Thursday, May 31, 2012

Sneaky Saints and other frustrations

Ok folks, it's been WAY too long. I have a lot of pent-up anger and general agitation that needs to be expressed pronto. ...and we're off.

I'm going to begin with the most immediate frustration because it is actually disturbing me from composing this blog post in a smooth, continuous flow. A friend of mine was cast in a show and I wanted to express my congratulations. Unfortunately, I saw his post immediately after it came up on Facebook and I was the first person to say something. Do we all know what this means? It means that every time anyone says anything regarding his accomplishment, I get a nifty little email alert from the FB crew. You're probably wondering why I don't just disable the email alerts from my facebook account, right? Then I wouldn't have to stop typing this every five seconds to see that someone who I've never met in my life said something stupid and useless to my friend. But then I (just had to stop because I got an email) couldn't have (essentially) instant conversations with people via my facebook wall because I wouldn't be notified that they posted on MY WALL. Which I'm actually interested in. I think they should look into fixing that option. I stopped 6 times during this paragraph alone and I'm not happy about it.

Next order of business. Tomorrow is officially 5 weeks since I've been on crutches as well as my first check-up appointment with the doctor who prescribed them. I cannot communicate in words how excited and hopeful I am about this. I know, I know ...he said 6-8 weeks. But I feel no pain!!! Surely, he will tell me that I no longer need them and I'm free to resume my normal life and activity level. I don't see a lot of other options as currently my sides are completely raw due to the fact that Summer started 5 minutes ago and bare skin + crutches = extreme redness and discomfort. My crutches and I are in a fight and I'd like them to move out. If the doctor could be so kind as to help expedite this process I would be overjoyed. I'm also ready to be done with people on the subway. I'm not sure what they've been spraying on the subway seats (rat poop and homeless people urine) but it's causing the subway riders to get very tude-y with me about my choice to accept or decline an offered seat. Just because I have crutches does not mean I always want to sit down, and I feel that this should be my decision to make. In the beginning (not of time, just to be clear) when a kind stranger would offer his or her seat, "Oh! You have crutches! You simply MUST take my seat!!" and I kindly refused, "Why thank you good Sir, but I would prefer to stand the remainder of the journey," both parties would nod and smile and then carry on about our merry commute. Recently however, the individual offering has become rather snarky about my refusal, mumbling to the person next to them (or no one at all--people do that a lot here. Yes sir, I can see that there is no one around for you to pretend to be talking to so that you can say what you wish you could say to my face to someone else and know that I will still hear you) , "She should NOT be standing," or "How ridiculous,". If I want to sit in a goddamn seat then I will, ok?! I have every right not to sit down if I so choose and I would appreciate you reserving judgment! If anything, you should shut your mouth and be fucking grateful that I am allowing you to continue to sit there!! What the hell is wrong with you?? Then I feel the need to offer and explanation, "I sit at work all day so I'm fine to stand, thank you," and I can see that the individual is still displeased with me so I turn and face the opposite direction, only to be offered a seat by twelve more people consecutively. I JUST SAID NO TO THE LAST ELEVEN PEOPLE. PAY ATTENTION.

 At this point I realize I'm overreacting and I should just be overwhelmed by the kindness which surrounds me but you know this is all self-motivated. That man who first offered was hoping I'd sleep with him if he gave me his seat. And the next person just wanted the recognition from the rest of the subway car--that nod of approval that he did something "right", perhaps a father nudging his son and pointing saying, "There, son. You see how he just gave his seat to a cripple? That's a real man, there." Well I'm onto you, Sir. And I will continue to stand out of pure spite.

Another reason I can't wait to get off these damn piece of shit crutches is because I went to Central Park and watched a game of softball today (I was invited, ok? I don't just go creeping around the park looking for little boys softball games to "watch". And it was adults.) and it awakened a yearning in me to return to the world of competitive sports. I haven't played softball since junior high but man, did I wanna run out onto that field today. Especially since most of the female performances left something to be desired (wtf girls? Man up! Why am I ALWAYS having to say that to our gender??). I miss playing soccer a lot too. In fact I checked out the registration information for ZogSports online as soon as I got to work. Kickball, corn toss, wiffle ball, dogeball... the possibilities are endless. I just wanna crush someone in something. I. Can't. Wait.

On that note, I'm trying to decide what to do first when I get the nod on losing my crutches. I'm leaning towards running because that I literally have not done one time since the day I got them. It kinda blows my mind to think about that. I haven't run for 5 weeks. Over a month. Will I remember how (yes, ass hole I know I will, but bear with me here)? Will I trip and fall like a gangly, uncoordinated teenager (I'm not gangly at all so that seems unlikely...)? Will I get half a block and be exhausted or will it be so exhilarating to re-embrace my ability that my stamina will be endless?? Oh, the unanswered questions that plague me!!!!

 So anyway. Point being, I'm feeling a celebration coming if, I mean WHEN, the good news comes TOMORROW. Everyone cross your fingers!!!

And now...picture time. Just some things that jumped out at me.

I don't even know what these are. Obviously some kind of Reese's encased cookie... although it almost looks like a crust on the bottom and a different texture on the top. And is that marshmallow or ice cream in the middle? Maybe this level of analysis is a tad overkill...

'nuff said.

I made the same face when my mom made me wear this outfit.

That's a wrap!! Toodles!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Food Glorious Food


It's been awhile. I've been SO busy running around doing crazy fun things that I simply haven't had the time to sit down and blog about them!!!!

Ok, so we all know that's bullshit. Mostly I didn't have anything interesting to say and I've been sick as shit--wtf God??? Being on crutches isn't enough?!! You had to additional slap me with a runny ass nose and a sore throat? What a douche!!--and basically spent the entire weekend devouring the first two seasons of Weeds with which I am newly obsessed. But there were a few minor highlights and irritations and I am happy to share those with you now (AKA: I'm working ALL DAY and I'm about to kill myself because I've read every status update on facebook since 9am and I've seen every posted picture on pinterest and read every blog entry from my favorite website... this is my last available form of entertainment)!

1.) I did NOT get the hand job. (HA HA HA!!!! Just seeing if you were paying attention.) It was for today and tomorrow so...clearly didn't book it. And don't you hate that? I had dealt with the fact that I took a royal shit all over the audition and I was fine with it. It wasn't until they called me again and gave me hope that I started to get antsy about it. Whatever. It was probably a porno.

2.) Bobby Lopez (the Tony Award winning composer and lyricist who wrote Avenue Q and Book of Mormon) attended my show, Avenue Zoo this weekend and sat front and center with his two daughters. After the show I sat next to him while he took pictures with our cast (with me wearing the Kate Monster puppet that we use in the show--the one from the Broadway production) and told us how much he liked the  show. I was basically speechless and retarded.

3.) If you are ever in the situation where you are sick and torn between taking Nyquil and Benadryl to sleep at night, go with Nyquil. Hands down.

4.) I saw The 5-year Engagement and it's super funny. Go see it!!!

5.) Only one hit on my furniture on craig's list and it was definitely from a rapist/murderer/cerial killer/theif because he wanted my name and address to mail me payment by money order because he was out of town on "assignment" and his email address was Interesting...

Ok those are the big ones I think. That's really all that happened to me in the past couple of days apart from being generally cranky and resentful of my current disabilities. It has, however, officially been over two weeks that I've been on the crutches now. I would say my technique, speed and agility are greatly improving. I'm learning the ins and outs of when to take advantage of my mobility issue (making sad, desperate searching eyes when I get on the subway until someone offers me a seat) and I've gained new experiences like this blog, Weeds, guitar (or rather...the two chords that I learned that one night when I played it for 20 minutes...) and a general sense of patience and empathy that, to a certain extent, I was lacking before. All things to be happy about.

However, due to the fact that I've been eating pretty carefully, I've recently been battling with some really intense cravings for copious amounts of incredibly detrimental food. I come home at night from crutching around all day, my bag heavy, shoulders aching, collapse onto the couch and turn on weeds... maybe I get the munchies via osmosis? Whatever the cause, every night when I get to this part of my day I have considered baking an adorable, delicious funfetti cake with creamy, pink, sweet icing on top (and obviously sprinkles...duh!) and diving right in. That's after I peruse the 12 or so advertisements that Domino's has kindly left on our door over the past year, drooling over the pictures of artisan pizza's and cheesy bread.
I'm not sure how much longer I can endure the pain.
It's very fortunate that there are certain things (pizza boxes, entire cakes, even cupcakes really, large loaves of bread...) that cannot be carried in a backpack.

These cravings are probably exacerbated by the fact that I'm sick which instantly turns me into a two-year-old. I want nothing more than to lay on the couch at home (in IL) and eat my mom's pastina and italian ice while she scratches my back. And since I can't have those things, I instead settle on food.
I'm going to include some fun links to pictures of things that have really been speaking to me today.

Let me lay it out in proper course order

Maine Course

and maybe we could throw a few of these in there somewhere...

I love you
And you
And you too...

And with that friends, there is nothing more to be said.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Higher you are the Farther you fall...or something like that?

Today was one of those days that truly amazes me because it tricked me. It tricked me into thinking that it was going to be an amazing, ground-breaking day. You know the days I'm talking about? Where you wake up feeling like the potential is just hanging in the air? Like there's so many things to be grateful for and so many amazing things that could happen it's like you're practically in a fucking Disney movie. Like your fairy god-mother is about to appear in front of you and give you everything you've ever wished for?

Ok, maybe not quite to that extreme but you know what I mean. You get a great night's sleep and you wake up feeling oddly refreshed and ready to take on demons and problems and scary homeless men and gimpy legs. Well that's how I felt this morning. When my alarm went off at 7am for work I was greeted by a text from the other girl who works with me that I would not need to work the entire day (9-6) as originally scheduled. Due to the rain, her video shoot was moved and she could work the first half of the day. I smiled a giant smile and promptly went back to sleep for another 2 and a half hours. So it was actually my second awakening that was glorious. When I woke up around 9:40 I felt spectacular! So spectacular, in fact, that I decided my leg must have gotten the memo and healed in the last few hours, enabling me to skip joyfully to drop off my laundry a mere 2 blocks away.

Guess what? My leg didn't get the memo.

I did limp to the laundry mat without my crutches (sorry, mom!) and I have to say it felt pretty damn good not to use them for all of ten minutes. Not to get stared at on the street with looks of pity and, "Girl, what the hell you thinkin livin in Harlem with them damn things undah yo arms? Shit!". So when I got back I was still feeling pretty great, my high only moderately upset by the lack of instant healing. I decided I was going to clean and rearrange my room. Now let's pause for a bit of background on this situation. My room is rather small, and when I purchased furniture at IKEA, I neglected to take measurements ahead of time. I just bought what seemed like a cool bed frame (it IS cool) and brought my shelving unit from my previous apartment, having left behind an enormous, beautiful wardrobe knowing it wouldn't fit. Unfortunately when I put together the bed frame it turned out that not all the items in my room wanted to play nicely together. My closet comes out from the wall and it was basically a toss up between opening my door more than 4 inches or having 4 inches between the end of my bed and the closet. Neither of which is super cool. Since then, I've had several mental revelations where I imagined the perfect set-up in my mind that would allow all my furniture to fit neatly, only to realize that, in practice, the measurements in my mind tend to grow a bit more than the ones that are actually in my room. I usually move shit around about 3 times--vault the bed, unvault the bed, scoot it against one wall, move the shelf to the other, it doesn't fit, scoot it to the other wall, so on and so forth--until I reach that place of, "I don't give a shit anymore. I'm not moving that goddamn shelf one more time. I don't care if it's standing directly in front of the window and I have to squeeze my head and upper torso through one of these stupid ass shelves to open my window or not!!
So that's what happened today.
The image of my fairy god-mother started to blur and fade.
 In an effort to right the situation I posted an ad for both my bed frame and my shelf on craigs list (Here's the bed frame: and the shelf: if anyone is interested!!!) in the hopes that someone will buy them and I can start all over and create the bedroom of my dreams (which is featured very nicely on the IKEA website--Ikea!!! I told you to stay out of my bedroom fantasies and stop stealing my mental images for your catalogue pictures!!). I'm thinking maybe a loft style bed so that I could then have all the space on the floor... but something about sleeping way up in the air like that terrifies me. Am I alone there? I know there are sides on the bed but I don't know... shit happens, man. 

I left my abandoned cause and fled to work, ready to be the best receptionist that ever was! Transferring calls faster than a speeding...whatever. I was semi-excited to go to work. Bam! Alert the rude callers!! Michele is manning the desk!!! Call her immediately and berate her!!
So they did.
I knew I was falling when I kept interrupting them (as they repeated what they wanted for the 35th time) to say "Yes, sir. I understand what you are saying. And I am telling you that no one by the name of Yasmine--he spelled it for me, how gracious--appears in my directory.
Basically, I am blown away by how far you can fall in a matter of a few meager hours. I woke up feeling like Superwoman! Now I just want to punch someone in the stomach. Although, I only have about 18 minutes of work left and then hopefully I can lift my spirits with an amazing dinner and some Jersey Shore!!!! OH! And I just started teaching myself guitar last night, so that's something to look forward to as well!!

I also just want to say in closing that I really enjoyed writing this at the very end of the day when I know I have to leave in 10 minutes now. It gives me a sense of urgency like I have a very pressing and important deadline and if I don't meet it I might be fired. Almost as though what I do is actually important and meaningful. Almost. Might make it a habit!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Progress report and BIG NEWS!!!

Back from a long weekend! I took some time off to let ideas pile up so I'd have lots to talk about. Plus...I'm working two full days (as opposed to the half days I normally work) in a row and I knew I'd need to occupy as much time as possible to keep me from going stir crazy.

So first I need to address some developments on previous posts.

1.) The very same day I posted about no women offering to help me, I had 3 girls offer on my way home from work. And since then I have had girls offer every single day. Ask and you shall receive!

2.) Remember that awful audition? The one where I moved around little tinker toys like someone with a slight disability and generally wanted to stab myself the entire time? The one I walked out of saying to myself, "Well. Didn't get THAT job."

They called me.

I know.

When the woman said "Hi this is ____ from ____ ____ casting. I'm calling you about the audition for the hand modeling job you attended last week," I sat in a shocked silence for a few good seconds until I mustered a, "I'm sorry? From where?". I was pretty sure I'd misheard her. But I hadn't! She was calling because they were very interested in me (or hands...) and she wanted to confirm my availability for the shooting dates next week. They also wanted me to send them a picture of my hand next to a ruler.

Uhm...weird. This whole situation just keeps getting more and more strange. To be honest, if this job didn't pay a ridiculous amount of money (which it does), at this point I would probably come up with some kind of excuse.
"Oh my gosh...I actually just had a relative die and the funeral is going to be that day. I'm so sorry."

"Oh thank you I'm so honored but unfortunately I just had a terrible allergic reaction and developed a really revolting hand rash"

"I'm sorry, I wasn't at that audition. I'm not even an actor. I think maybe you have the wrong number."

But guess what. It pays a ridiculous amount of money. So naturally I responded with, "Absolutely!" and promptly spent my lunch break picking out a ruler at staples next to which I could photograph my hand (bonus: another time sucking activity to occupy my attention during this endless day: making a creepy photo album of my hand posing with a shitty plastic ruler!). I initially sent her only one photo and then she responded requesting that I provide a few more angles. I didn't realize there was that much to see. This is obviously an entire world that I know nothing about. All I can say is I must have a damn attractive hand to have convinced them they wanted to use me after seeing my audition video. Or they were specifically looking for small handed female puppeteers with a splash of awkward I'm-not-sure-what-I'm-supposed-to-be-doing-right-now thrown in the mix. We'll see how the plot continues.

Obviously I have to allow you to see the hand pictures now. I'd say look in private. Something about this feels wrong.
Angle 1

Angle 2

Angle 3

A third issue that needs to be addressed is rather urgent. In fact, I should have started this post with the announcement I am about to share with you.

[Pause as a girl working in my office sneezes FOUR time in a row and I have to practice deep breathing to keep from having an angry outburst.]

As I was enjoying my nightly ritual of Jersey Shore on Friday evening, there was a moment in the episode where one of the people on the show, Pauly D, said to someone "It's Pauly D. The D's for Delvecchio."
The world around me froze.
Delvecchio??? This can't be right! That is my nana's maiden name! What does this mean??? Could I, Michele Dumoulin, actually be related to one of the cast members on the Jersey Shore??! Does this explain why I feel some strange and undeniable pull to watch the show?? Because they

I called my mom immediately to inform her of the situation. She calmly told me that Delvecchio was a very popular name. Obviously she wasn't understanding the urgency of the situation and the gravity of the information that I had just shared with her. "NO, mom," I told her, "We're related to PAULY D! Don't you understand?!" I don't think she did, but she did sarcastically replied that I was probably right and, if so, he probably owed us some money. Oh, mom.

I feel like this has been a lot for you to take in at once so I'm just going to give you the night to register what I've just told you. I know I needed the time.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Girls, where you at???

Happy Friday everyone!

So I just finished watching "Being Elmo", the documentary about Kevin Clash who plays Elmo on Sesame Street. And I have to say...everyone was right. GREAT movie. Watch it. I actually forgot I was watching a documentary when I nearly started crying at the end. Then I realized I was at work and people were looking at me oddly as I sat at the reception desk with one ear bud held in place (we're only aloud to wear ear buds and have one in so as to look "attentive" and "ready"--for what, I'm not sure. Will I need to leap into battle at a moments notice? I answer the phone and transfer calls and I would say it's within my realm of capabilities to remove an ear bud in a prompt fashion, though I can see how it may be a time consuming task...I know the say "man the desk" and "field calls" but really, this is a pretty low-action position--and I apparently have ears shaped differently than every other human being on the face of the planet who is able to use those handy dandy little ear buds which WILL NOT stay in my ears so I am forced to keep it their manually) nearly crying while doing...nothing, and I pulled myself together. Point being, it's a good movie.

Today officially marks one week that I have been on crutches, and I will say that my hip is in significantly less pain today than it has been. I'm hoping it's an indication of fast healing because with the weather starting to warm up, I'm feeling the itch to get moving. It's been pretty difficult this week dealing with moving around this way. I find that I get exhausted so quickly that I really can't do a lot of non-essential movement. And by the time 6pm rolls around and I leave work, I'm pretty much done for the day. The idea of going somewhere else and then having to rouse the energy to get home after whatever it is I attend is rather daunting. But now that I'm getting stronger I can feel my energy returning and I'm not sure whether that's good or bad. I get a very strange feeling when I swing home at night like I've been wearing a costume all day or that somehow this is something I'm "putting on" for a show and I just wish I could take it off and run free, so to speak. I know it's a long way off, but I really can't wait to get back to moving around normally.

And on the topic of crutching, I started to notice a trend today as I was doing some things around the city. I counted 6 times (6 times!!! A point for humanity!!!) I was offered help within only an hour of traveling on the subway (probably because I look so pathetic limping my way down the subway stairs) but I couldn't help but also noticed that each time it was from a man. When I took a moment to reflect on the past week, I realized every time I've been offered help since getting my crutches it has been from a man. Initially, you might say "Well Michele, that's because men are stronger and more able to help you, obviously!". First of all, I take that as an insult to the female gender. I can think of plenty of women who could probably carry me all over the city without an issue (ok that's not entirely true but I'm just saying, women are strong, dude). But more than that, assuming you know what I look like (4'10"--yes. really.-- a little over a hundred pounds, little white girl with crutches) does that seem like an impossible load to support, as a woman? It's not like I'm a linebacker. And it's not like you have to throw me over your shoulders and jog up the stairs. We're talking about holding my crutches and allowing me to lean on your forearm. So why have no women offered to do this? I must say, I'm disappointed, girls. I expected better from you.

Moving on, I think I need to address a new problem. The inner obese person in me has developed a love for pinterest, the site from which I included a link featuring my rainy day food craving. I have developed a daily habit of browsing the hundreds of food images and creating what you might describe as a binge wish list. If I could eat anything in the world and never die of diabetes or a heart attack, these would be my best friends. I engage in a virtual feast daily, gorging myself on entire pans of cheesy, meaty lasagna, and rich, decadent  chocolate cookie dough oreo cheesecakes (I'm not even sure that exists but I bet I could find a picture somewhere on there...better start looking...). Why do I do this to myself??? In a way, I get some sort of satisfaction from looking (ok, ogling, drooling over) at the pictures. It reminds me of a game I like to play with vending machines. I thoroughly examine all the products within the machine and choose my select favorite items. I then mentally place them in the order in which I would most like to consume them (say, salted peanuts app, cheez-its main course, snickers bar dessert! But let's be real, who stops at 3??) and then I take a moment to really relish in how awesome it would be to consume all (12?) of those items right then. And in a way, I feel like the food and I have come together on another level and I have been satisfied. I mean not really, I probably go home and eat half a jar of almond butter but hey, that's better than eating 3 bags of peanuts, cheez-its, a cheese danish, a snickers, and a take 5, right? Exactly!! Whatever the reason for my daily virtual pinterest binge, it's a habit that I will happily continue. And I will now include an image from today's top picks!

It's the closest thing I could find to my earlier description.
Happy weekend!!!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Say yes to Jersey

Today I'm going to break new ground. I'm going to defy the title of my blog and actually talk about something unrelated to food or exercise that I really love:

Jersey Shore.
Not the place. The show. It's as bad as it seems. I love Jersey Shore.

Typically, I am able to hide this guilty pleasure because I really only watch it when I'm at the gym. It happens to be on at the random times I'm there and I fully enjoy watching it as I move from elliptical to treadmill to stairmaster (and now we know why I have a stress facture...). However, being that I am now injured and cannot frequent the gym, I have been forced to watch it at home (It's on netflix!!!). And I have to say, I look forward to it every night. That may just be a reflection of my sad addiction to trashy television, but there is something truly awesome about this show. Even my roommates, though they tried to feign disgust and disinterest at first, can now be found sitting next to me, sucked in by the action.

 Don't get me wrong. I am fully aware of the stupidity and offensive nature of the show. But somehow that only makes it more appealing to me. Is it because, after a day at work and hours of frustrated swinging through a city of inconsiderate, rude tourists/natives, I want nothing more than to sit back, relax, and watch stupid people do stupid things and then flounder around for stupid solutions to the stupid problems that result? Yeah, maybe. I just know I laugh out loud every time one of them says something completely idiotic or does something I can't imagine allowing myself to do on national television or springs into one of their all-too-common shouting matches usually characterized by a slew of censor beeps with the occasional pronoun thrown in. Keep it comin, Jersey.

I actually find myself liking the girl characters. Maybe because we see the results of the lifestyle we lead? There's something oddly realistic about the show. It's not like other reality shows where we know those bitches are going out every night and getting wasted, dancing around and behaving in a generally foolish way, and then they show up the next morning looking fresh-faced and weighing in at 46 lbs. These girls look a mess. They get drunk, they meet random guys (none of this is behavior I'm condoning, of course) but they look pretty damn awful. And something about that makes me sympathetic to them. Maybe it's intentional.

And now that I've made myself look like a sad, lifeless slob who trudges home every night to plop in front of the tv for endless hours of Jersey Shore, let me defend myself a bit. This revelation is only the result of about 2 nights of watching this week, and I am a regular follower of many other wonderful shows like Parenthood and Madmen. I just also happen to enjoy my juicy Jersey Shore as well. A well balanced diet never hurt anyone, right?

So that was something I like. Part II is shit that makes me mad. Yesterday at the very end of my work day I encountered a situation which I find happens to me quite often. There is a short list (thought how short is debatable, as the list seems to grow daily) of things which make me irrationally angry for no particular reason. Things like coughing or sneezing repeatedly, (I have to restrain myself from saying aloud to strangers, "That's it. You're done.") people bumping into me on the sidewalk, and a new one I will now be adding to my list: Potato chip crunching.

Maybe it was because I was hungry, or it was literally the last five minutes of work and I could not bear any more irritations? Maybe it was because this woman was sitting on THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ROOM and somehow I could still hear EACH and EVERY SINGLE CHIP that entered here mouth. I'm almost certain I could have illustrated each chip after she had consumed it, detailing it's shape and crevices thanks to the echoes from it's surface as she destroyed them with her teeth. Maybe I just really wanted a damn chip. I'm not sure what it was, but holy shit was I mad. I was practicing deep breathing exercise, I was trying to pour all my focus and energy into my game of bejeweled, I was doing everything I could think of to keep from standing up, marching (scooting) over to her, grabbing the bag out of her hands and screaming, "I can hear you all the way over there! What the hell is wrong with your jaw?! Didn't your mother teach you how to chew politely?!? You don't deserve these!"

I didn't do that, which is probably good because I like this job most of the time. Namely, when people aren't trying to drive me to the point of insanity with their chomping. Am I alone in reacting this way to things like this? Does anyone else get so angry when faced with such a seemingly insignificant thing? Let's get some feedback, folks!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


Good afternoon all!

Something about the weather today gives me the feeling that this post is going to be centered around food. For those of you not living in the NYC area, it's one of those chilly rainy days that makes you want to curl up on a couch in front of a warm fire with a really soft blanket and watch trashy television while devouring the contents of your kitchen cabinets. Or maybe that's just me.

To be honest, I really only do that kind of damage when I go home (to IL) for a visit. I have a process each time I come home that involves the dissection of every product in our pantry, refrigerator, closet, under the bed, .. essentially any space where food could potentially be hiding. I will seek it out. Once I have identified all the products that we own (and most of them are the same every time--it's like visiting old friends!!) I then must taste each and every one. Even if I know what they taste like, even if I know they are awful and I don't like them, I must do it. It is a ritual (compulsion?). Then I can center in on the items which I truly love and devote more time and attention to them, really relish in whatever it is I like about them (this typically happens with items like peanut butter, crackers, ice cream, cheese, cookies...ok, so including a short list was a lost cause).

Now, my family always gives me a lot of flack for doing this. We'll all have dinner together, and then everyone will migrate to the living room to enjoy an episode of The Daily Show while I will move furiously from cabinet to fridge, tasting as I go, each bag rustle prompting a "Are you STILL in there?" or a "What is she eating NOW??". I huff back a defensive, "I'm hungry!" or "Nothing!! You don't understand!" as though this is some deeply rooted, emotional issue that is far to complex for anyone else to comprehend. After I have consumed half the peanut butter jar with a spoon, I will happily join my family in the living room or head off to bed feeling full and satisfied.

Why do I do this? Well, as I mentioned in my 'about me', I find it impossible to choose a favorite food because of my extreme loyalty to all of them--I say it would be like choosing my favorite child. So let's apply that idea to this scenario. I come home after months of being away and I want to check up on all my children, hidden away in the deepest, darkest corner of the pantry, having been neglected for months (or in some cases, years--only very non-perishable items, don't blame mom, she's a very clean person but we all know those mysterious chips left over from that strange weight loss program someone sort of committed to temporarily that are supposed to taste like cinnamon sugar chips but really just taste like questionable sweet styrafoam). I spend time with them, give them love, even the ones that I know aren't good enough to make it out there in the hard, scary world of consumer food choices. I am a very loving mother to my food products.

On one particular occasion, I was home alone because both my brother and parents were out of the country and I had a break from performances during tour while we happened to be in the area. I couldn't reach my family (thanks, Verizon) and so I maybe gave a tad more love to my food family at home. I even went to visit our distant relatives in the garage freezer. The high school cookie dough stock. We all have this one too. That cookie dough your mom bought in barrels because the chorus was having a fundraiser for your yearly field trip but it never gets made. Instead it is shoved and stocked in the back of the most distant freezer you own and by the time all your kids get through high school you have a nice little assortment of frozen cookie dough. I stumbled upon this when I opened the freezer and actually thought I had died and gone to some kind of cookie dough heaven. I had so many choices!! Turtle, peanut butter, sugar... where to begin??! Naturally, being that they were in the freezer, they were frozen. But that didn't discourage me at all. I went straight for the peanut butter. Opened the plastic lead, broke the seal, and tried to dig in the my fingers (this part may be a bit vulgar for those of you with children reading). This proved to be a challenge because the cookie dough was quite cold and I could really get it to budge (perhaps because it had been frozen for 20 years or so--again, don't blame mom). Then an idea occurred to me. I was moderately ashamed that I would even consider what I was about to do, but then I thought "what the hell? It's just me here. Nobody's watching." (except now I'm telling all of you.). Before I explain what I did, let's quickly review the architecture of plastic binned cookie dough. The dough is obviously binned by a machine which I would imagine to be like a soft serve machine, so that when the last bit of the dough is in the jar and the machine stops, it leaves what you might describe as an island of cookie dough in the center, surrounded by a small moat. You with me? Ok, so I raise the bin to my face...(yes, really) and I attempt to bite off part of the magical peanut butter cookie dough island in the center of the surface. Unfortunately, my face was too large and the surface was still too hard which resulted in me bumping my nose on the container rather hard. I put the lid back on and walked shamefully back to the house. I had a bruise for the next several days.

Did I still go back and visit the cookie dough the next day? Why, of course!! Would you abandon your child just because he or she said or did something that hurt you? No, you would not.

But back to the here and now. I'm going to leave you with a few images of the food that I am feeling rather close to right now due to the weather. Feel free to comment or share images of your own!

I'm sure it's not as good as mom's, which is what I'm imagining, but this would be wonderful

This would do as well. Maybe with some tomato soup.

Happy munching!!!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

On heckling and toys

Late post today! I had the day off from work so I didn't have a luxurious afternoon to sit in front of the computer and compile my thoughts. But fear not! Even at this late hour of the day (ok, it's not even 10pm but for me that's pretty darn late) I will commit to bringing you, my attentive readers (or rather...the 3 of you who have commented...) a thoughtful and thought provoking read! You can send me thanks in the form of chocolate and/or flowers. Or cake.

So there is one category in the title of my blog that I haven't yet touched on: Shit that makes me mad. So let's hit on that for a moment. I live in Harlem, a friendly and enthusiastic, very vocal neighborhood. And by vocal, I mean that every time a female walks down the street she is greeted by the voiced admiration of her gentlemen neighbors. I have personally experienced this in the following forms:

Kissing noises
prayer (yes. Prayer. To God. In Heaven. Like, "God bless you baby, you beautiful")
Grunting noises
Creative pick-up lines (some of my favorites being, "Great things come in small packages, baby" and "Yo baby you dropped somethin... yeah, you dropped your sexiness back there")

Now, when I was graced my crutches, I thought how nice it would be to be able to swing through the streets of Harlem without encountering any of these suitors, as surely none of them would attempt this with an invalid.


Today I get to add a new pick-up line to my list: " God bless you baby, I hope he heals that leg up real quick so you can run back to me."
...Seriously? Shit must be bad on the home front, yo. When you're trying your moves on the little girl tripping her way home on crutches, gaze set in concentration, sweat gathering on her brow, chick's ain't diggin you.

But before I could be heckled by a strange and desperate (homeless, possibly crack addicted?) man, I had to endure one of the strangest auditions I've ever attended. I would say I probably won't usually post about what goes on at an audition because it seems wrong or somehow--like what happens in that room is sacred and I am sworn to secrecy by some deathly binding actor pact, but this particular instance is just a little too interesting not to share. So here's what happened:

Yesterday I submitted for a job that was described as "Female puppeteer with small, child-like hands". I am by no means an excellent puppeteer, but I figured the number of good puppeteers would be diminished by the small hand qualification and it might increase my chances. I got a call shortly thereafter from a woman asking me to come in the following day (today) for an appointment. She explained that we wouldn't actually be puppeteering (whew!) but rather playing with small toys. "..ok...great!" I answered, and spent the rest of the afternoon at work trying to imagine what exactly I had just agreed to audition for. Obviously my first assumption was that this was some kind of sexual fantasy about small-handed girls playing with children's toys. Don't worry mom, it wasn't. But it was almost as interesting.

When I arrived I signed my name on the list and sat to wait my turn. When each small-handed girl went in the room, Katy Perry's "California Girls" would play through once or twice and then she would come out. Hmmmmm... a new twist. Is there some kind of erotic dance involving the very small toys done to the tune of Katy Perry?? When my name was called I walked in the room and found a table with 5 small toys on it. These were the kind of toys one might find inside a happy meal from McDonald's. One was a large cat that, when you pushed on it's tongue, would sing to you. One was a cat on a skateboard that rolled across the table and when you pushed down it's head it's eyes would blink. One was a wind-up toy that would scoot around when wound, and there were two other very small animals that didn't really do anything interesting.

The woman showed me what each of them did and then instructed me to "play with them". She said she was going to put some music on (I'm still not entirely sure what that music was for...) and I could begin when I was ready. There was a camera filming only my hands moving the toys on the table and I could see the image on a monitor pointed back at me. As I tried to ignore my initial thoughts of "what the hell is this? What am I supposed to be doing??" I attempted to come up with some fun things for my little animal friends to do. I thought--Hey! The singing cat could sing and the skating cat could skate around him and maybe the useless ones could like head nod to the beat. Well none of that worked because I suddenly had the hands of an 80-year-old parkinsons victim and was unable to manipulate any of these allegedly innocent toys. I could get the cat to sing, my fingers were blocking his face, the skater could only skate in a straight line so he couldn't circle the singing cat and I wasn't pressing his head down hard enough to make him blink. The useless animals were, shockingly, useless and were, frankly, lacking in neck flexibility which made head nodding a challenge for them. Basically, my toy block party was a bust, and this became clear to me when the woman stopped the music and said kindly, "Why don't you just use one toy at a time." Smile. Welp. There goes that job. I tried to redeem myself the second time, but at this point I just felt like a complete screw-up. Who can't play with toys well??? I kept trying to think of something creative or cool to do with these stupid, lazy, disabled cats and ended up doing nothing except making them walk around and sort of "dance" stupidly. Those cats were mocking me. I was grateful when the woman excused me from the room.

I'm not really sure what the lesson is there, I mean there must be one. Maybe I'm just too close or still too damaged by the experience to see it? If anyone else can read the scenario more clearly, I'd love your take on it. I'll just have to be satisfied with nightmares of uncooperative little toy cats on skateboards. And with that, a good night to all!