Thursday, May 31, 2007

Wrangling out the Wazoo

May 31st, 2007

Wednesday I wrangled for Toys R Us. It was just a half day, but the shots were quite demanding: Put one hand here, one hand here, don't move your feet, look at the baby doll, NOT ME, oh and smile WITH TEETH and your mouth half open. What, your only 3? Too bad.....ha ha ha ha ha!

It went ok.

The perk was getting to drive to the job in New Jersey in my new Acadia. It's a sweet ride, let me just tell you that much.

While there, I got a booking with Bloomingdales for Thursday. Unexpected. I have no idea how my name gets around sometimes, but it's nice to be IN. Fortunately my fab friend Joy could babysit the crazies, and so I was good to go.

Off I went to the Central Park Zoo at 7 AM. Yes, 7...AM...And let me just tell you, when you are shooting in the indoor rainforest BEFORE hours, there is a whole lot of ANIMAL #2 all over the place. Yes, places where you rest your elbows and say: "Oh, look at that beautiful bird!" Chances are that either the bird or the bird's crap was RIGHT where you just had your elbows, just hours before. Gross. Icky. Pee-YOU.

I was a good girl and wore my SPF 45 all day, but I still feel like I took in a little too much sun. I will make up for it by sitting in the car ALL DAY tomorrow and MOST of the day Saturday...

The girls and I hit the grocery store tonight for a few snacks, and $150- later we are quite loaded for our trip. Excitement all around. Having been watching my cholestrol (and diet in general to get into this one pair of white pants that I love and are too tight after a long winter), I am looking forward to an Entemann's devils food donut for breakfast...and some Twizzlers Cherry bites around 11, and some Whoppers around 2.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Forgiveness in Action

May 30, 2007

Yes, I'm an Oprah addict.

Today her show was on forgiveness. It was a great reminder. I am currently going to purge myself of those last little toxicities that are trying to inhabit my soul. It will take some reminding, but their hold is not so tight after watching her hour today.

I decided to submit my story to her Forgiveness in Action. It was easy, I just copied and pasted it from a TALES post. I like sharing my story, because every time I do, I heal a little more.

Forgiving was an enormous turning point for me. It was the greatest gift I ever gave myself. It truly is a miracle.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Vagina! Vagina! Acadia!

May 29, 2007

Apparently in my template edits, I have lost the dates to my posts. Weird. Until I retrieve that, I will just date the posts WITHIN the post...how about that?

Since it is late, and the narrative of my day is not quite coming to my brain, I will merely point out what I found interesting about today.

1. Today around 10 my daughter got cranky. Normally I would put her down for a nap, BUT I had an 11:20 appointment and thus needed to leave at 10:45, plus her crib has been carted off, so I thought she might have a difficult time getting to sleep for a power nap on her handy dandy aerobed that is set up in her room (until we get the bunkbeds). My solution was to try something I had never before. I said: "Little one, why don't we tuck you into your stroller and you can fall asleep there." She TOTALLY went for it. I strapped her in, gave her her blankie and Ellie (pink stuffed elephant), and she fell asleep in there while I did the last minute things that I needed to do. Then I just strolled her to the subway like that, sleeping all the while. Unfortunately she woke up while on the 7, but it was a new idea that worked!

2. Today I had 2 auditions and a go-see. The first was for Valtrex. I was playing a rollerblading girl talking about how great it is to control my genital herpes outbreaks. Since that area is my niche, I asked when the callback was, even before I auditioned....I was just curious. I really hope I get it, because admitting you have herpes on television = BIG BUCKS.

My go-see was for the cover of Hallmark magazine, and if they are reading this right now, they probably won't hire me. Oh well.

My second audition was a last minute. They wanted me in business attire, but I was already out, and wearing a very summery outfit, so I said, I would go, but I wouldn't look quite right. It was for Monistat....so here's the weird thing: My daughter plunked down next to this woman and became very interested in her comp cards. I was trying to SAVE the comps from imminent destruction, so I got a good look at her face. Then I went up to the sign-in to check out the mock-up commercial (they often have little graphics in frames to show you the commercial from start to finish. Sometimes they use stock photography to give you an idea of what they are looking for), and I was like: Wow, that girl looks a lot like the girl whose comp cards I just rescued. So, I asked her, and she said that was her, that she IS the Monistat girl, she is from North Carolina, flying up to RE-audition for the Monistat spot. Well, of course I was like: WHY AM I EVEN HERE? if the Monistat girl HERSELF is here? Bizarre-O

3. I am singing in a concert on Monday night for a composer friend of mine, and tonight's rehearsal went really well. I am very excited to sing with these fine singers in a very fine space, with very fine music. I hope that a lot of people get to partake in it on Monday night....see my website for details.

4. My DH brought home our new car tonight. Every year we get a new one. Unfortunately all of my green efforts are cancelled out by our big giant SUV, but it's (almost) free for us and basically our only option. It's the new GMC Acadia. I have only caught a small glimpse of it, but I get to drive it out to Jersey tomorrow for a wrangling job, and we are taking a ROAD TRIP to South Bend, Indiana and back on Fri/Sat, so I will be getting VERY comfortable with it soon.


Gradually Going Green

This week my DH came home with paper towels made from recycled paper. This is because he loves me, because he rolls his eyes a lot when I say with energy: "Save the Earth", especially when it involves NOT taking the elevator. He also tried to purchase CFLS at the local drugstore, but they were out.

I picked up on this article from my friend Corinne's blog...go NYC! Unfortunately, I don't take cabs much, but at least by 2012, I know if I do take a cab, it will be GREEN.

This week I FINALLY remembered to carry around my reusable bag. As a result, I took home my Duane Reade, Old Navy and Staples purchases in that bag...even forcing some clerks to re-bag my items. Each time I explained that I was saving the earth, so I feel that that was a good deed too.

I also purchased another cleaning agent from Method, as I gradually turn over my cleaning products to all green-worthy. And I picked up some 7th generation laundry detergent to try.

I am now in the process of researching this company, who deliver locally-grown produce to us. However, I am having a very difficult time understanding the pricing situation, even after I emailed them. Maybe I will have my financial whiz DH look it over. If it doesn't work out, at least I can continue to support locally-baked cupcakes (within reason of course...cholestrol).


Monday, May 28, 2007

Condo Adventure: Let There be MORE Light

Thursday night we got 4 more light fixtures put in. Kitchen, both bathrooms and the girls' room. Now I just have to shop for, decide on, and purchase the penants for the front room. I still have NO idea what I am going to do yet, but I just KNOW it will come to me.

I got the idea for the bathroom lights from design mom. Thanks for helping me see that I could do sconces in there....I think they work...I guess who cares at this point! There's light right? 4, 100 watt bulbs...JUST what I wanted...great for putting on makeup!

The girls love their chandelier. In fact, I think that was the reason for their EARLY rise the other morning (5:15), they just wanted to stare at it. Today we will tackle the "Fairytale Pink" paint that we picked out for their walls, and then hopefully next week the giant bunkbed system will arrive and we will have ourselves a bedroom!








Remember, stay focused on the lights, not on the clutter all over my kitchen counters. Thank you.




Sunday, May 27, 2007

Condo Adventures: Roof Deck


I am not complaining, but something is seriously UP with our internet. We have a guy coming, but not for like 5 LONG DAYS. Oh well. Pretend that you can see a beautiful photograph of the Manhattan skyline from Queens, looking over the East River, with the Empire State Building toward the left, with it's lights RED, WHITE and BLUE. And the photo is in focus...added bonus. For some reason this PARTICULAR photo, does not want to upload with the slow internet. But lucky for you, I got a few others to upload, and you can see them if you click on READ MORE!

We had our first party last night. It was a going-away for our dear friends, but sort of a housewarming too, since it was our first one. By the time the party started, I felt like I did at the Thanksgiving Dinner table last year...SPENT. I had been cleaning and baking ALL DAY. I started in the morning, and was still last minute in getting everything ready for the evening. When the party was over, I was like: What just happened? Did I talk to everyone? Was I even there? It was crazy.

I had many party peops bring some of my friends' favorite New York Foods to the party. Astoria Pizzeria Pizza, Chipotle Guacamole, Crumbs Cupcakes, Dale & Thomas Popcorn, Chat n Chew Mac n Cheese, Red Vines (not NY), to name a few. There was food everywhere. There were people everywhere. At around 8 I rounded everybody up to the roof deck that was JUST finished a few days earlier. We ate chocolate chip cookies while we watched the sunset and the kids played on the hammock. It was so lovely, the weather, the company, the cookies (but only 2 for me....cholestrol and all).



The roof deck is truly an added bonus to this place. It is so peaceful up there, and clean. The realist New Yorker in me is saying: I hope it STAYS that way. I wish we were going to be here on the 4th to see the Fireworks, but we will have many more chances over the years to see them from that rooftop, and I am SO looking forward to making those memories.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Third Person Idiot

She was organizing to get ready for her day. She had an audition for the Rock Musical version of Turandot at noon. The phone rang. The conversation went like this:

Hello Kristy, this is (insert name of an intern) from (insert the name of a big casting directors office in NYC). "Can you come in today to be a Reader for a Shrek audition?"
She said: "Well, can you tell me more about it and about the pay." (to be a reader)
Intern: "You know, I don't have that in front of me, but I can tell you that it will be a half hour between 1:30 and 2:00 and you would be reading with Joel Marsh (Garland). He is up for the role of Shrek, we need you to read the role of Fiona."

She thought: Well, it's not an audition, but still the director will be there, so if I do well as the reader, maybe I will get noticed, and that is a good thing. The only thing is that it is cutting it close to pick up the pre-K daughter, but it will probably turn out fine. So she replied:

"OK sure, I'll be there."

She hung up the phone and printed the sides and looked them over. She was really excited to play Fiona, if even for a half hour to help someone else get the role of Shrek.

Her audition at noon went pretty well. She would have liked to redo 1 or 2 notes. She sang Heart's ALONE, so it was fun to rock out. She then went to get some lunch. A chicken burrito from Chipotle (with just a LITTLE bit of cheese, she is watching her cholestrol after all), and a fountain drink with coke and diet coke mixed. She read her book, relaxed, looked over the sides once more and then it was time to go.

She got there and Joel and the director were outside of the room and introduced themselves. Her first clue was the casting director coming out and saying: "Did you bring something to sing for us?" Well, she wouldn't have if she hadn't had the audition right before....because she thought she was the READER.

First Joel went in and did some monologue work. Then she was invited in. She went right for the chair (which is normally where the actor who is acting as the reader sits), but was encouraged to get right up on stage and do the reading with Joel and the actor reading for donkey. That was the second clue.

They did the scene once through and then the director gave her quite a bit of direction.

It was only at THIS point that she realized that she was AUDITIONING for the role, not reading for someone else's audition. A reader is NEVER on the pretend stage in the scene, and never given direction. Holy Crap.

She got through the rest of the scenes and was then asked to wait outside. When she exited and saw another actor there to read for Fiona, she was ABSOLUTELY positive that she was auditioning. She pow-wowwed with the other girl and learned that there is a reading for Shrek scheduled for 2 weeks in August, and that they are auditioning for that reading. She also thought that the role of Fiona for the Broadway show was already promised to a NAME, and they were just casting for the reading....but that's just what the other actor thought.

She waited a few more minutes and then went in and sang. She decided to give ALONE another go, since she had heard Shrek was a Rock Musical. She did pretty slammin' and the director even hugged her when it was all over....just another oddity about this moment, this day, this audition.

On the subway ride home she was like: WHAT JUST HAPPENED? She thinks maybe she should approach all of her auditions as if she isn't really auditioning, just the hired help.




Evidence

Evidence that I do INDEED have children, just in case I forgot:


Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Oh Suh-NAP

I went to the allergist tonight. The good news is, my regime is working: Claritin and Flonase in the morning, Singulair and Netti Pot at night. The bad news is I have high LDL and high total cholestrol. Like, LOTS OF POINTS too high. WHAT?

Okay, it's actually not totally and completely shocking. I have not been maintaining my exercise levels of years gone by, and I am eating more crappy foods. I still eat good-for-me foods, but I have let the crappy come in.

When I was a kid, I used to think eating one potato chip would blow me up like that aunt in Harry Potter book #3. Now, I am okay with chips. My real vice though is chocolate and ice cream. I am pretty sure that is why my cholestrol is creeping up.

So, even though I am not overweight or obese, I need to take Bob Greene's advice, EAT LESS (crap), MOVE MORE....and seriously, seeing those numbers is WAY more motivating than seeing my cellulite! I want to live long and well, I don't much care if I have the dimples in my various areas!

HOWEVER, it will have to wait until after my job tomorrow. (YES I GOT A JOB!) It's an industrial for Listerine Whitening Strips. Don't tell them I have fake teeth. SHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

Our New Playground

Since the noreaster's have haulted, and the weather has become allergy-inducing, I mean BEAUTIFUL, we have been able to explore our neighborhood...FINALLY.

We recently discovered a treasure of a playground just a hop, skip and a jump away. I love it for it's tall trees, 2 different playground structures, the glimpse of the Empire State Building, park benches, cover from the hot sun, fenced-in-ness and the families that gather there. I know I will also the love the water spray in the hot days of summer. It's also very clean and free of teenagers! Not that I don't like teenagers, I just don't enjoy the ones that are at the park in the middle of the day...









Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Today I ran into...

I had a callback this morning for Ruby Tuesday's. I pretended to eat Chicken with 3 other pretend friends, and during the course of the meal announced my engagement. We all said CHEERS as we clincked empty coffee mugs.

After that I had a little ME time as I ate mac n cheese from Chat n chew, read HP #5, went to ABC Carpet & Home and spent about $15,000 with my pretend money and had it pretend shipped to my apartment. As I was leaving I heard an enthusiastic: "KRISTY GLASS." Oh no...that's never good. I recognized the face for sure, but had no idea....I think I might have said: "Help me" and gestured with my hand...

It turned out to be Mark from DePaul...we were in Into the Woods together. He, Jack, I, Cinderella. He was wearing a Cubs shirt, so I might have figured it out about 32 and a half hours later...I am bad like that. As I talked to him I remembered him completely and how generous of spirit he is, so it was great to run into him.

Then I got a last minute call for an audition in a few hours, at the SAME place I had just had the callback. ERGH.

I jetted home to retrieve my kids and then back out we went. The audition was easy breezy. I even saw a fellow-mom actor, Shannon, so it was nice to catch up with her for a few minutes. The reward for being very good girls was a McDonalds Happy Meal. The girls had their usual chicken nuggets, apples and chocolate milk, and I sampled the SHREK SHAKE. It seriously (no joke) looks like pigeon poo...multi-colored greens and whites, and tastes almost like a Shamrock Shake but not quite, so I give it a big thumbs down.

As we were walking to the train a gorgeous bulldog pup was racing after us...he was showing extreme interest in the little one, which never happens, so I pointed him out. On busy, VERY busy 6th Ave, my babe hunkered down to play. I looked up at his owner and the two of us immediately went: OH MY GOSH HI!

Another friend from years gone by.

She was a year behind me in school growing up, and ended up being REALLY close with one of my best friends from elementary/middle school. I knew that the two of them were roomies in NYC, but I had never met up with her (only our mutual friend). So, as friends of friends, we were able to shoot the breeze for several minutes while the babe played with Otto, and the big girl talked animatedly on the cell phone to her BFF in CA, tripping many commuters up in the process.

Meeting up with 2 people in one day is odd for me. Very odd. I am wondering what it means.....

On the way home, 2 very dirty girls in tow, I got a lot of looks from fellow subwayERS, as my daughters loudly (but not obnoxiously) sang Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, many times over, followed by some made-up Aria in the station (as it has AWESOME ACOUSTICS). Tonight I am going to wash my stroller seat cover, something I have never done (I have owned it for 4 years...disgusting), and prepare for my Olympic Paint callback and Comcast audition tomorrow.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Cupcakes



One of the things I love about NYC (and this may be true for other cities, but I have no personal experience), are the cupcakes. Baked shamelesslyl and with as much buttercream frosting as possible, I love a cupcake baked in NYC.

There are several companies that make them: Cupcake Cafe, Buttercup, Crumbs, Burgers & Cupcakes, (to name a few), and the cupcake featured here today: Sage American Kitchen. Sage is right down the street from me (oh no), and today we tried the Red Velvet and the Imitation Hostess. Both TO-Die-For. Both, so worth whatever I paid for them...I didn't even ask, just handed over the cash.

On Monday nights, we have Family Home Evening and tonight we played name-that-tune with the primary songs my daughter is learning in primary at church this year, and then ate these cupcakes. This was an EXCITING FHE for us...normally we just pick out a scripture story picture from a large file and tell the story with little gusto (unfortunately). I think these Sage cupcakes significantly raised the bar on FHE and might have to become a Monday night tradition.





Sunday, May 20, 2007

New Look

This weekend I had a little fun with a Blogger Banner. I really like the banner, but I am not sure it quite MATCHES the rest of the blog...so I am going to mull it over, and maybe I will be changing the black to white, which would make my friend HK OH-SO-HAPPY.

Since I am totally NOT a graphic designer NOR an htmler, I am pretty proud of myself for making it happen, I could not have done it without the help of Amy's Post on Design Mom.

I also added a few ads. My DH suggested it. I like the one on the right being pink and the one on the bottom looks nice, so I am ok with it...we'll see if I make any money. I already wanted to click on a bunch of them, but I have agreed not too, so I googled them on a new page instead.

I also added RECENT COMMENTS on the bottom, just FYI




Saturday, May 19, 2007

Distinguished Alumnus

A week ago Wednesday night, I was inducted as Waubonsie Valley High School's Most Distinguished Alumnus. My high school has been around about 30 years, and they started this award about 10 years ago. It was quite surreal being in the high school where I used to spend SO much time in. It was fun to show my daughter where my locker was, and where I performed in the school musicals.

I feel like my speech went well. I got a standing ovation, so that must have meant something. I saw a few of my former teachers, and we all look a bit different, 10 years later. The principal awarded me with a wooden plaque and medal, and an emerald necklace. Our school colors are green and gold. I think my favorite part was when I thanked them for the gifts by singing our High School Theme Song in the microphone, and encouraging everyone to join in. W-A-R-R-I-O-R-S, Warriors! Warriors! Fight Team Fight!


My plaque is the one on the far right.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Gradually Going Green

This past week I:

1. took the stairs going down (I live on Floor 5), as much as possible.
2. Did not take my metrocard or ATM receipt.
3. Said NO to a bag whenever I could slip my item in my purse, or otherwise carry it.
4. Bought a new vaccuum that requires no bags.
5. Did not put any of my produce in bags at the supermarket.
6. Reused bags from GAP and Urban Outfitters until they were unusable.
7. Used my cloth towels to do most of the cleaning, as opposed to paper towels.
8. Continued Potty Training. If the babe is potty-trained soon, then I will have spared the landfills a year of diapers. And using 1 or 2 pull-ups a day is less waste than 5 or 6 diapers.

And I realized that my favorite pass-the-time-while-we-wait-for-the-airplane game is GREEN. My daughters and I walk around and collect the newspapers and bottles that people have left, and make sure they make it to the recycling bins.

This next week I plan on reusing a box that someone was getting ready to throw out, and send some clothes to my niece and sister, so that they get some RE-use!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Third Person Thursday

She arrived at the audition a little early. Her plan had worked. She left her 2-year-old's audition at around quarter to eleven, and walked 22 blocks south and 3 blocks west to arrive at her destination. The plan was that the toddler would fall asleep to the motion and cacophony of the city sounds...and she did.

She quickly changed into her two-piece swimsuit and then read the copy. She had to couple up with another actor and frolic in the "ocean" in her bikini. Oy. She severely dislikes having to couple up...especially when there is frolicking involved.

She used her bag of actor tools to rid herself of self-consciousness...both for the frolicking and the 2-piece for goodness sake! She was grateful that he took some of the lead in the ocean frolicking, and VERY grateful that she didn't literally have to throw her swimsuit in the "ocean" and keep running...as the copy described.

She was ALSO grateful that her daughter didn't have to witness her mom, scantily clad, cuddling with a complete stranger (who was also scantily clad), while watching a "sunset". Luckily the baby remained asleep, and actually 2 seconds (literally) before she had to go in, a co-star from Eebee's aparated (she is heavily engrossed in Harry Potter right now), and watched the little muggle.

She ended the day with a slightly-too-cold saline solution in her neti pot, but was fine with that because she seems to be fairing amazingly well this allergy season, compared to last year, and compared to everyone around her who seems to have itchy eyes, runny noses and voices a few octaves lower than normal. Ah....to breathe...and frolic.


Harry Potter

So, yesterday I decided that I better make sure my Harry Potter book plan was on schedule. I saw on my counter that there were 65 days until the book comes out. I JUST started book 5, so I checked out the number of chapters in Book 5 and then Book 6, and there were 68. I had just finished Chapter 3 of Book 5, which leaves 65 chapters. Spooky. 65 chapters. 65 days. Whoa. So, I am going to read a chapter a day, b/c I have not had a break between the books (except Book 1 to Book 2, a little thing called MARCH got in the way), and I like that.

My husband thinks I should read more than a chapter a day when I have a chance because I am bound to get behind....but he needn't worried. I am pretty dedicated to this plan.

I have been theorizing with a friend, he's 9, and I told him I think Harry is going to die in the last book. He told me that's what his mom thinks too. I talked to his mom and she further hypothesized that if Harry doesn't die, then she thinks Snape is going to die saving him. Hmmmm....interesting. I can't WAIT to see what happens.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

You Don't Have to Have a Perfect Body

My agent's assistant called yesterday:
"Hey, we have an audition for you for Sugar Raw. You are going to (insert address) at 12:20. You need to wear a two piece swimsuit under your casual clothes, and a t-shirt. You will be taking the t-shirt off as part of the audition. And you don't have to have a perfect body."

She was right to say that last part b/c as I was listening, and heard 2-piece, I was immediately writing it off. I am not that swimsuit model girl. But at the same time I wondered if I should take offense to that? Not being one to take offense very often, I decided not too.

It reminded me of the one and ONLY swimsuit modeling job I have ever done. It was for Prevention Magazine. A story on how to make your weaknesses look stronger. I was chosen for the small-chested girl. It was about 1 year after I had done a story for them about eating while pregnant, so I was feeling good that I was chosen for a swimsuit job. I had to really let go of my insecurites about being photographed in a swimsuit, and just go for it. I had a great time. They didn't use my photos.

During the shoot the art director kept saying I was too tall, so I like to tell myself that's why they re-shot it with a more petite girl. I like to tell myself that was the reason, as opposed to the cellulite poking out on either side of my upper thighs, or my less-than attractive knees, or small bust. Even though it was dissappointing not to have the photos run, it was still a personal triumph that day, because I went WAY outside my comfort zone for this photoshoot.

Before I go to Sugar Raw, my 2-year-old has an on-camera audition for Spike TV. I have no idea what that's about, but it is safe to say that if she was in her teens, I probably wouldn't allow her to go to such an audition.



Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Condo Adventures: SHADES

My husband keeps calling them blinds. I love him, but they are called Shades. He doesn't like them open, only closed. I am the opposite. However, I did like them at night when it was dark and you could see the full color of the blinds. I got light-filtering, so by day they are almost transparent. And they help to keep the condo cool...

While the kids were away, I did another little painting project. Just an accent of green to break up ALL THAT WHITE.

Still to go:
Light fixtures in family room, girls room, kitchen and 2 more in the bathrooms.
Girls room rug, chandelier, and curtains. Their bunkbeds will be arriving in a few weeks. If you click on the link, the drawers are all white (not yellow) and the knobs are white, not cartoony. I also need to decide on their bedding and paint. Right now I am considering the wall behind the bunk beds to be wallpaper. I would love something funky like this, but we'll see...
I already have one of these quilts, that I think will fit well on the full-size bottom bunk, so I need to figure out what's going on the top and sheets and everything...








Monday, May 14, 2007

The Journey Home

After church yesterday, we headed to O'Hare. I love O'Hare. It reminds me of going on vacation as a kid. My favorite part of O'Hare is the underground walkway from Terminal B to Terminal C. It has moving sidewalks with rainbow neon lights that turn on and off above. Growing up I remember music and twinkling sounds too, but yesterday I don't remember if I heard that or not.

It was on these walkways that I felt a tap on my shoulder and a man say: "My wife thinks she recognizes you from tv." I turned around to his wife and she asked me if I was on that "Expecting Show". I said: "Runway Moms?" and she nodded. She then commented on how big my kids had gotten. Well, 2 years will do that.

She had a 2 1/2 month old peanut, Claire. She said she had watched that show while pregnant, and I said: "I would have too!" Then my kids ran ahead and I yelled back: "Nice to meet you."

Then I started thinking, that I am actually surprised that is the first time in 2 years that I have been recognized. My kids call a lot of attention to themselves simply because they are energetic and a little cuckoo, and I am sure that is why she initially looked at us, and then put two and two together.

Anyway, now we are home. Last night the girls were SO excited to try their new rollerblades, so we all suited up and headed out to the parking lot. My 5 year old has the most work to do.

This morning, for my work out, I decided to do a little blading. Man, it was hard. I kept getting smiled at...I guess a woman in a helmet, workout clothes, rollerblades, pushing a toddler in a stroller, with her helmet, enjoying a bowl of grapes is a delightful sight in the big city. Those rollerblades kicked my butt....I was back 15 minutes later.

Today I have an audition for Law & Order: SVU. Last night, I asked my husband to run lines with me with no previous context, and he was like: What are you auditioning for? Virtual Sex? Avatars? Stalking? When I told him, he was like: Oh, of course. This afternoon I have an audition for the reading of a musical. The director was given my name by the Spelling Bee Peops, so that is good....I am looking forward to that audition, and finishing Harry Potter book #4 in between all that....only 2 more books to go!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

M's Day

I'm not that into Mother's Day. Of course it's a good excuse to get your husband to take care of the kids, or to sleep in, or guilt your family into cooking or cleaning for you...but it means much more to me when they show their love on their own terms and in their own way.

This year is the first that I have given my kids gifts. Maybe it is because I was away from them for 10 days, and the Mother's Day section of books at Barnes and Noble beckoned to me. I think I was compelled to gift them with these stories because I am so grateful to them for making me a mother. It is a gift that is unique to them. I gave my oldest the book, Someday. I read it in Barnes and Noble, and the tears just welled up in my eyes. I couldn't control it. I was a mess.

I gave my youngest, I Love My Mama. Mostly because she is obsessed with Elephants. I read it to her today and told her the names of the Mommy and Baby elephant were our names, and so every page she would identify who was who. I think she loves it.

Since I am going home to NYC this afternoon, my DH slipped cards into my suitcase before I left....so I opened a lovely card from him and one each from the girls. I was happy he made the effort.

So, this Mother's Day, I will spend being a Mother....I have packed our carry-on bags full of snacks and books and toys, and packed my magazines into the checked bags, because there is no hope for that on today's flight is there? And tomorrow I will return to life as I know it, mothering two energetic girls in the greatest city on Earth.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Back with the Kiddos

In the end, I did miss them. They are great little bugs. Although, I could have done without the tantrum during our walk today, and the MEGA-TANTRUM at Mongolian Barbecue where we celebrated my bro's 19th birthday. At least it was loud enough to drown out the hysteria.

My poor little one is having some serious abandonment issues, she just can't get enough of me now that I've returned....but I admit, I didn't mind sharing a twin bed with her last night, I missed her too.





I'm a Believer



She first heard about it on Oprah. Dr. Oz explained how the benefits were sometimes better than medicine. As an allergy-sufferer and chronic Sinusitis-er, she paid close attention.

Ever since she saw it on tv, she kept her eyes peeled for one. Where would she find it? Duane Reade, CVS, Whole Foods? Should she get this one on the internet?

On Set on Tuesday, after a few days of water adventures with Eebee, she could smell and feel the mildew from the carpet, lodging it's way into her sinus cavity. At lunch, she was on a mission: OPERATION LOCATE AND PURCHASE NETI POT.

She tried Health Nuts. She was successful. She brought it back to the set and mixed the solution. She went out to the street where there was an experienced neti-potter relaxing in the sun.

She held the pot in her right hand, and a pyrex measuring cup in her left. She squatted so that she could get the instructions from her friend sitting on the step. And right there on 67th Street, between 2nd and 3rd Avenue, she neti-potted for the first time.

At first it felt like that somersault-under-the-water feeling, but instead of the cold, harsh chlorine feel, it was more of a warm and calming feel. When the saline went in the right nostril, there was a 3 or 4-second delay before it came out the left nostril. She felt a great sense of satisfaction for succeeding in this.

When it was over, she had wished she had a kleenex, because many of the folks on 67th Street saw her boogers...and though she didn't mind, she's thinking, they probably did.

After some nose-blowing and 5 minutes of recovery, suddenly she could breathe. She felt so energized by this, she started leaping and singing on 67th Street: "I can Breathe! I can Breathe!"

She was so convincing, the Director of Photography wanted a hit. She made her DH do it later that night too...they both had a little trouble getting saline in their throat...her only leakage happened through her eye. She didn't care though, because SHE COULD BREATHE.



Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Speech

Tonight I am giving a speech to the Class of 2007 at Waubonsie Valley High School, because I am being honored as their most distinguised alumnus. It is 10 minutes long....and it is published here.

10 years ago I was standing in your shoes. I had dreamed of being an adult for as long as I could remember. Walking the hallways of middle school and high school, I couldn’t WAIT to give the real world a try. 10 years later, the real world is not even close to what I dreamed it would be. It is 100 times better.

I had opportunities in high school that were unique, special, memorable and life-altering. As graduation approached, I wasn’t sure if I would find that in the real world, but I did, and so far life has been pretty wonderful.

I stand before you today, having been given the label, distinguished. Distinguished being defined as being made conspicuous by excellence, noted, eminent, famous. Before I was given this great honor, I didn’t much think about any of those adjectives as being a description for me, but I’ll take it!

More simply, I like to think of myself as accomplishing. I don’t know if I will ever be accomplished, but I am always striving to do, and to be.

As I thought long and hard about this speech, my thoughts kept coming to what I would want my 18-year-old self to hear, or what I would want my future teenage daughters to hear, so even though it is not biologically possible for you to be my children, I speak to you as a mother, or if you prefer, an older sister.

3 things have aided me on my “accomplishing” journey. I have 3 secrets to success. I would love to share them with you tonight. I will briefly speak about Humility, Hard Work and Support. After which, I will conclude with some sentences to send you off into that amazing fertile world that lies ahead for you.

Humility
Believe it or not, you don’t know everything. When I was in college, I had a professor teach me a great set of phrases. One of which included Consciously Unskilled. I believe this is an essential part of humility. Be aware of what you are not good at it, or what you need to improve upon, or just flat out need to learn from scratch. When you are starting out in the world, at college, in a job, or a relationship, you can’t be a blockhead. You simply must take moments for self-evaluation and reflection so that you are CONSCIOUS of what you need to self-master. This means getting rid of your pride and cultivating true humility.

Take time to remember those who came along your path that helped you become who you are and look to who you will depend on in the future. Life’s journey is not a lonely one, and it is important to recognize that part of what you are, is because of many others around you.

If you feel to this point that you have achieved all by yourself, with no one’s help, I challenge you to humble yourself and acknowledge the people and experiences outside of yourself that have changed you for the better.

While you are educating yourself and finding your life’s work, be humble enough to ask questions, and seek experiences that will teach you and fill up your mind. Be humble enough to share that knowledge that you acquire with your peers. Be humble enough to show gratitude to those along the way who give you a boost, a chance, an encouraging word. Be humble enough to do the same for that student that follows in your footsteps. NEVER stop learning. Fill up your mind until you fill up your coffin.

Don’t waste time envying what someone else has….go get it yourself. And be humble while you do it.


Hard Work
People are lazy. I am sure it took a lot of hard work for you all to be honored here tonight. You are obviously a small percentage of the school’s population. Guess what? Just because people grow up doesn’t mean that they change. You will still ALWAYS be in the minority when it comes to level of work.

Working hard DOES pay off. It is so important that you get an education. It is ever so important that you prepare yourself for the opportunities that will come your way. I could not find who stakes claim on this quote, but it goes like this: “Luck is where opportunity meets preparation.” You must do EVERYTHING in your power to be ready when that interview comes your way, when the CEO at that party asks for your business card, when that visiting professional wants to see your resume.

You must take networking very seriously. All of you introverts, it is time to practice being extroverted. I know that must sound painful, but you simply MUST meet those people who will aid you in furthering your pursuits. You must get your resume in front of as many eyes as possible, because the odds are in your favor if more people know who you are. You must be organized, efficient, creative and forward-thinking as you work your way to excellence.

Sometimes you will be met with adversity. You will submit resume after resume, attend interview after interview, and see no progress. In my case, it is one audition after another. Last year I only booked 17% of the jobs that I auditioned for. 83% of the time I faced rejection. On a particularly frustrating span of time, a friend of mine advised: If you stay standing on the train tracks, eventually you WILL get hit by the train. It sounds morbid, but the analogy is true….just keep your hat in the ring, and eventually it will pay off.

Choose work that you feel passionate about, and motivated to do. Don’t do it for the money, do it because it makes you happy. Always remember, hard work is a vital part of your education, career, relationships and general success in the world.

Support
The best way for me to sum up Support is in the word Foundation. Your foundation is made up of your Family, your Friends and your Faith.

We all have families. And if we don’t have the greatest families, than our friends become our families. We also have opportunities to CREATE families when the time is right. Choose those family members who have really been there for you for the past 18 years. Who do you trust? Who loves you unconditionally? Who is the one that you can depend on? If you can only think of one person, you are blessed. If there are more than one, even better. These are the people who are going to be there when the going gets tough. These are your SAFE people who will support you in good times and bad.

In 2002, my husband graduated from the University of Maryland with his MBA in finance. It was just 6 months after September 11th, and the stock market and economy were hit hard. As a result, the percentage of MBA graduates with job offers upon graduation was hitting record lows. After much diligence and hard work, my husband was not finding work. We had a choice to make. We could either stay in Maryland and continue to seek out gainful employment there, or we could move to New York City, where we had HOPED he would get a job offer, and where we dreamed of living.

A question that I have tacked on my bulletin board comes to mind: Do you have enough risks in your life to stay alive?

Moving to NYC was a sizable risk. We had a finite amount of money, a 4-month-old baby to take care of, and no jobs. We decided to go for it. However, we knew we were taking a risk, so we called our support system. We phoned up my parents and his parents and told them our plan: to move to NYC and find work. We told them we had a financial plan to get us through 1 year, and if we did not have income by then, we would need to move in with them. Our parents agreed that they would let us move in if after 1 year if we had failed to meet our goals, and that they supported us in our decision.

We made the move. We got jobs. 5 years later we have bought our own condo and paid off our student loans. We did not move in with our parents, but we would not have been able to take those risks without their support.

Your family will be there to pick you up when you fall, and celebrate with you when you succeed.

When family is not available, you turn to your friends. I have been living away from my family for about 8 years. They are still my family, still support me and take care of me, but it is my friends that I depended on when I was struck with meningitis, found a mouse in my apartment, when my power went out for a week, when my purse was stolen. My mommy wasn’t there to kiss it better and my husband was at work, so I had to turn to my friends. My friends were also there when I got my first big job on tv, put on a one-woman show, and bought my first condo. They are the first ones to support me whenever I need them. I know my friends are true friends, because when I am with them, I want to be a better person, and they inspire me to continue on this accomplishing path of mine.

The last and probably most important part of your support or your foundation is your faith. For me, my faith is my belief system, which is well-rooted in my religion. This is not the case for everyone. Nevertheless, you need to know what you DO and DO NOT have faith in. Recognize those core beliefs that govern your everyday choices, actions and pursuits. Why do you do the things you do? Why are you who you are? What do you believe in…what do you know for sure, that makes you do what you do and pursue what you intend on pursuing. Identify your passions, and what makes you happy. Discover the Inner Joy that you carry because when you are alone, faced with a road to walk down, THAT is what will propel you into a brilliant future.

And now for some parting thoughts.

When you step across that stage at graduation, become a sponge. Shed the burdens that have been bringing you down. Shed stereotypes that you put on others. Shed your excuses. Shed blaming others.

Seek opportunities to be responsible and OWN your actions. Seek education. Seek experience. Seek people.

Choose your life. Do not let it choose you. Make your own way. Create your own authentic, passionate, joyful existence.

To quote Eleanor Roosevelt: “You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face…You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”

Have Courage. Be Confident.

Embrace Humility.
Work Hard.
Acknowledge your Support, and you simply cannot fail.

I want to thank you for this opportunity to come and pay it forward. It has been my pleasure to speak with you this evening.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

It is done.



Eebee's is all done. I have included a few photos here, but not my favorites. My favorites are behind-the-scenes, puppeteers, action shots...but I don't want to SPOIL THE MAGIC for the children (if you look closely you can spot a puppeteers head), so you will just have to suffice with me picking my nose and trying to (what looks like) kill a cockroach.


I also took this pic of me in the makeup room/ONLY BATHROOM. Yeah, really gross, especially after people had a #2 right before touch-ups.


I mentioned this earlier, but now I have proof. The BIG white building on the corner of 67th & 3rd Ave used to be the Muppet building. This is evidenced in the Kermit footprints at one of the entrances.


We were shooting in the annex down the street, with ha! on the outside, which stands for Hensen and Associates.

Can't Stop Thinkin' 'Bout

ROLLERBLADING!

I made a budget. I stuck to it. I managed to get both my daughters and me outfitted in full rollerblading attire, 2 bucks under budget. Well, ALMOST...I still have to win my last ebay auction tonight!

I grew up roller skating and then switched to blading. I used to skate around and around in my garage to STARLIGHT EXPRESS. I think that is where my theatrical dreams were born....skating in my garage.

I LOVE ROLLERBLADING. I tried to get my husband into it, but he has had several knee surgeries, so he is a little cautious. I have only had a few minor lacerations to my knee caps...before the days of me wearing protective gear.

I used to LOVE rollerblading along the lake front in Chicago. In New York, besides just a little jaunt around the hood, I basically just bladed to and from the gym....even in the rain....and even when I was pregnant. Is that bad?

I finally turned in the old blades b/c they were just plain worn out.

I have been COUNTING DOWN THE DAYS when I would pick it up again, and the day has come. I have found 2 PERFECT places to teach my girls to rollerblade, within a few short blocks of our new condo....and after a few months of training, I am hoping to graduate to Central Park!

I think the 5-year-old will love it....and I know the 2-year-old will too, but she might get frustrated when she is only allowed the MY FIRST SKATES that clip on and have lockable wheels...oh well, I think she will love the Barbie wrist guards and helmet!

This is my Mother's Day gift to myself, and I can't wait for everything to arrive and to get OUT THERE....I seriously can't stop thinking about it! WHHHHHHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEee....


Monday, May 07, 2007

The Weekend

This is my second weekend in a row sans kids. I don't hate it.

Sunday morning I attended a delightful concert at the Barnes and Noble near Lincoln Center. It was the annual fundraising PLAY-A-THON for the school that my daughter will be attending in the fall. I watched 13 kindergartners dressed in their concert-best, play the violin, cello and piano.

They were so impressive, especially one little boy who played the piano....amazing. I sat with a mother who has a kindergartner, and she filled me in on some of the parents. I was excited to find out that there are many musicians and (as my husband would put it) "artsy-fartsy" types among them.

As part of their fundraising efforts, parents that had published works were selling them, and donating a percentage of the profits to the school. I picked up a CD from a 6th-grader's mom, Louise Rogers. It is a CD of three fairy tales, set to Jazz. I think my daughters are going to love it. You can check out that cd, and the rest of her work here. I made a mental note to be sure to cell my CD at next year's PLAY-A-THON.

I also bought a book to be placed in the Kindergartner's classroom: Curious George Takes the Train.

I just loved observing the community that has been fostered by this school, and seeing all of the support from the parents and the peers and the teachers. It was really wonderful to behold, and I am so excited to be a part of it.

On another note, Sunday was the 5 Boro Bike Tour. Since I live at a pretty major intersection in Queens, that actually connects to Brooklyn, the bikers made there way by my house today. WHAT A SIGHT TO BEHOLD....I saw bikes and bikers of all shapes and sizes, and it was a never ending stream. I even saw a 3-seater. It was so cool. I made yet another mental note to myself to remember it for next year so that my family can pop a squat on the sidewalk and watch them all zoom past.

And finally, our mini mis-adventure of the weekend included my DH. We had some friends over to go to Target (we needed a new vaccuum STAT), and then to watch the Jazz game. I ended up impusively giving myself a manicure, during the game. My husband drove our friends home, and when he returned, the back door to our large condo building was not working (as usual...I think they are working on getting it fixed). He walked all the way around to the front only to find a very large man sitting in our lobby near the front desk, in one of the nice leather-upholostered lobby chairs, and a large splatter of vomit all over the floor. My DH examined the scene and decided that the man had had too much to drink and had thrown up, and was not in mortal danger, so he just went upstairs, crawled into bed and informed me of his presence. I think I might have called 9-1-1.

On Sunday morning, around 9, I saw that NOTHING HAD BEEN CLEANED UP and that the doorman (poor guy) had thrown up himself from the sight and smell. I told the Super that my DH had discovered him and he said: "Why didn't you call me?" I said, "I don't have your number!" He said: "I know, I don't even have the right number to give you..." Huh? Then why did you just ask me that?

Friday, May 04, 2007

Kristy Clause

I had my first experience where I actually felt like the Department Store Santa Clause.

In taping Eebee's, we try to get footage of real babies doing the same thing that Eebee is doing. On Wednesday, I was scheduled to be the on-camera play partner for about 10 to 15 babies. Babies would arrive within 15 minutes of each other, and just be handed over to me on the set, one after the other.

Each baby held it together really well, but I could tell immediately what they were feeling...most of them were terrified. Imagine being in the loving arms of your mother, and then whisked away to a brightly colored "living room" 5 feet off the ground, with a very crazy play partner (me). Then you look out and see two giant cameras, lots of lights and dark faces staring at you, WILLING you to quack with the rubber duck and dance with the orange scarf.

When the babies couldn't see their parents (I was pretty adament about the parents remaining out of sight...even had a mini-fit over it when one parent showed their face and I lost the baby's happy personality), they usually turned to me for comfort. When I did achieve smiles, it was usually sandwiched with confused, sad expressions. It was like part of them wanted to be there playing with me, and the other part felt like they would just like to be held by mommy right now thank you very much. Totally understandable...and we didn't push any of the babies. As soon as they let me know they were done, they were excused to the warm embrace of their moms and a snack of animal crackers and juice boxes.

It was the first time ever that I could relate to the Department Store Santa. The parents and the kids are anticipating this moment, talking about, getting excited about it: "We're gonna meet Eebee's Mom!", but when it comes down to it, it's freaky to meet Eebee's Mom. She isn't supposed to be alive and singing me a song and tickling my toes. I like her to stay right there in my imagination and tv screen. So, there I will stay, and hopefully when they are older, they will look back at their first "film" experience with a smile and an animal cracker. Ho! Ho! Ho!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Gradually Going Green

This week I replaced 4 more light bulbs with CFL....2 more to go!

Third Person Thursday

She was getting a chance to workout alone for the first time in months. She had taken a few months break from working out do to the stress of her life and the extreme weather. This morning she was thrilled that her workout would not be accompanied by a stroller.

She was inspired to run. Inspired by who? Her mom.

Her mother set a goal last December: To Run a Marathon. Her first thought was: "YES! I just bought you an ipod shuffle for Christmas, it will be PERFECT."

Her second thought was: "WOW!"

This from a woman who had avoided running at all costs during the course of her life. She has seen her mother make such amazing progress since setting that goal. She is happier, more energetic, positive, and according to her DH who saw her in person last week, she looks GOOD. Her most amazing achievement to date is running every step of 18 miles last Saturday, which resulted in her sleeping through Meet the Robinsons that afternoon, her granddaughter didn't even notice.

She is proud of her Dad too, but he has always been a runner, and has already completed one marathon with her sister, so it's her mom that is so inspiring in this particular journey.

She thought about running. She used to run a mile every day after school during her senior year. She hated every step of it. She did have a sense of satisfaction, however on physical fitness day, when she achieved a 7 min. 40 second mile. That was a nice feeling.

Back in 2004 she started to run as her exercise and she got to the point of enjoyment...but then she got pregnant and THEN she got morning sickness, and it was all over. This day would be her first day back.

Instead of walking, she ran her entire route...very slowly. It ended up being only 23 minutes, but it was challenging, as she hadn't RUN (except for the bus) for about 3 years. The whole time she just thought about her mom running 18 miles, and that's what got her through 23 minutes.

And the image that kept sweeping over her mind during that short (VERY LONG) run, was her mom crossing the finish line in South Bend, Indiana on June 2nd.

Do a Good Deed Today


I hate CANCER. I have had TOO many loved ones battle with it. About 4 years ago I walked in the Revlon Run/Walk for Women's Cancers and it was an amazing experience. I raised about $2000- for the walk. My goal was $500. Apparently, I am not the only one who HATES CANCER.

Today, I am not raising money, but a close friend is, so if you want to find a cure, and have 5 bucks or 500, click on over, and make your pledge today.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Stock Photography Strikes Again. Part II.



As you can see by the photo, I have now inadvertently lent my face (and the face of my little mushie mushie) to a political statement. This image was sent to a self-proclaimed "long distance fan" in an email about the new partial-birth abortion debate.

This is the problem with doing Stock Photography. You can learn all about Stock in my original Stock Post. And even more about it in theFollow Up Post.

The funny thing is, I have met both Chuck Schumer and Hillary Clinton, and they are both very nice people. I never expected we would share a banner ad! But that's what my life is all about: the UNEXPECTED............


Tuesday, May 01, 2007

NOT SAVVY

I just got an email from Real Savvy Moms....and I placed second to last in the vote count. So, I did not win. RATS! (I'm really ok about this....)

I have already done some Shout Outs to the many supporters of this contest, but I wanted to include a few more that I have found over the past few weeks.

THANK YOU:

Mrs. Gedde

Nitty. Gritty.

Sorenson Family

And of course to everyone who started their email chains and blogs that I never found that were advertising the contest and everyone who clicked that VOTE button!



Check back here at 3 PM

From the Real Savvy Moms Website:
May 1st, 2007 - Voting of the top 5 finalist closed on 4/29 and we are now verifying the votes received. We will announce next 2 hosts of Real Moms, Real Stories, Real Savvy today, May 1st, 2007 at 3PM (EST).

I will be out, so I guess, try clicking here at 3 to find out! You will know before me!