kitchen counter. My camera can see better than me I guess...
Costume Clue #2

Costume Clue #1

Monday, October 16, 2006

First CD Sold

There have been a few "fans" that have requested that they be the one to buy the first cd. Sorry guys....I just sold my first one TODAY. I put a BUY button on my website for pre-sales. There were many reasons for this including actually getting packaging ready, and getting some out of the way before the Christmas rush (that I am of course hoping will occur).

I have not publicized it at all, but a friend of mine from Arizona must have been popping by my website today, and she clicked on BUY, and now I have her money and she has a promise to have a cd in just a few weeks.

When I saw the email in my inbox that I had made the sale, I got tears in my eyes. I wasn't expecting this reaction at all. In that moment though, I realized what a long winding road it has been to produce a CD from start to middle. I am nowhere near the end yet, but this middle place is the scary place b/c it is all about: What now?

I also got a tear because I really appreciate the support from her, and the obvious enthusiasm of someone willing to pre-order a Christmas cd in early (oh yeah, middle, halfway through yes!) October. I am going to address your cd mailer right now Ms. L.

Damn you Pampered Chef knife

October 16th....ahhhh, halfway through my cursed month. I was going to write that it is going pretty good, but let's face it, it hasn't gone well yet. It's a good thing I love October, or it would be very difficult to face it every year. If February was my cursed month, I would be sunk....all that cold and snow and nothing to look forward to but lame old Valentine's Day...

Yes, I swore yesterday, and on the Sabbath and everything. No, I don't swear much, and usually when I do it is not as benign as DAMN. But yesterday, that was the word that came out. I got these new paring knives from my friend's PC party. They are called quikut and they are not kidding. At first I thought they were really dull b/c I was having a difficult time cutting my cooked broccoli (for chicken and broccoli casserole, one of my faves), but then realized I was using the wrong side....ha ha ha. Turns out they are sharp little suckers.

For dinner, I decided the baby would enjoy a mango, and as soon as I started peeling it saw that it was not the ripest mango in the world. I decided to try my new paringf knife on it, and whoops, there went the tip of my finger. I am not sure what happened next, I think I just screamed a bunch. My husband came running to my aid and took care of everything. It took him a while to find ALL the blood.....my finger was gushing pretty good. I asked if I needed stitches and he didn't think so. It is not so much deep, as it is large. It is like a dime-sized piece of skin that I skimmed off the surface of my left pointer finger. HOLY OUCH!

So....I have never cut my finger like that...EVER....and it is because it's October. And that is why this stupid cold I have is going on 1 week old....I mean come on....a cold, lasting THAT long?

I have been listening to Oprah and Friends on XM radio, and I heard a tidbit from Dr. Maya Angelou on Saturday and she talked about whiners and complainers in her Dr. Maya Angelou very poetic way....but the basic gist was: Stop whining....at least you're alive. So, I am going to stop whining now that I have gotten it out, and look forward to the rest of my day, which includes my friend N-Dawg coming over to help me with some finishing touches on my totally rockin' awesome Halloween Costume.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Pumpkin Pancakes



Ingredients:
1 C. flour
1 T. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 C milk
1/2 C. canned pumpkin
2 eggs, separated
2 T. oil

Directions:
Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl; set aside. In a separate bowl, blend together milk, pumpkin, egg yolks and oil. Mix well. Add pumpkin mixture to flour mixture all at once, stirring until just blended. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form, then gently fold into pancake batter. Spoon onto heated griddle. Delicious! You can add chocolate chips, but we didn't. We had ours with maple syrup, however, they do recommend:
Apple Cider Syrup which is:
3/4 C apple cider
1/2 C brown sugar, packed
1/2 C corn syrup
2 T margarine
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until sugar dissolves and mixture is bubbly. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes or until mixture is reduced to one cup. Let stand 30 minutes to thicken.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Friday, the 13th

I am not superstitious. It has never bothered me when the 13th was a Friday. However, it is my cursed month, so it has given me pause today. Only a pause. Now it's gone, and I can post about what's really on my mind.

I have found myself reading a lot lately. Ever since my reading binge during my solo trip to California, I have been reading. In the past two months I have read Angels & Demons, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Pillars of the Earth and Balzac and the little Chinese Seamstress. I know it doesn't seem like much, but when I only read on the subway train when I happen to be on it alone, that's a lot of pages...Pillars has nearly 1000 pages.

I do enjoy reading, but I am also reading in order to avoid. I am avoiding the thoughts in my brain that can bring me down and turn me inside out. I have a lot going on right now, and when I sit down to work on everything it is fun, energizing and exciting. However, when I am sitting on a train with nothing else to distract me (yes, people watching wears off after 4 1/2 years here), I start thinking, and that can be dangerous and overwhelming.

So, to avoid my head hurting and my eyes rolling back into my head, I pull out my book and escape the chaos for just a few minutes. Last year I did The Artist's Way and the author/instructor required us to give up reading for an entire week, so that we could be alone with our thoughts, and our inner artist could communicate with us and lead us down the right artistic path. This particular chapter came at a devestating time because I was on vacation and I was about 50 pages into the new installment of Harry Potter. But I did it, I stopped reading for a week, and I listened to the voices, and now look at me, I am on the cusp of debuting my first album!

Today I must choose a new book to read. Last weekend at my mom's house I went book shopping b/c she has a lot of books. I brought home Balzac & the Little Chinese Seamstress (check), Bee Season, Ahab's Wife, The Namesake, and the Patron Saint of Liars. On my bookshelf I have The Fountainhead (given to me by a friend in high school YEARS ago...I think he was trying to tell me something, but 10 years later I still haven't cracked it).

I will stare long and hard at these books and listen the inner voices just long enough to help me choose which one to read...and try to avoid any bad luck situations on this Friday, the 13th!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ya ha ha ha ha..........

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Happy Face


See the happy face that is etched in the side of the car? My daughter picked up a few rocks at the pumpkin patch the other day and very proudly drew a smily face along with some squiggles and wiggles on the side of the car.

Look Mom!
My response: Your father is going to flip his lid.

Luckily he didn't. In fact, he found it to be pretty funny and circulated this photo all over his workplace. Oh, he works for General Motors, and yes, it is a company car.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

My niece loves me....or maybe it's just gas


Here we are...5 weeks into her miracle life. It was great to meet you little one.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Adventure Tuesday

Today was full of adventures. I had some unique experiences today. It started with a 4-hour job for Dudley Publications. They are the guys that put together all the photos for the albums you look at when you are picking your hair cut out at the salon, or in those hair magazines. Last time I worked for them was in April 2004. Here are a few of the photos:



Today I was photographed with a sleeky, straight bob, and then with a set that was very mod...sort of 60's. The hair gurus for my photos were Paul Kenneth himself, and his team. They are in Boston, and were really nice people. I love salon people, they are so supportive of each other, in the name of beauty.

After that I rushed home to fix my hair and makeup so that I went from 60's mod to a young mom, for a Sprint PCS go-see. My husband was kind enough to take a half day at work so that he could watch the kids for the afternoon. The go-see was one of the weirdest I have been to. They herded us in a room of about 5 people, in groups of 4, and they made literally 2-second decisions on whether or not they even wanted to polaroid you. I was told this was a request, which usually means you are already being strongly considered. When I went in they did ask to look at my book, and BARELY looked at it, and then excused me. Bizarre to the max.

My audition this afternoon was for Office Depot, and this was fun. There were four to a group, and we were to make up our own choreography to their TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS/OFFICE DEPOT jingle. Luckily we had an experienced choreographer in our group, so she took charge...I was so glad. I think we did a good job, but mostly it was just really fun to sing and dance for about a half an hour this afternoon, with complete strangers.

In other news, a media distributor called and showed strong interest in distributing my album. Whether or not this deal comes to fruition, only time will tell. However, the positive thing about this is that people outside of the very involved/personal/tangled/hard-to-be-objective circle are taking notice and acknowledging that my album is worth listening to, marketing and selling! Yeah. Now I just need to get through the newest obstacles cropping up with replication...my poor graphic artist!!! Hang in there Marian.

The Nerd

I went to Naperville, IL this past weekend, for 21 1/2 hours, to see my baby sister in a play called The Nerd. She is a junior in high school and this was her first really big role. The past two years, she has showed her comic genius in speech competitions, writing and performing her own original comedy. The girl's got skeelz.

The play was hilarious. Baby sis was so good. She looked so cute in her 1982 costumes. All of the kids, and especially lil sis were so great at listening on stage, which is a really hard skill to acquire at a young age. As a result, all kinds of flubs (knocking over lamps, talking out of turn, general mayhem) were totally incorporated into the scene with ease. Lil sis was particularly great at her physical comedy...from subtle facial expressions to all out interpretive dance, imitating a mastodon, and an attempt to prevent a man from turning into a pig.

The entire cast had impeccable diction and projection, and some of the best chemistry I have ever seen in a high school production. As I was preparing to go, this thought came to mind: "Isn't it great that no matter how old you are...what you are doing is important?" I remember being in her position and taking it so seriously, and trying so hard to be as great as I could be. I am still that way today, but the scale is different and the stakes a bit higher. I could have easily laughed at a silly high school production and stayed at home living my very important, serious and professional life, but what for? It's all important, and I would not have missed it for a dozen of my very tasty iced pumpkin cookies.

The local newspapers are really great at supporting the community and educational productions. Two different papers covered The Nerd. Below are the photos that they published to advertise:



Ummm....guy on the left, are you serious? Like, do you REALLY want to attach your name to that photo? I tried to look at it from every different angle, and ignore the fact that it is a really bad photo of lil sis right dead center and out of focus, and I still can't see any artistic merit there. Guy on the right, that photo is a little stagnant as well, but at least it has a little more to look at.

I prefer this photo:


It's possible that I am a little biased b/c I took the photo, but nevertheless, it leaves a lot to ponder....why are they staring at the apple? Why is she wearing a fur coat indoors? Which one is The Nerd?

Enough criticizing. I am so glad that I went, even if there was a close call at losing some of my beloved cosmetics. Lil sis, you are going to do big things, and I am so excited to watch it all unfold.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Seriously?

This past weekend was the first time I have flown since the liquid bomb scare and subsequent changes in security. At LaGuardia airport I walked right through security onto the plane with no questions, comments or concerns. 21 1/2 hours later, at O'Hare, I had the exact same stuff, and my purse was chosen for a search.

The security officer put on his blue gloves and started unpacking my carefully packed very large purse. I had put the nonessential items at the bottom, the baby board books in a nice pile at the side, and the diapers and wipes near the top for easy access. Now my careful organization was thwarted as he went through my bag. I saw him going through my makeup bags and he pulled out 3 Mac lipglosses and an Yves Saint Laurent tube of mascara. Retail Value: $70.00

I of course am cringing, and I had already said I did not know what the new rules and regulations were. First they took away my water, I asked if I could just finish it off (b/c I get dehydrated on the plane and it was 5:07 AM, nothing was really open to purchase water), before they threw it away.....big fat NO. Now he is holding my lipglosses and mascara and I am sure he knows I am going to flip out. Another lady security guard was really nice telling me there was a solution. See, I had three pumpkin muffins, each in their own ziploc bag, in my purse (thanks mom), and they told me to take one of the muffins out, and put those 4 tubes of cosmetics inside one of them. So I did, and then I was free to go.

I think th real procedure is that you should come to the security line with your liquids separated and in a ziploc bag for individual x-ray/assessment, and of course I did not know this...but come on...I am not complaining b/c I saved myself 70 bucks, but seriously...put a ziploc bag around my cosmetics and now all of a sudden I am no longer a bomb threat...seriously? SERIOUSLY? Take a look at everything that I had in my two carry-on bags, and those 4 tubes were the bomb threats?


They even let my daughter keep her 9 oz. bottle, full of milk. Now again, I am not complaining, but if THIS is what our security system is doing, then what's the point? How much time did they waste going through my purse, and they didn't even find the purell? For sure, that would have gone in the trash, if my smallish waterbottle and even smaller lotion was tossed. I just don't get it.

Another thing I don't get is Con Ed. Last night they were back, we were without power for at least 4 hours, and my next door neighbor's carbon monoxide levels caused his alarm to go off, so now we have Con Ed workers searching every apartment with their CM meters. They were really nice, but again, what up? Why does the power going off in 6 buildings (that all touch each other), mean that Carbon Monoxide gets up to a level that the alarm goes off? Why is it that the Con Ed men were shocked when we all came out of apartments shouting... Who turned off the power? Why did it take so long to get it back on again? Why isn't the problem TRULY fixed yet? The entire community is just living on a patch job....

Anyway, America....gotta love it?

Friday, October 06, 2006

Sisters

This weekend I am flying to Chicago to see my lil sis in a play called The Nerd. Apparently she has a lead role, and I am really excited to see her in it. She is a comedienne. She competes in this speech category called ORIGINAL COMEDY and she writes a 10 minute piece and plays every character in it. She performed one of her comedy's about a zoo,at our family reunion, and it was pretty dang funny.

2 years ago she was also in the fall play at her high school, The Wizard of Oz. I think it was her first play, and since she is 11 years my younger, she had sat through A LOT Of my performances, so I wanted to surprise her and show up for hers. My sister, her husband and I all flew in/drove in the day of her play, unbeknownst to ANY of our other family members, and surprised everyone. It was probably the best surprise I have ever orchestrated..okay maybe the ONLY one.


You can see in the photo that she is crying, and pretty happy that we made it. She played one of the grumpy, apple-throwing trees, but she was also queen of the poppies and did this really beautiful ballet dance. Since it was a children's show, and they invite all the kids from the District's Elementary Schools, she wanted to be the tree for the autograph-signing portion of the evening.

This weekend it's not a surprise. Since it's such a short trip, I wanted everyone to be able to help me out with picking me up etc. I am also bringing my (now very large) lap baby, so that my older daughter and husband can have a daddy-daughter day. They are really looking forward to it. My other sister is coming again, and this time she will have an itty bitty baby with her, so I will get to meet my niece for the first time. It should be an adventure.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Quick and Simple



After visiting several Barnes and Nobles across the uptowns and downtowns of Manhattan, I finally just stopped by the offices of Quick and Simple to get my hands on a copy of the issue that I appeared in.

Some of you may recognize model mommy girl as my modeling counterpart. Bless her for fitting into those pants. I tried the striped ones on and they wouldn't even go past my thighs, let alone my hips. And I think I had a little photoshopping help on my legs on the right...oh how I love technology.

This was a fun shoot...although I hate modeling with flowers because I am pretty allergic to pollen. I guess that is why it's important to have an acting background when you do print work, so that you can ACT like you love flowers. (All that said in a silly and sarcastic tone of voice.) Where does the period go, inside the paranthesis or out? Man, I wish I had paid more attention during DOL. What does DOL stand for anyway? When I google it, I just get Dept. of Labor. Anyway, here are the shots.

Oh, got it....Daily Oral Language. Curse you DOL.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Head Stuck in a Gate

Today my daughter decided to put her head through two slats of a gate, while playing at her friend's house. She got stuck. They tried reversing the direction, rubbing her neck in olive oil, and finally some sort of pulley system worked. I think her friend's Dad attached ropes to the two rods that were trapping her, and pulled them away from her head, while she slid out.

When I arrived to pick her up, she seemed a-ok accept for some greasy hair and some redness near both of her ears. It was a nice image though...ones head stuck in a gate. This is how I feel about forgiveness...until you can forgive others, you feel like your head is stuck in a gate.

Yesterday I called a family member, who I needed to call years before, and to put it quite generically, I cleared the air. Even though it was a hard thing to do, I felt better afterwards, because I no longer harbor hard feelings. A friend reminded me that this week was the Jewish Holiday of Yom Kippur, and asked me if I was participating this year. I did a little research and found this on wikipedia:
Reconciliation with others
"The Day of Atonement absolves from sins against God, but not from sins against a fellow human unless the pardon of the offended person be secured" (Mishnah tractate Yoma 8:9). Hence the custom of terminating all feuds and disputes on the eve of the fastday..."

Just today I got another email from someone who wants to have a similar discussion. So, I guess everybody has the Yom Kippur spirit, whether they are Jewish or not. I think it is such a great tradition, maybe I will institute an annual: Let's clear the air DAY!

Today was really frustrating because I had appointments at 2 and 2:15, 19 blocks away from each other. I got to the 2 o clock at 1:28, hoping to be the first one in, leave at 2:01 and make my 2:15. At 2:02, I felt like I just had to go. I was third on the list, but they were showing no signs of starting. At 2:07 I was still waiting for the SLOWEST elevator in NYC (39 W 19th St....seriously, you have to allow at least 10 minutes of elevator time, every time you go there), not remembering that b/c of the elevator I should have left at 1:55. The guy who was second on the list came to the elevator and had just gotten his picture taken, so I was ticked because I could have gotten mine taken too, and STILL made the elevator. Oh well, I was 3 minutes late to my audition, which was more important anyway b/c it was for a commercial.

Now the children are asleep, and I can look forward to the season premiere of LOST and the reunion show of Project Runway. I HEART TIVO.

Hey, go get your heads unstuck....Happy Yom Kippur!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Yippee


Tomorrow I am sending my mastered album to the place where they make me a gajillion copies and then send them back to me. It is a great feeling, but this whole project that started earlier this year, feels FAR from over. In fact, it has just begun because now we need to get it into the hands of those who want to hear some Christmas music. Can I get a HOLLA? HOLLA! (that is my new fave thing to do to my 4 year old).

It is now the fourth quarter of the year. Everything I have been working on in 2006 has pointed to this set of 3 months-OCT, NOV and DEC. In the next 3 months I have a lot to accomplish. I am really excited because though I love the arts and creativity, I really thrive on business. My major was music/business and I can honestly say I loved both sides equally. I would love being an accountant almost as much as I love my adventures...seriously.

So now I am focusing on purchasing cd mailers, setting up my website to communicate correctly with paypal, organizing my emailing/mailing list, printing posters, postcards, finalizing my appearances, travel arrangements, wardrobe, networking, planning a party, and SPREADING the word. I also have to practice some time in there, for the concerts I am singing in, plan an ENTIRE concert for my church (Dec. 2nd), and finish my Halloween Costume. We might just skip Thanksgiving this year, accept for the parade, we MUST SEE THE PARADE!

I had a pretty bad slump this summer after my CA trip...I just wasn't feeling quite in the groove of my life...but things are looking up, and I am going to really try to enjoy every day for the next 3 months, because the chaos that will shortly ensue has been utterly and completely brought upon by myself. Your welcome self.

ps. photo is by Jan Cobb, for the photoshoot for Natural Born Charmer

Costume Clue #1


Monday, October 02, 2006

Park Ave & 59th St.


Park Ave & 59th St. We didn't make it across the double-wide street, so we sat down to wait for the walk sign, and I snapped a picture. We got to go out to dinner with two of my cousins tonight. One lives in Manhattan, and his oldest brother and his wife came to visit from Salt Lake City. It was a nice way to spend Family Home Evening. Usually my husband doesn't make it home in time for FHE, so I spend 5 to 30 minutes with the girls talking about a scripture story, singing songs and coloring. Tonight, while we walked to the dinner we sang a few songs, and as we walked home my husband told our girls the story of Baby Moses. So, I would say it was a successful Family HOME evening, even though we weren't home.

I was supposed to pick up my final mastered album today, but I felt a little chill in my bones and lungs and my head was feeling full of fluid, (it is probably psychosomatic, given the month), so I just had to nap instead. I have to take care of myself and prevent illness. Tomorrow I will pick it up in the morning and fedex it to Furnace.






Sunday, October 01, 2006

October, The Cursed Month

October 18, 1991-diagnosed with pneumonia.
October 18, 1992-diagnosed with pneumonia. (it's true, same day, one year later, I swear)
October 31, 2002-crazy neighbor threatened to kill me

From my journal, 2002-"The city is beating me. I haven’t quite lassoed the beast yet. I have tried to stand up to it’s subways, flashers (on the subway), walking, stairs, gigantic cockroaches, rats (some dead, some alive), Croatian landlords, weather, delis, auditions, cab drivers, airports, hecklers, retail stores, noise, rent payments, realtors, parking, driving, busses, branches, banks, shoes, strollers, lingerie shops, headshot reproductions studios, neighbors. I was losing the battle for about two weeks, but now I Am feeling a win around the corner.

"On Halloween my neighbor went ballistic again. The details are documented on my NEIGHBOR file, for the police and whoever else is interested, so I won’t include them here, but in a rather toned down conversation Jason asked our neighbor; “How are we to protect ourselves against your violence?” (The violence that she is prone to, do to her mental condition) and she replied, “Get a gun.”'

I cannot for the life of me find the NEIGHBOR file, wouldn't that be interesting to read again?

October 21, 2003-quarentined in the hospital, diagnosed with viral meningitis. About two weeks into my meningitis, I recorded a dream that I had....let's just say it was pretty cookoo. Aside from the inital symptoms, my lasting condition (for about 5 weeks) was vertigo 24/7, and compromised peripheral vision. The permanent condition from my meningitis is that I am now prone to car-sickness, and sometimes I have mild dizzy spells in certain lights...usually in retail stores. I am so blessed, b/c people die, go blind, deaf, become epileptic etc. I am also blessed because no one else in my circle of friends and family got the illness. PS...if you ever want to sail through triage at the ER, pretend you can't touch your chin to your chest ; )

October 7, 2005-3 1/2 year old daughter diagnosed with mononucleosis.

So here we are now, in the cursed month, 2006. October is actually one of my favorite months because I love Halloween. But, as you can see, there have been quite a few fraught with adversity beyond compare.