Sunday, March 30, 2008

Last weekend while in DC, we took in a show in Bethesda called My Father's Jewish, My Mother's Italian and I'm in Therapy. It was very entertaining and funny and I'm glad we saw it, but that isn't the story. It's always a story with me, right?
We decided to go to the early show and then do dinner so we could get up early for our flight the next morning, so as a result the crowd at the 5pm showing was, shall we say, older. Like, they- ate-dinner-before-the-show-in-order-to-get-the-Early-Bird-Special-at-the-diner-down-the-street-old. So we're sitting there right before curtain, and the guy behind me says, "Can you scoot down in your seat so I can see?" First of all: Theatre Manners anyone? Secondly: I didn't even have my Mall hair on, so I don't see what the big whoop was! I'm not THAT tall and I don't sit in a booster seat at theatre events...much. But I compromised and scooched down just a bit. By the time intermission came around, I needed to sit up straight again and I figured maybe he would be okay with half of the show under his belt.
So the lights go down. All of the sudden I start feeling wind on the back of my head. Oscillating wind. The man was BLOWING ON MY HEAD to get me to scoot down again! Go ahead, pick up your jaw. After a few of these breezes, I shot a look behind me that most likely made him reach for his Life Alert button.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Earth Hour

Don't forget to take part in
Earth Hour Saturday March 29th at 8pm

Monday, March 24, 2008

No More Kings

Back from an absolutely wonderful trip to the DC area. We had a great time visiting friends, new and old, site-seeing in our nation's capital, and optimizing the nervous system of a horse named Gratitude. great name, huh? While Jen evaluated the horse, I poked around and took shots of existing structures and surroundings. Isn't it funny how a new environment brings new eyes? I love when that happens.
So after our first barn visit we decided to head into the city for a few hours before our scheduled night tour of the monuments. I'm extremely proud, and not at all surprised, at our navigation of yet another subway system. I had previously vowed to boycott DC until the buffoon named George was gone, but I'm glad I didn't wait until the slimy veil lifts. For those of you worried that I may get in trouble, arrested or end up on the news while visiting, you'll be happy to know that I managed to restrain myself, be a good girl and shot only one bird towards the White House during the trip. (give it up for progress!) On a trip to DC when I was a kid, we were able to get a lot closer to the White House. I remember being right out on the street in front. Now, you can only get as close as the tents you see in the photo, which look very close, but are actually a good bit from the front gate. Everything here is so close, yet so far away and removed. Very guarded with the appearance of openness. Sound familiar?

Here are some great shots of our escapades. We really did have a great time, and are already talking about what to do next time. Thank you to Kay and Sherry for being world class hosts and making us feel so at home and welcome! We love you!

The Lincoln Memorial is by far the most awe inspiring sight in DC. By day or night, the statue is just incredible and the words of Lincoln which surround the monument are applicable and pertinent even today. Take time to read the Gettysburg Address. Timeless.

This is the ceiling in the Lincoln Memorial. Couldn't resist taking a pic.

As you leave Lincoln, there is a spectacular, quiet reminder that greatness is still afoot. Imagine standing on this spot of granite on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and delivering this great speech, or being fortunate enough to look up those same steps and hear it delivered. It was incredible to look out across the Mall and imagine what that must have been like.

Albert Einstein Memorial

We went on a guided night tour which was wonderful! At the risk of sounding like a fuddy-duddy, I enjoy a tour. There I said it. I enjoy being driven around a city I am unfamiliar with, whilst being fed information about said city. It is informative, yet there is no stress involved regarding traffic. Ain't 'shamed.

Sherry, Peanut, Kay and me at the Lincoln Memorial

It wouldn't be my blog if I didn't take the opportunity to voice my feelings about being in our nation's capital during wartime. The vast majority of the memorials and monuments we saw were for wars past. I found it to be very unsettling that we as a nation are stuck on a hamster wheel that creates conflict abroad and rushes home to make a pretty statue or fountain that we can visit hoping to wash away the guilt of our support after such ventures have gone awry. I, by no means, am taking anything away from the artists commissioned to create these incredible memorials. They are stunning, thought-provoking, and altogether beautiful. The reasons we have them are the sad, unfortunate, regrettable part.

Korean War Iwo Jima World War II
Vietnam War
Then after a day of mostly war memorials, we ended up at the FDR Memorial and what a refreshing treat to experience the wisdom of one of our great leaders. I regret that I don't have many photos due to the lack of light, but the site is well done and absolutely beautiful. A maze of granite is filled with quotes and excerpts from speeches reminding us what government should be, used to be, and hopefully will be again soon: advocates for it's citizens.

So that was it. We had a wonderful, enlightening time and most of all got to spend some quality time with our friends. We flew out the next morning very early, and for one last beautiful sight we were treated to the Reagan National Airport.

horrible president: awesome airport

Thursday, March 20, 2008

We're off to DC this weekend for a little work and play. My lovely is going to look at a horse for a friend of mine and while we are there we plan on taking in some of the sights. Neither of us has been to DC since we were in elementary school! Should be fun!
So while we're gone, feel free to refresh your memory on how our awesome government gets things done, ahem.
Happy "Won't You Be My Neighbor Days"
A sweater today is optional, but neighborliness is mandatory!
We miss you, Mr. Rogers.
Happy 80th Birthday!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Take one look at the graphic above and guess at where I'm going tomorrow morning bright and early....damn Thornebrook Chocolate Caramels.
A painful reminder of one of the reasons I cut my teaching career short happened Monday. Biting. I hated it during my internship, and 18 years later I'm still not so fond of it. Long story short, one of our autistic patients got a bit frustrated and decided to take it out on us. He's quick too! I'm not at all upset at him. He can't help it. I am fairly perturbed by the dad who didn't even flinch as his son clamped down on each of us. I mean he didn't say a word or even move to get out of his chair either time.
As you can imagine,I had a few terse words for the dad when he asked "Is there anything I can do?" Do you think he's available for slapping each time we brush up against the mouth-shaped bruises on our hand and arm?

Monday, March 17, 2008

rites of spring

We had a little impromptu pool party yesterday even though the water is just 64 degrees. My good friend Angie was a brave brave soul and took the plunge! Let me just preface this pictures with the fact that I put just my feet in there the day before and within a few minutes I was numb from the knee down. There is no need to narrate...facial expressions and blue lips say it all.

big ups, Ang!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

I am happy to report that I have successfully emerged from the fog of a head cold I caught on the plane to NYC a week ago. Apparently the incubation period was 3 days since I started feeling poopy the Monday we got back. I have a cute little 3-yr-old girl from the Orlando area to thank for it. How do I know it was her you say? Well, my first clue was that she sneezed repeatedly across the aisle in the direction of my seat the entire flight. My second clue was the plethora of snot that came gushing out of both nostrils with each said sneeze. I rest my case.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

NYC March 08

Pull up a chair, kids. This is a long one!

We are on the plane back from an incredible trip to our favorite city, so I figured I would get a jump on blogging.
Although the weather was not very cooperative for our agenda, we had such a great time being back in the city. We both felt instantly comfortable and at ease as we started milling around.
We stayed at the Marriott Marquis this time thanks to reward points we had accumulated over our recent travels. Wow. Want to really spoil yourself for future hotel stays? Check into the Marquis and be fortunate enough to get an upgrade which included a room with a view of Times Square! Whuut?! (In case you were wondering, hotel blackout curtains are good, but they are no match for the bright lights of Times Square!)

This is the fitness center at the hotel. It's a big atrium-like room with rows of treadmills facing out over Times Square. Even I considered working out with that view! The little capsule-like thing to the right is one of 14 elevators that run in the center of the hotel.

After checking in, we immediately headed over to Zen Palate for the first of four meals for the weekend. That place is just awesome! It is incredible what they can do with a vegetarian menu! Not to be obsessed with the food on our trip, buuut here are photos of most of the four meals we ate there! I am happy to report that I tried something different at every meal and have now expanded my knowledge base of the current menu.

Thai Chopped Salad Shredded Heaven
Curry Noodle Soup
Shredded Melody
Zen Burger with Yam Fries

After that we rode the subway uptown and ended up at the Apple Store on the south corner of Central Park and 5th Avenue. That whole setup is just cool!

The glass cube entryway is pictured here.

This is a shot looking up into the cube from the store which is below street level. On our ride back to the hotel I captured proof that a New York subway ride is a calming and relaxing event!
Did I mention in earlier posts that we had 5th row tickets for Wicked? Yeah, so we went back to the room to get dressed for dinner and the show. We made arrangements to meet up with my longtime friend Kay and her partner, Sherry for dinner before the show. We had a great albeit rushed meal since they had tickets for a show too. By the time dinner was over weather conditions had quickly deteriorated and we found ourselves trudging briskly through the streets to the Gershwin. Our plans were to take a cab, but it became apparent that were we lucky enough to actually get a cab, we’d be stuck in traffic and risk missing the 8 o clock curtain. Wet shoes would dry. Watching Steph burst onto the stage as Elphaba would not.

The show was incredible! We have seen Stephanie in this role a number of times in a number of cities, and this time she sounded better than ever! Jen and I cheered wildly from our awesome seats, each quietly thinking that she had seen us from the stage!! She sounded absolutely wonderful and just like the first time I saw her onstage, I was again awash with chill bumps and pride! She does this role such justice. I was so looking forward to telling her all those things at the stage door in a few hours. Little did I know it was not meant to happen.

We waited at the stage door, like every other time, for her to exit. It was cold and wet, and they came out to let us know that she wouldn’t be out due to the conditions. It’s hard to not be disappointed, although we both kind of expected that this could happen. So we decided we’d stop by the next night and hope the weather would hold out. I went back to the room and sent Steph an email saying that we enjoyed the show and hoped to catch up with her the next evening.

Yes, more food...Two Eggs and Cheese on a Roll, Fruit Granola & Yogurt from Cafe Duke, our favorite local food stop for breakfast. This place is like the Soup Nazi from Seinfeld. You better know what you want at the counter and order it correctly or "No soup for you!"
Now, I am going to give a shameless shout out to my iPhone for what I am about to tell you. Because I can get my email on the fly, anywhere I have a signal, including at the lunch table Saturday afternoon, (yes, Zen Palate) I was able to retrieve an email back from Steph apologizing for missing us, and that she saw us the night before in the audience! She said that she has been dodging the flu, and the bad weather made it impossible to come out. She asked us to come to the theatre after the show that night and tell the stage door handler that we were there to see her and we’d be taken care of from there. I guess you can imagine that I was ruined, ruined I say, for the rest of the day! Heinz Ketchup ain't got nothing on our anticipation for that afternoon! We decided to busy ourselves with a show since the weather was fully crappy by this point.

From lunch we opted to pick up last minute tickets to see A Chorus Line instead of The Beebo Brinker Chronicles. The weather was pretty awful by this point and the allure of walking out of the hotel, across the street, into the theatre for A Chorus Line sounded better than schlepping to the subway and walking 7 blocks in the rain to see the other show. Also, our friend Nick is currently in the production and we wanted to say hi to him. Here we are with him last June outside of The Pirate Queen.
The show was great and Nick is just the cutest little chorus boy we know!

After the matinee, we headed back to the room to chill before dinner and the trek to see Steph. For grannies like us, waiting around to go out at 11pm is a feat in itself! Jen opted for people watching from the 33rd floor into Times Square! You'd be surprised at how interesting it is to watch the happenings down below!

So we finally made our way to the theatre to see our green friend.
Surreal doesn’t even begin to explain what happened after we announced ourselves at the stage door as instructed.
We were handed off from the stage door to Eddie who asked us to get in the elevator, press 2 and Kathy would be waiting for us there. Kathy is Steph’s dresser for the show, and as she described it, “Stephanie’s shadow” After exchanging hellos, I looked up to realize that we were backstage at the Gershwin!!! Other actors we recognized were whizzing by and going about their business as Kathy said she was going to give us a little tour of the area while we waited for Steph to “de-green”. We found ourselves smack in the middle of all the props: the bottles of green elixir, Fiyero’s Pedi cab, the Oz head, the stairway at the castle, Glinda’s wand, Elphaba’s suitcase she carries on her arrival at Shiz, (see photo above) and her broom which is such an important prop in "Defying Gravity". We couldn't resist running our fingers across some of these iconic pieces. wow.

Everywhere we looked there was something familiar and yet new. Talk about your senses being overloaded! We stood on all the marks for the show on the stage, stood where the cherry picker comes up for the Defying Gravity show stealer, and the trap door for the final scene. Then Kathy took us a bit farther back to just outside Steph’s dressing room, and stood there talking to us about what we do, but clearly had been told by Stephanie that we were some friends from Florida. Again, whuut?! This woman who minutes before had just brought down a full house was talking about us to her dresser?!
Then the next thing you know, we’re standing in Stephanie’s dressing room hugging and chitty-chatting about everything. It was so nice to see her again and catch up. She let us know that from now on, she would just “whisk” us up to see her via the stage door so we didn’t have to wait outside. Whuuut?!
Here we are in the elevator (note the emerald green curtains!) on the way back down. We opted to not photograph anything while with Stephanie, but couldn't resist taking these shaky shots with our phones to capture our reactions afterwards!

We settled for a photo with the star at the marquis outside. If you need your memory refreshed, check the archives for pics of us with Stephanie in the past. ;)
So we confirmed with Stephanie that we will be coming out to LA in September to see the previews of 9 to5 and then back again to NYC in April of ‘09 for the Broadway run. The whole thing was just wonderful and fun and unexpected. Isn’t that just the best way to have something happen? sigh.