Adieu, 2008

It seems impossible that 2008 is already coming to a close. It's been a big year in the life of Little Ms. Bossy, but it's gone by in a flash. 2009 is going to be an exciting year, I can already tell: debuts at at least 2 companies, a world premiere, finally moving my stuff out of storage, paying off my credit card debt, the Obamas moving into the White House, and lots of other excitement I haven't even imagined yet, I'm sure. But first, I'm taking a little time to be self-indulgent and re-reading all my posts from 2008. Here's what happened to me this year:

I learned how to run. Then I forgot how again.

I worked up the courage to write about my divorce.

I found out that I like video games. Probably too much.

I attempted to blog every day for a month. Twice.

I traveled. To Chicago. To California. To the Rodeo (at least it felt like traveling). A road trip through New Orleans to Wolf Trap. To Oregon. To Shenandoah National Park. To Central City, Colorado and Santa Fe, New Mexico. Back to California. And finally, to Vegas!

I survived Magic Flute, La Bohème, The Refuge, and Beatrice & Benedict. Also a 4-month long stretch of unemployment.

I made a couple big purchases. I bought an amazing new camera and learned to use it. Then I bought a beautiful new computer.

I made my Ultimate To-Do List and crossed off 9 out of 100. I started The Peer Pressure List as a weekly feature.

I survived a hurricane.

I celebrated my 27th birthday in style.

I helped elect Barack Obama. Then I got political, sort of.

2008, you pretty much rocked, but the time has come to say goodbye.

Bring it on, 2009.

Dear Santa,

Thank you so much for the present that arrived today. It was wrapped beautifully, but as soon as I saw it, I couldn't help it…I just had to open it right away.

You sure know how to wrap a present. It took a full 2 minutes of concentrated trying before I was able to tear it open, but what was inside was definitely worth the wait.

Please be sure to thank Mrs. Claus for sewing me my beautiful new tiger mouse. There's something about that mouse that makes me a little crazy, but I can't quite put my paw on what it is.

I stayed in bed all morning and part of the afternoon, so by the time I unwrapped my mouse, I was ready to play. The mouse loves to jump in the air and taunt me with its long tail, so I have to bite it and show it who's boss (me). It also becomes a lot more obedient when I hold it tight in my paws and kick it hard with my feet.

All that playing was exhausting, so I'm signing off now to go back to sleeping on the couch next to my mom. Thanks again for my beautiful gift.

Love,
The Bossy Cat

Peer Pressure List, Vol. 6

  • Las Vegas: Over-the-top and tacky and showy and all the other adjectives I thought it would be, but also fun and exciting and luxurious and unexpected. I never thought I would be a Vegas person, but I was so wrong. Vegas won me over with her wily ways, and I think she might do the same to you.

  • Quack Shot slot machine: If you see this machine at a casino, you MUST play it. Especially if you have been given $100 free slot credits, in which case, based on my experience, you have a 100% chance of winning $169 on this one machine.

  • iTunes gift cards: Want to make the audiophile in your life happy? Give the gift of iTunes. I got one from each of CM's parents, and I can't wait to use them up right away. I've got some ideas on how I'm going to spend them, but if you have any suggestions, send them my way, too!

  • Rayman Raving Rabbids TV Party: Remember back on the PPL Vol. 1 when I was all, "Raving Rabbids is the best game ever and I can't explain why!"? Well, CM got the new version for Christmas, and it is even better and I still can't explain why. You can play with up to 8 people, so that's pretty awesome. Also, there's a new dancing game in it that is my favorite. If you have a Wii or know someone with a Wii who might let you come over and play it, you should definitely have this game.

  • Boyfriends: My absolute favorite of the list. If you're very very lucky, you might get one like mine, who takes you to Vegas on vacation, includes you in his family Christmas traditions, wakes up early to bring you Krispy Kremes and the Times in bed, poses for silly pictures when you ask him to, gets you a fancy new telephoto lens for Christmas because "you deserve it," agrees to take care of your cat for 2 months while you're out of town, and always lets you have the last bite when you share dessert.

Makin' a list, checkin' it twice

I am just starting to recover from the non-stop party that was our week in Vegas. I had an amazing time, and it was one of the best Christmases on record. I hope yours was, too.

If ever there was fertile ground for crossing off To-Do List items, Vegas is the place. In the spirit of the list, I won't count #1 or #90, even though I did the Vegas version of both. I did, however, find two others to cross off in the short week I was there.

  1. Eat snails the next time I'm at a restaurant that has them on the menu.


As an added bonus of our romantic/anniversary(!) dinner at the foot of the fake Eiffel Tower, there were snails on the menu. So I had to eat them. And they were delicious. Kind of anticlimactic, actually, because there was nothing uniquely snaily about them. Mostly they tasted of garlic and pesto. Also, I was hoping they would be served in their shells so I could re-enact that moment from Pretty Woman. You know the one I mean. Instead, they came in a dish (see picture) that made them very easy to eat. CM reminded me that not every single list item is going to be incredibly exciting to complete, and that the point was that I was doing something for the first time. And really, who doesn't like garlic and pesto? I would order snails again.

  1. Go to Vegas. Stay somewhere outrageous.

Ummm…done. I went to Vegas. I stayed somewhere outrageous. It was glorious. After going into countless hotels and casinos on the Strip, I can safely say that if I go again, I would stay in the Palazzo again in a heartbeat. The room was luxurious, the view was gorgeous, the service was impeccable, they took our minibar items off of the bill for absolutely no reason, and they gave us free money with which to drink and gamble. How's that for outrageous?

9 down, 91 to go. I think that's pretty respectable, don't you?

Although it's been said, many times, many ways...




Merry Christmas to you and yours,

With love from me and mine

Dreaming

Last night I had the craziest dream.

I dreamed I was eating escargots and moules frites and drinking red wine in a romantic bistro at the foot of the Eiffel Tower. I was sitting by the window and I could look out and see the lights of the Tower itself. In my dream, I took an elevator to the top and took pictures of the view from every angle I could find, and then I had dessert: mousse au chocolat and pots de crème and raspberries.

I dreamed I was sitting in a café in the Piazza San Marco. In the distance I could hear a gondolier singing as he paddled his boat along the canal. Street performers walked right by me as I munched on caprese and pizza con salsiccia. After lunch I walked along streets filled with designer boutiques and got lost on purpose.

I dreamed I skipped the rope line at an exclusive nightclub and was ushered right in, where a man in black stamped the inside of my wrist. A guy with an earpiece took my drink order, and a pretty waitress in a skimpy dress brought my drink right away. The music was loud and the lights were dim, so I couldn't tell for sure, but I'm guessing there were probably movie stars in the corner booth.

I dreamed I was in a casino, and someone gave me $100 in free credits for slot machines. In my dream I played it all, in $1 machines and 5¢ machines and 1¢ machines, and then I won $207.

I dreamed I sat at the edge of the water and watched dolphins leaping. I saw a baby dolphin swimming next to its mother, and I looked through a window under the water to see them swimming. I dreamed I wandered through a forest and saw white lions playing, and leopards snuggling, and 5 tiger cubs napping and bathing each other.

Then this morning I woke up, and I was in Vegas, and it was all true.

I could get used to this.

Peer Pressure List, Vol. 5

  • Clementines: Nothing says Christmas like an entire day where you eat nothing but clementines and cookies. I especially like the Cuties brand.

  • Joyeux Noël: One of those movies it's impossible to describe without using the word "heartwarming." It's in English, French, and German; takes place on Christmas Eve 1914 in France; and features opera singers (with singing dubbed by Natalie Dessay and Rolando Villazon). What's not to like?

  • Coquito: I was lucky enough to attend a party hosted by a Puerto Rican; otherwise I might never have discovered the delicious heaven that is coquito. It's the Puerto Rican equivalent of eggnog, but it's sooo much better.

  • St. Arnold's Christmas Ale: Made right here in Houston, this special holiday beer packs a punch (mostly due to its 8% alcohol content). I'm embarrassed to admit how many 6-packs CM and I have gone through this month. Oh well, Christmas (and Christmas Ale) only comes once a year, right? And yes, I am aware that two alcoholic drinks have made the list this week. Don't judge.

  • Deep tissue massage: I've been holding onto a massage gift certificate from the girls since my birthday, and this week seemed like the perfect time to use it. If you're in Houston, I highly recommend Luc at the White Salon. But you might want to carve out a whole day for it. I was so relaxed after it was done that I couldn't move from my couch the rest of the day.

My next post will be from VEGAS!

Bossy Best of 2008

Everyone's putting out their Best of 2008 lists, so I'm jumping on the bandwagon and making one of my own. Here's what I loved this year:

Music:


These are all albums that came out this year, and actually I had quite a bit of trouble picking just 5. I have what you might call an iTunes addiction, to the point where I often refer to the day after Monday as "New Music Tuesday." These 5 were the ones I loved the most.

Vampire Weekend, Vampire Weekend

Hip and nerdy at the same time, just like me!


Fave song: "Oxford Comma"


Rockferry, Duffy

I love Duffy's sultry soulful voice and her old-school style.

Fave song: "Mercy"


Paper Nest, Raining Jane

Plays right into my weakness for sensitive folky singer-songwriter types.

Fave song: "Broken Parts"


Hideaway, The Weepies

Listening to The Weepies always makes me happier. Always.

Fave song: "How You Survived the War"


Day & Age, The Killers

This one's only been out a couple weeks, but I'm already enjoying it just as much as their first album.
Fave song: "Human"

Honorable mention: One of the Boys, Katy Perry; Simple Times, Joshua Radin; Evil Urges, My Morning Jacket


Movies:

I don't see enough movies in the theatre to make a list of 2008 releases very interesting, but I do watch an awful lot of Netflix. So, these are the best movies I saw this year, old and new.

Much Ado About Nothing (1993)

I am probably the very last person EVER to watch this movie, but somehow I missed it until I was preparing for B&B during the summer. I love everything about it: the chemistry between Emma and Kenneth (those were the good old days), the Mediterranean setting, the informal way with the language…I even love Emma Thompson's ridiculous tan.

Persepolis (2007)

Totally unlike any movie I've seen before, this autobiographical film based on the graphic novel is charming and completely engrossing.





Bringing Up Baby (1938)

I've already waxed poetic about this one here, but it bears repeating. Madcap, I tell you, madcap.





The Lives of Others (2007)

I watched this almost a year ago, but I'm still thinking about it. We've been inundated with enough World War II films that I have an understanding of that period, but the Cold War era remains something of an enigma. I love personal stories set against the backdrop of historical events. And you know I just love movies in German.

Milk (2008)

Again, I'm repeating myself, but really, it's that good. You'll want to go see it before the Oscars.





Honorable mention: Quantum of Solace (2008), Wall-E (2008), Joyeux Noël (2005)

TV Shows:

As with movies, much of my TV watching happens through Netflix, aka 6 months to a year late. I cannot speak to the current seasons of most of these (although Hulu is helping some), but what I saw on DVD rocked my socks off.

Mad Men (AMC)

Who knew the ’60s could be so fascinating? This show makes me crave cocktails at work, hats, and men in suits, although I'm happy to be watching from a safe distance when it comes to the smoke-filled meetings, and, you know, the subjugation of women.



Pushing Daisies (ABC—canceled)

Possibly the most bizarre premise I can think of, but the show is utterly captivating. They've created an entire alternate world for the characters to live in, and the look of it alone is enough to make you fall in love. Kristin Chenoweth is just too adorable, and Chi McBride gets the best sarcastic one-liners ever. I'm so sad that this show has been canceled.

30 Rock (NBC)

I. Love. Tina Fey. Almost as much as CameraMan does, but for different reasons.






The Office (NBC)

This will continue to be on my "Best of…" list until it goes off the air. It is the funniest show on television right now, and it's aging quite well.





How I Met Your Mother (CBS)

The other day CM and I were sitting on the couch, and he said, "You know what? I miss our friends on How I Met Your Mother." Pathetic as it may sound, I feel the exact same way. This show is so good I would almost pay $2.99 per episode on iTunes for the new ones. Almost.

Honorable mention: The West Wing, The Daily Show, Lipstick Jungle

Books:

In making this list, I know I'm forgetting some excellent books I read this year, but I had a little trouble remembering what I actually read. Maybe in preparation for 2009's list, I'll keep some kind of record. There were a few standouts I could remember, though.

Tender is the Night, F. Scott Fitzgerald

I went through a Fitzgerald phase at some point during college, but I never read this one. It isn't plotted as well as some of the others, but the characters are so richly drawn. I like the idea of the main couple being based on him and Zelda, too.



American Wife, Curtis Sittenfeld

A novel about the life of a First Lady remarkably similar to Laura Bush, this book provided some insight (although fictionalized) into the life of a woman to whom I had never given that much thought. I'm so excited to see what kind of First Lady Michelle Obama is going to be.


The Devil in the White City, Erik Larson

This historical nonfiction reads like a novel, as the author recounts the events of the 1893 Chicago World's Fair, juxtaposed with the story of serial killer H. H. Holmes. If only all history books were this compellingly written, I would give up fiction all together.



The House of the Spirits, Isabel Allende

I love this kind of epic South American novel, full of supernatural elements right in the middle of real life. This reminds me of A Hundred Years of Solitude or Like Water for Chocolate. It makes me want to move to South America to be in a culture that could produce this kind of imagination.


Brideshead Revisited, Evelyn Waugh

Thanks to my To-Do list, I'm discovering some authors I never read before. I read 3 Waugh novels, and this is the best. He had a wicked sense of humor as well as a way of deftly dealing with deeper issues almost without you noticing it. After reading the book, I was disappointed by the 2008 film, but I'm looking forward to watching the whole BBC miniseries some time soon.



What were your favorites of 2008? What did I miss?

Filing a complaint

Dear Weather Gods,

It may seem like hubris to complain about the weather here in Houston when Mom and Pop Bossy have been snowed in all week in Oregon and the upper Midwest is getting some kind of blizzard tonight, but still, I have to ask…what the hell are you doing up there?

Twice in as many weeks we've been forced to turn on both the heat and the air conditioning on the same day. We've flip-flopped from 78° highs to 30° lows. As I write this, the humidity is 93% and I'm sweating in my short-sleeved shirt. A few days ago, I was wearing my new Thinsulate-lined coat and wishing I'd brought my earmuffs. I've been looking forward to ice skating in Discovery Green since it opened, but when we went there Wednesday evening, the fog was so dense it made my jacket wet and there were puddles of water on the ice. Instead of skating, we went inside for mojitos.

And I assume it's no coincidence that it snowed in Houston for the first time in four years on the one night we were out of town in Dallas, and then snowed in Las Vegas in the heaviest snowfall since ’79 less than a week before we arrive there. I wasn't even dreaming of a white Christmas, but I still don't like being taunted with it. If this is your idea of a joke, I can tell you one thing.

I'm not laughing.

Sincerely,
Humid in Houston

Peer Pressure List, Vol. 4

  • Love Actually: This is hands down one of my favorite movies of any genre, so of course it has to top the list of my must-see Christmas movies. Just about every British actor you can think of is in it (including Mr. Bean), and I cry every single time I watch it (completely Emma Thompson's fault). I should warn you, it's very romantic, some would even refer to it as a "chick flick," so if you watch it with your boyfriend you might be required to watch 2 extra Vegas movies just to make up for this movie's girliness.

  • White Fudge Covered Oreos: A major guilty pleasure at this time of year. They only come out at Christmas time, and I always allow myself one box. They're incredibly rich, and terrible for you, but they taste soooo good. Get yourself a box before they disappear until next year.

  • Stella Artois commercials: Reason enough to go see movies at Landmark Theatres, because they always show these fantastic ads before the feature. I rarely drink Stella Artois (although I like that it comes with a special glass), but their advertising is brilliant. Check out "Last Orders" and "Train" (on the Stella Artois site or on YouTube) for a taste of what I'm talking about.

  • Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas, TX: I'm a Houstonian (well, sort of), so it's unlikely that I would ever advocate going to Dallas. I will say, however, that should you be there already for some reason, make sure you check out this lovely museum and sculpture garden. It houses the incredible collection of Raymond and Patsy Nasher, the kind of art aficionados who commission Warhol portraits of their kids (seriously). The museum gets bonus points for allowing visitors to take photographs. One of these days I'll post a few of mine on Flickr.

  • Milk: Beautiful, poignant, sad, uplifting... all the praise you've heard about Milk is true. Sean Penn's performance is oh so Oscarworthy, and Gus Van Sant's use of period footage is masterful. This is a movie to see in the theatre. Bring your Kleenex.

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Christmas at the Bossy house is often a last-minute affair. We usually wait to do much of anything holiday-related until after Papa Bossy's birthday (that's today—happy 60th, PB!), and it is not unheard of for the Christmas shopping to begin on December 23rd.

So when I baked my first Christmas cookies Sunday night and started my shopping yesterday (when it was 75° outside, I might add), I was pretty proud of myself for being ahead of the game. Until I entered the world everyone else lives in and discovered that Target was already out of tree stands and every brand of clear lights with green wire, that is. And then I happened to look at a calendar and realized that we leave for Vegas in less than 2 weeks. Ack!

While our laissez-faire attitude to holiday preparations might lead you to believe Christmas doesn't matter much to the Bossy family, you would be dead wrong. I love Christmas. Adore it, in fact. And I'm especially excited about this one because it's my first with CameraMan (and definitely my first in Vegas). So, in the 12 days left in Houston, here's what I'm looking forward to:
  • Baking, baking, and more baking. My KitchenAid mixer is on standby, so please do send me your favorite cookie recipes, either as a comment or to littlemsbossyblog at gmail.

  • Ice skating! Outside! In Houston! It's true.

  • Attempting to shop efficiently and economically. Ha.

  • Getting a tree, carting it home, setting it up, and decorating it.

  • Lighting candles with wintry scents like cranberry and pine and vanilla.

  • Keeping the Santa Mix on shuffle all day long.

  • Stuffing my face with yummy things and washing it all down with hot chocolate.

  • A continuation of our Christmas movie/Vegas movie theme. Next up, the original Ocean's Eleven.
Oh, and visions of sugarplums, obvs. What's on your list?

Peer Pressure List, Vol. 3

  • Danny Kaye: To prepare for our upcoming Christmas vacation, we've been alternating holiday movies with Vegas movies. So far this week, we've covered Diamonds Are Forever, White Christmas, Viva Las Vegas, and The Muppet Christmas Carol. It was while watching White Christmas that I remembered how much I adore Danny Kaye. The ultimate triple threat, with impeccable comedic instincts thrown into the mix, he has always been one of my favorites. I had to watch The Court Jester right away to get my fix. You should, too.

  • Lush Ocean Salt: The Best Friend got me this incredible scrub for my birthday, and I've gotten into the habit of washing my face with it every morning in the shower (because it's never too early for vodka). I didn't bring it to Cali with me, and I got three pimples on my chin during the week I was there. Coincidence? I don't think so.

  • The Smart Set: I just discovered this online magazine, and I'm becoming addicted pretty quickly. It features lots of the travel writing I love so well, but they're also writing about ideas and personal stories and just about anything you can think of. And the writing is all really really good. Here's one of my favorite articles so far.

  • My beautiful bedding: I got this bedding out of storage a few weeks ago, and slept on it for the first time in well over a year. I'm especially loving it this week since I've been spending so much time in bed.

  • Metropolitan Opera HD Broadcasts: I haven't taken advantage of these as much as I should, mostly because by Saturday I'm usually all opera'd out, but I managed to see the latest, Robert Lepage's fascinating production of La Damnation de Faust, twice: once in a packed house, squinting because of a weak projector, and once in an audience of four with clear picture and painfully loud volume. So maybe the kinks haven't all quite been worked out, but it's still a great way to see these productions (and eat popcorn while doing so!). Oh, and if you want to see my name scroll by in the credits, you can do that on March 21 at 1pm EST. I'm just saying.

A code id by doze

What started as a mild sore throat the Saturday after Thanksgiving had developed into a full on head cold by Tuesday morning, dropping me into a fog so thick that I'm only just now starting to see my way clear of it. I've spent the week waking up unable to breathe from all the congestion, staying in bed or on the couch miserable for most of the day, getting my hopes up during a couple good late afternoon hours, and going to bed with a persistent dry cough that keeps me up half the night. My patent pending Mucinex/Tylenol Cold/Zicam drug cocktail doesn't seem to be working as quickly as it has in the past, so I'm stuck at home, lazing my days away and not enjoying it one bit.

Thank goodness for boyfriends. You should definitely get one, if for nothing else than to take care of you when you're sick. Poor CameraMan has been working overtime, what with his real job and all the pampering combined. This week I've had breakfast in bed, cold medicine and orange juice on a platter, and my choice on movie nights. He slept on the couch one night so that I could cough my lungs out while sprawled over the whole bed (minus the surprisingly large portion the Bossy Cat takes up). And he even managed to tell me with a straight face several times that I looked cute when I was sick.

Also, thank goodness for time off, so I can actually recuperate. And for tea, all kinds, so comforting on a sore throat. And for snuggly cats. And Netflix. And down comforters. And Advil PM.

And now that I'm almost ready to rejoin the land of the living, I might try rejoining the land of the blogging while I'm at it.

Peer Pressure List, Vol. 2

  • Peppermint hot chocolate at Starbucks: Like Christmas in a cup. Don't skip the whip.

  • How I Met Your Mother: Like Friends but funnier. The best thing about this show is Neil Patrick Harris, hands down. Every line that comes out of his mouth is endlessly quotable and repeatable (just ask CameraMan). It's legen…wait for it…dary.

  • Clinique Superbalm Lip Gloss: This one's for the ladies. Long-lasting, not too sticky, the perfect amount of shine. I like it in Currant.

  • Pumpkin gooey bars: I baked these for Thanksgiving dessert, and they were so good that some of my family members had middle of the night cravings for them. I originally got the recipe from Little Miss Hardcore, so if you make them, become addicted, and get really fat, blame her.

  • Hotel Cafe presents Winter Songs: We're just getting to the time of year when I want to hear lots of Christmas music. I've got an extensive Santa Mix on the BossiPod, and this is my favorite new addition. It features my fave ladies Sara Bareilles, Ingrid Michaelson, and Brandi Carlile.

Are you feeling the pressure?

In search of Joshua


Missing: Adorable white cat belonging to Aunt and Uncle Bossy.

Last seen: Thursday 12pm Pacific, roaming in the backyard.

Name: Joshua. Also goes by Catboy.

Distinguishing characteristics: Incredibly fluffy tail, love of snuggling, high voice, soft fur, desire for attention and petting.



Come home, Catboy. We miss you.

Back in black

Mama Bossy tells me that in order for me to fit in while I'm in New York, I will have to wear nothing but black. And while she does live almost as far from Manhattan as you can be while still living in the contiguous 48, I have learned from years of experience that she is generally correct in most things.

Today being Black Friday, it seemed like the perfect time to drag the Bossy Folks out for a little shopping. With what I bought today combined with a few new internet purchases, I'm amassing quite an array of better than basic black.

< girliness>

Like this coat...



















And this sweater...


















And this dress...


















Of course, despite the best motherly advice, I don't want to fit in too much. Which is why I just had to have these beauties.
< /girliness>

Trytophantastic

Last Thanksgiving I was far away in Vienna, trying on independence for size but missing the hell out of my family. There was no turkey to be found, nobody around with whom to feast, and yet I still found plenty to be thankful for.

This year, I have more.

I'm thankful for:
My crazy, wonderful family.
Food, glorious food.
Second chances and do-overs.
Strong, incredible friends.
Forward motion in my life and in my career.
Generous mentors.
Good luck.
Hopes and dreams and goals and ambitions.
Beautiful music.
Happiness defined and discovered.
Love.

And as always, I'm thankful for you. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Wii Wii Wii all the way home

We've got a major family reunion going on here. Not everyone has arrived yet, but the house is filling up slowly but surely. There was a rumor that 37 people were coming to dinner tomorrow, but that number is slowly dwindling to a more manageable amount of names for CameraMan to learn all at once. So far we've seen Grandma Bossy, a few Bossy Uncles and Aunts, and several Bossy Cousins, but we're just getting started.

Everyone knows that the family who plays together, stays together, so we broke the ice with a little after-dinner Wii playing with the Bossy Cousins, one of whom I haven't seen in too many years (she's been living in Venezuela and is just about to move to Paris—so fancy). That's right, now we're spreading the gospel of Raving Rabbids to people all over the world, and they are hearing our message loud and clear.

After a warm-up round, I dropped out and let CM play with my cousins. I got out my camera and snapped a few shots, which is how I discovered that there's a certain trait that runs in our family. Can you see what it is?




I used to get into trouble in ballet class for sticking my tongue out while I did pirouettes, and I occasionally still catch myself doing it at work when I'm concentrating extra-hard (not while pirouetting, though). Apparently it's a genetic thing.

And after only 24 hours of hanging out with my family, we've already made CM one of us.

Cali bound

I'm blogging from the airport (oh, the luxury), where we're waiting for a flight to LAX that will whisk us away into the bosom of the Bossy family. I'm so excited to see everyone, introduce CameraMan (they will all love him, no worries there), and eat ridiculous amounts of food. Also, Aunt and Uncle Bossy have a Wii Fit, so I'm definitely looking forward to stepping on it and having it call me fat.

It's a zoo here. All the people sitting around me are talking incredibly loudly on their cell phones, CNN's on every television, and CM is frantically searching for his boarding pass. I'm having trouble concentrating, so I'll sign off.

Assuming CM finds his boarding pass, my next post will be from the Left Coast!

The ruling out of backup careers

Last night, I decided to play bartender. We have a strange assortment of alcohol, including airplane bottles from opening night gifts, random fifths brought to parties we've hosted, and quite a bit left for us when singer friends left town. Unfortunately, very few of our ingredients on hand actually seem to go together, so I was forced to get creative. This site is great for drink recipes, because you just enter all the ingredients you have and it tells you what cocktails you could make. I ended up making an "Erin's Sweater" for CameraMan, consisting of blue curacao and white chocolate liqueur. I renamed it "Smurf's Blood" (make one and you'll see why) and added a maraschino cherry for good measure. I followed that up with a chocolate orange martini, and then CM decided he was in need of another round of Smurf's Blood. I didn't drink much (because the drinks were gross, obvs), but poor CM woke up this morning with a headache and has now forbidden me from mixing cocktails.

I will probably never be a bartender.

***

I've been in an ongoing battle with AT&T for the past 10 days, trying to get them to set up DSL internet, convincing them to let me use a modem I already have, wriggling out of the shipping costs when they sent their modem anyway, and then (when they finally located my account and discovered that absolutely nothing had been done to set up service) finally giving up and canceling the whole thing. I have spoken to at least 15 people at AT&T, not including the completely infuriating fake person who doesn't understand the simple request "I want to speak to a person." I have called at least 6 different phone numbers, all of which led me to the exact same Customer Support line. I have heard Indian accents, Texan accents, and one excruciating Boston accent. I have been on hold for more than an hour, all told, listening to an ironic recording telling me over and over that most of my questions can be answered online. The many people I have spoken with have all been very calm (especially the fake one). I have not.

I will probably never be a customer support specialist.

***

I like to come fashionably late to trends as well as parties, so it took me a while to break down and buy the workout DVD that every other blogger was gushing about. The workout is 20 minutes long, and you're supposed to do it 30 days in a row, gradually moving through the 3 levels. I figured I could do just about anything for 20 minutes. I figured wrong. I made it exactly 8 days before giving up entirely. It's not that it was too difficult. Oh, it's difficult, but by Day 6 I could do all the push-ups (girl-style, of course), and I had graduated from 2-lb weights to 5-pounders for most of the Level 1 exercises. I just couldn't get motivated to do it. It didn't help that I was canceling out any benefit of exercise by eating whatever I wanted. Honestly, I have no excuse, except that I didn't want to do it anymore so I stopped. As the trainer at my gym who gave me my fitness assessment told me, "You are casual. You will never see results if you are casual." I'm sure he was right. And I think I will go back to casually treadmilling while watching episodes of Gossip Girl.

I will probably never be a workout guru.

Peer Pressure List, Vol. 1

I'm starting a new weekly feature here at Little Ms. Bossy. I'm calling it the Peer Pressure List (The PPL). Each week I will share with you things I'm loving that you will love too.
  • Quantum of Solace: See it for the incredible action sequences. See it for the hot ruggedness of Daniel Craig. Just see it.

  • Dark chocolate peanut M&M's: Even better than the originals, if you can believe it. Get the festive red and green ones.

  • Bringing Up Baby: Hilarious, brilliantly written, and an excellent opportunity to use the word "madcap." Also good fodder for drinking games (drink every time a woman says "David," or as an alternative that won't get you drunk quite as fast, every time someone says "leopard").

  • Wii Raving Rabbids: One of the more ridiculous games I have played, impossible to explain well, but crazy amounts of fun. You haven't lived until you've shot at alien rabbits with toilet plungers.

  • Tights: Gray, black, cream, patterned, striped... I'm pairing them with sweater minidresses and skirts, and using them to dress down party dresses and winterize summer dresses. And when I get to where the cold weather is, I'll be wearing them under my pants.
Go forth and enjoy! You know you want to.

Cat ate my homework

CameraMan finally comes home early tomorrow morning, and as in all things, I have waited until the very last minute to clean his apartment. A week ago when I moved in here I basically dropped everything on the floor of the living room and have been trying to ignore it ever since. Oh, I made a few half-hearted attempts to put away my stuff, but the whole place still looked like Hurricane Bossy hit it.

After an afternoon with CaliBoy and my old friend Hector at the movies, I came home for the big clean-up effort. The Bossy Cat knew immediately that something was different. Cleaning is apparently a rare occurrence for me. I don't like to give the impression that I'm a slob, so let's just say it's because I change apartments so often that the only times I thoroughly clean are right before I move.

Now I don't know that much about cat brains or cat memory. I don't know if the Bossy Cat associates my cleaning with long car rides, settling into new places, or some random time I stepped on her tail. All I know is that she was upset. I made a few trips to and from my car, and as I was coming back to the apartment the first couple times I thought I could hear her crying. When I opened the door, though, she was just sitting on the carpet watching the door, totally quiet. Until I snuck up on her and caught her standing by the door, screaming her head off. It took 10 minutes of intensive attention and petting to get her to calm down, and she wasn't totally comfortable until I gave up the project completely and settled in on the couch.

Sorry the place is such a mess, CameraMan. My cat wouldn't let me clean up.

Every cloud

Whenever possible, I like to pick the brains of directors who are having or have had careers I admire. Today I had lunch with a very wise woman who gave me incredibly helpful advice about the challenges of being female in our field, making the difficult transition from assisting to directing, the various personalities I'll encounter at my next gig, and the benefits of working for almost no money. I walked away from lunch feeling excited. Well, excited and scared.

Putting myself forward isn't second nature for me yet. I still have to push myself to ask for opportunities, to tell people that I'm qualified, to toot my own horn. It doesn't come naturally. And even though almost every opportunity I've had thus far has come as a result of me asking for exactly what I want and pushing to get it, I still keep hoping that the next step will just happen for me, just fall in my lap. It hasn't yet, and it won't, and I need to come to terms with that. Because for every story I hear about someone whose career seems to come easy, the reality is that they have worked hard for every "break" they've had.

These meetings always result in a flurry of résumé-sending and name-dropping, and today was no exception. I've got a two-pronged approach going: looking for assisting jobs at the top houses in the country, and looking for directing jobs...well...just about anywhere. It finally feels like the right time to make that transition, and I think the next couple of years are going to be important ones.

My lunch companion tells me that this is a good time to be starting a directing career. Why? Because the economy is in the toilet, companies have less money than usual, and they need directors they can hire on the cheap.

How's that for a silver lining?

In which I wax poetic about an inanimate object

Alternate title: Reasons why my computer can kick your computer's a**
  1. It's soooo pretty. Smooth and sleek with curves in all the right places.

  2. It's lightning fast, especially in comparison with my old computer. It's so fast that it's letting me indulge in bad habits, like having 15 windows open at once, just because I can.

  3. It has a giant roomy hard drive, about 10 times the size of my old one. After lunch with PiGuy today he handed over an external hard drive with all his movies. After picking through them, I now have 66 movies on my computer. And all the seasons of West Wing. I officially have no excuse not to go to the gym (for some reason my treadmill endurance bumps up drastically when I can watch something on the BossiPod).

  4. It's pretty. Silver and black and so fancy.

  5. The trackpad has all these cool features, various shortcuts you can access just by tapping in different spots. I'm discovering most of the features by accident, generally not when I want them, but I can tell they're going to definitely come in handy once I've mastered them.

  6. I've never dropped it, so there's nothing weird and broken on it. Plus, it has one of those nifty magnetic power supply cords, so that if when I trip over the cord the entire computer doesn't come crashing to the floor.

  7. It picks up wi-fi signals much better than my old computer did, so I'm able to steal a neighbor's wireless until tomorrow when I get my own (a shout-out to ART4LIFE—thanks, buddy!).

  8. My external hard drive, which was dead and gone forever, taking all my pictures and music with it and making me very very sad, actually works when plugged into my new computer. I have absolutely no idea why, but I don't care, because I have rescued all my precious data!

  9. It has a built-in camera, so I can video chat to my heart's content. Oh, and take ridiculous Andy Warhol pictures of myself. Those are extremely popular as Facebook profile pics.

  10. Did I mention how pretty it is?

Personal day

I'm taking the day, abdicating all duties and responsibilities (a grand total of blogging and working out) in favor of watching endless episodes of The West Wing and reading Evelyn Waugh novels while eating Christmas candy.

To tide you over, here's a bit of dorky opera silliness, courtesy of An Unamplified Voice:

Which opera is right for you?

Apparently, Don Giovanni is the one for me.
For you, life is a jilting combination of subtleties and rough hammer-blows. But you’re not one to shy away from these chiaroscuro extremes. With your combination of delicate intellect and animal passion, you can handle life’s endless surprises. Mozart and his librettist Da Ponte expected no less from their audience when they created their masterpiece about the world’s greatest lover, Don Giovanni. You will be one of the few who are equally comfortable with the refined poetry and the unbridled eroticism of this ultimate operatic achievement.

Indeed.

Comfort is comforting

I don't know if it's the colder (ish) weather, nostalgia for last year's European adventures (a year ago today I arrived in Vienna), or my loneliness without CameraMan or work, but I've been craving comfort food. Mac and cheese, tomato basil soup with tortellini, pizza, you name it I've probably eaten it this week, and in mass quantities. My body seems to just about breaking even, due to the intense daily workouts I've been doing (no, seriously).

It's hard for me to get motivated to cook just for myself. To be honest, it's hard for me to get motivated to cook, period. Most of what I do in the kitchen is more assembling than actual cooking. It's not that I can't, I just don't. Today, though, I couldn't keep my cravings for good German comfort food under control, so I took matters into my own hands and cooked up a yummy feast for myself.


Bratwurst with spicy mustard, brussels sprouts, boiled potatoes with gravy, and red cabbage... I'm such a good little German girl—Papa Bossy will be so proud.

I am still, unfortunately, clearly an American at heart, since I have apparently not learned the basics of portion control yet. I'm feeling quite comfortable indeed, almost too comfortable to leave the couch, and if I'm going to continue breaking even, I will eventually have to do just that. Tomorrow.

The kindness of strangers

Last week I read this post in which a friend of mine had her dinner paid for by an anonymous stranger. "Nothing like that ever happens to me," I thought (and said out loud to CameraMan, who rolled his eyes).

Then, last night, I got about as close as I will likely ever get. The internet isn't hooked up at CM's place yet, so the past couple days I've had to get creative and actually, you know, venture outside the apartment to blog, email, etc. Last night I stopped in at the Red Lion for free wi-fi, Blue Moon, and mini burgers. When I was about half done with my dinner (and my blog post), the waitress came over to let me know that my dinner had been paid for by (and here she pointed) that man at the bar. "But I don't know him!" I protested. However, knowing that you should never look a gift dinner in the mouth, I didn't protest for long. Since he showed no signs of coming over to talk to me or waiting to stalk me to my car (he left the restaurant soon after he was outed by the waitress), it seemed harmless, a random act of kindness by a stranger. Why not?

For a few brief moments I basked in the after-glow. "Louisa just had her dinner bought by a complete stranger!" my Facebook status crowed. It didn't last long. The waitress came back over to apologize that she hadn't been able to figure out how to transfer my dinner to the guy's tab, so he had not, in fact paid for my meal. So sorry about that, but would I like another beer?

I think this is the best I am going to get: the hypothetical kindness of a stranger. That's okay. I am completely capable of paying for my own meal, and in fact was planning to do so. But I have to say, for those few moments, I felt good. And hypothetically good can't be all bad, right?

Rallying


I am not a politically active person. I don't rally. I don't phone bank. I don't canvas. The closest I've ever come was for this past election, and the best I could muster was a $25 donation, a bumper sticker, and an Obama shirt. Oh, and voting—I make sure to always do that. None of which is to say that I'm not political. I have opinions, and I try to keep up-to-date on the issues of the day. I guess I would describe myself as "passively passionate."

All that being said, I went to a rally yesterday for a cause about which I feel quite strong. I joined over a million people rallying in 300 cities across the world in protest of the passing of Proposition 8 in California (and similar legislation in Arizona, Florida, and Arkansas), which amended the state constitution to ban gay marriage. If ever there was a reason to stand and cheer until my back was sore and my throat was raw, this is it, people. It is not a political issue; it is a civil rights issue. In this year of all years, when it seems that we have made such enormous strides forward, electing the first African-American president, and watching a woman make the first realistic bid for the presidency, I am shocked that we have taken such an enormous step backward (and in California, of all places) on this issue.

The rally was incredible. There was a sense of solidarity that I have rarely felt before (probably because I never go to rallies). So many people had made signs, and it was obviously an issue close to everyone's heart, including the cause's "straight allies" like me. There were lots of speakers, of varying degrees of public speaking skill, but all spoke with total conviction. My favorite was a mother from PFLAG, who stood on the podium with her entire family including her gay son's partner, and spoke about the journey she took from learning her son was gay to deciding to fight for the GLBT community. I teared up listening to her speak and watching her son, who was so obviously proud of her. But the most emotional moment for me was when the main speaker invited to the stage all same-sex couples who had been married in California during the brief time that it was legal there. About a dozen couples came to the stage, representing a large range of ages and ethnicities, all of whom who are uncertain about the status of their marriages (it is still unclear whether the ban will be retroactive or not).

I happened to notice a family of four standing near me: a gay couple and what were clearly the parents of one of the men, showing their support for their son and the community. I was struck by how much they were a family, and how fundamentally wrong it is to deny these families the recognition they deserve. Surreptitious portraits of strangers are certainly not my forté, but I couldn't help myself.


I'm not sure what's next, what step to take, but I'm ready. I will rally. I will phone bank. I will canvas. I'm ready.

What do we want?
EQUAL RIGHTS!
When do we want it?
NOW!

Behind the scenes


Beatrice & Benedict is officially over. I am officially on vacation, and I have officially moved out of my apartment (although I'm still here hanging out, taking advantage of the wi-fi).

The performance period of any show is always kind of a mixed bag for me. It's not the part I live for, or as an interviewer recently asked me, the part that "moves my soul." For me, my soul is most definitely moved by the rehearsal process. Once the performances start, my participation is greatly diminished, and I always feel somewhat superfluous. When things go wrong, of course, it's important for me to be there, but when things are going right it's easy to get bored. Those are really the only times that I miss being a singer, or even an assistant stage manager, since they get to be so active during the shows themselves.

Since I wasn't going to be taking any notes on the last performance (how obnoxious would that be?) and the set has good sightlines onto the stage from the wings (in case something needed my attention), I spent Act II hanging out backstage last night. If ever there was a cure for AD complacency, that was it. I could feel all that excitement and adrenaline radiating from the stage, and even though I wasn't doing anything useful, I felt much more a part of the show than I had for the past week.

All in all, I don't think this will ever be my favorite piece, but in the end it charmed me much more than I expected it to, in large part due to the lovely group of people involved in this production. People have been describing the show alternately as "soufflé" and "whipped cream." Whatever you call it, it's frothy for sure. But you can't eat steak for every meal, can you? There's a lot to be said for a little froth.

The Bossy bookshelf

I recently became a Barnes & Noble member, after deciding that it really wasn't appropriate to use my ex's number anymore, especially now that we don't even share a last name. The membership is a good deal: for only $20 a year, you get an extra 10% off everything (including Starbucks in the store) plus lots of coupons and special discounts. In other words, if you spend more than $200 in a year, it's totally worth it.

Buying books may seem like a strange pastime for someone whose entire life fits into a 5' x 5' storage unit. "Get a library card," you say. "Borrow books from friends," you tell me. I know, I know, but buying books is my very favorite kind of retail therapy (books always fit, if you know what I mean). I adore wandering through bookstores, even the corporate kind, and browsing through an online bookstore is pure heaven.

Since I'll be having quite a bit of free time in the next few weeks, I made a big B&N purchase to keep me busy. It was supposed to arrive today, but according to UPS it was "missorted at the hub," so now it won't arrive until Monday.

Here's what's coming:

The Abstinence Teacher by Tom Perrotta. I've been excited about this one since it came out last fall in hardcover. It's going to be made into a movie by the people behind Little Miss Sunshine, too.

World Without End by Ken Follett. I am not ashamed to say that I love Follett. It's not high literature, I know, but I find his books engrossing to read, especially the ones whose plots are not spy-related. This one is a sequel to my fave Follett novel, Pillars of the Earth, which is a completely fascinating story about a cathedral being built.

The Best American Travel Writing 2008. I've started buying these every year. Travel writing is a genre I would love to write, but for now I will live vicariously through these amazing compilations.

Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson. I know absolutely nothing about this book or this author, but it's top on my list of 100 novels to read (To-do list item #76). I've only read 4 so far, so I have to get cracking.

Passage to India by E.M. Forster. Also on the list. I don't how it's possible that I've never read this, but I haven't (or seen the movie). Forster is such a compelling storyteller that I'm excited for this one.

Scoop and A Handful of Dust by Evelyn Waugh. Of the books I've read for the list so far, Brideshead Revisited is my favorite, so I'm looking forward to these two (which are the only other Waugh novels on the list). If I enjoy them as much, I might need to read all his others, too.

I'm so ready for quiet evenings in with a book, a snuggly cat, and a glass of wine. Pretty glamorous, no?

Mojitos!




One of the best outcomes of making a to-do list, posting it on the internet for anyone to read, and then talking about it incessantly, is that friends and family read it and occasionally I get emails that say, "I'd love to help you out with #17," or "I'm your girl for #30." Of course it's great when people are inspired to make lists of their own, but failing that, I can definitely use the help with mine. However, besides CameraMan (who has helped me cross of 3 goals), and the Bossy Folks (who contributed to 2), I haven't taken anyone up on their offers…until tonight.

My stage manager, PiGuy (the story behind this nickname is not long, but it's not all that interesting, either, so suffice it to say that it came out of a crazy night of Wii, and that there is a hand signal that goes with the name), invited the ASMs and I over for dinner tonight, and warned me that he was planning to help me cross one off.

He taught me how to make mojitos! (Sidebar: apparently I say the word "mojito" in a strange way that involves a shoulder shrug and pitch leap on the middle syllable, or so I was told tonight.) We made the first batch together, but after that I was a mojito-muddling machine! I made them for just about everyone there, and the consensus was that they were delicious (except the ones in which I forgot the simple syrup—amazing how much that will change the flavor of your drink).

And now that I know how to make them, there is absolutely nothing stopping me from drinking them all the time at home. Perhaps I should have waited to become a mojito-guzzling lush until I had conquered some of the more ambitious items on the list. Oh well.
  1. Make a delicious mojito.

That's 7 down, people. Be impressed. Be very impressed.

Movin' out

These past few days have made me feel like I'm already off-contract. I haven't thought much about work, and I've been hitting the books pretty hard to learn my next opera. I've finally had some leisure time, and I've started planning what to do with the next few weeks. Unfortunately, I am in fact not finished with B&B yet. We have two performances this week—one tonight and one on Friday. I spent the afternoon today in my office doing end-of-show things, like making my score pretty (a losing battle) and cleaning out my desk so that the next AD can use it.

This is huge. I haven't had to move out of my desk since May 2007, and that was only to move across the hall. And although I know I'll be back in my office in March, it felt momentous to pack up all my office supplies (not stolen, I promise), tchotchkes (including an opening night gift from 3 years ago), and assorted cards and notes into a bag and bring them out to my car.

I have been working in Houston for over 3 years, during which time the company and the city have come to feel very much like home. And while I know this is the right time for me to start working other places, and I am incredibly excited to go to New York, I have mixed feelings about leaving. I know I will be sorry to miss the HGO winter shows, not to mention my friends, my kitten (more on that later), and my CameraMan.

The next couple days will be spent finishing the packing up of my apartment, about which I have no mixed feelings. I might miss the sheer size of the place, but I'm looking forward to shacking up temporarily with CM.

Here's a little moving humor, courtesy of McSweeney's:

Pickup Lines to Use While Moving (by Alison Rosen)

"Nice shoes. Wanna put them in that box over there?"

"Is that a mirror in your pocket? Because the movers are going to be here soon, so we should put it in bubble wrap."

"Your father must have been a thief, because I can't find the duct tape."

"The word of the day is 'tarp.' What do you say we go back to my place and spread the word?"

"Mind if I put my junk in your box?"

"If this bed's a-rockin' ... maybe it's not worth taking to the new place?"

Stored up

My contract ends this Friday, which means that Moving Day is upon us once again. I'll be staying with CameraMan for about 6 weeks, and then it's on to New York for 2 months, so the next time I'll have ready access to all my stuff is March. I've spent the past couple days purging: magazines I'll never read again, clothing I'll never wear again, and what seems like mountains of trash. Then comes the sorting game, deciding what goes into storage and what goes with me to CM's place. The process of packing up my apartment was so much simpler in the summer; it's easy to streamline when everything has to fit in your car. When I'm in Houston, I end up making all-too-frequent trips to my storage unit, unpacking more boxes, accumulating more stuff.

I spent a good hour in aforementioned storage unit this afternoon, digging through boxes to retrieve my KitchenAid mixer (for holiday baking), ornaments (for the Christmas tree that I'm wishing for), and a few pieces of my favorite cold-weather clothing that I thought were lost forever. Finding things in there and then rearranging the boxes is like a giant puzzle, except that the pieces are really really heavy and when you're finished you are never left with a pretty picture. Add to that the annoyance of a motion detector light that doesn't detect your motion if you're inside the unit, "climate control" that most closely resembles a sauna, and U-haul boxes that are just barely hanging on after making about 3 moves too many, and what do you get? That's right, a nervous breakdown.

I haven't been doing it long, this living out of boxes thing. Really, it's been only a little over a year, but I'm done. I'm over it. I hate that my permanent address is a UPS store. I hate that I have every kind of baking dish you can think of, but I can't use any of them. I hate that when people ask where I'm based, I have to give some lame answer like, "Well, Houston, sort of, but really nowhere." I hate that every corporate apartment I stay in feels so...corporate. I hate that every 2 months like clockwork I have to go through several days of hell packing up all my stuff, only to do it all over again for the next contract.

Usually I like to end a post like this with some kind of decision, a positive step, something to make this more than just a complaint/rant, but in this case there's really nothing to be done about it, not yet. I'm looking forward to the day I can put down roots and make a home for myself, but the earliest I can foresee that happening is Fall 2009.

And in the meantime, thanks for listening.

R.I.P. Mac


I learned today that Mac, the baby elephant at the Houston Zoo, died last night. I took this picture a little over a year ago, just a few days after Mac's 1st birthday. Ever since CameraMan became a member of the Zoo, we've been visiting every couple weeks or so, and we never fail to stop by the elephant habitat to see if Mac is there. There's something about seeing the baby animals at the zoo that makes me happy, so we always look for the baby giraffe, the baby elephant, and recently, the baby monkey. I am incredibly sad for everyone at the zoo, because I know elephants have big personalities, and Mac had won the hearts of everyone who worked there.

Lately I haven't been feeling too friendly toward elephants (more of my kind thoughts have been given to the donkey, if you know what I mean), but the outcome of the election has left me feeling particularly benevolent (we'll forget the smashing of the GOP elephant piñata at Obamapalooza, shall we?). As with anyone who dies young, the loss of this particular elephant is especially tragic. For more information, you can go here or here for all the details.

For some reason, my completely irrational response to Mac's death is too feel more protective and appreciative of my sweet, beautiful, healthy, photogenic cat. Isn't she lovely?



That's all for tonight; I have to go add Dumbo to my Netflix queue.

Desperately seeking sweaters

Winter's coming, and though we have to use quotation marks around it when talking about "winter" in Houston, the winter in Manhattan is very real. It won't be my first, of course. I spent the first 11 years of my life in New England, and 4 years of college in Wisconsin. However, I've spent the past 3 winters in H-town, and the 2 before that in North Carolina, so as I survey the contents of my closet I have come to the realization that I need an entirely new wardrobe to work at the Met.

The winters in Wisconsin were brutal. I remember piling on extra layers to walk the short distance from the dorm to class, and then immediately peeling them off the minute I got inside the overheated classrooms. I remember being too lazy to use a blow dryer and winding up with frozen solid hair. I remember snow drifts much taller than me that didn't melt until May. You would think I'd have a whole winter wardrobe from that time, just sitting in storage waiting for me to need it again. This, unfortunately, is not the case. I do have a fair number of sweatshirts, which I seem to remember pairing with pajama pants to go to morning classes (*cringe*). Also scarves—I was a singer, don't forget. But most of my cold-weather wardrobe has been given away, either because it was too big or too unfashionable or both, so I need to start from scratch.

I'm thinking lined wool pants, high-heeled boots, button-up shirts, and soft v-neck sweaters. But you probably know better than I do...what are the NYC ladies wearing these days?

Lazy daze


If there hadn't been a dialogue warm-up for me to lead tonight, I might have never left my couch. Yesterday was the last student matinee for the alt cast, which means that after tonight I will have to go to work exactly 2 more times (and never before 5pm) before I go off contract. This, combined with my social life (in the form of CameraMan) leaving town, has considerably lightened my schedule, resulting in my complete and utter inactivity. This morning (and by morning I mean 10:30am when I finally got out of bed and showered) I set myself up with a blanket on the couch, Netflix in the DVD player, lemonade and magazines and remote controls within easy reach. On days like today, the Bossy Cat usually gets in on the action by curling up on my chest or my feet.

My new computer has made lazing even easier than it was before. My ancient iBook couldn't stream video much, so I practically never did. The new one, however, has streaming capability like you would not believe, fast and smooth without taking pauses to buffer. Turns out almost every TV show that I love is online now. The Daily Show, The Office, 30 Rock, Grey's Anatomy…the list goes on and on. In the past couple days I've become completely addicted to hulu.com. It's even worse than Tivo, because when I've caught up with all the shows I know I like, there are lots more to choose from, which is how I ended up watching episodes of The Starter Wife this afternoon. Yikes. I feel an intervention coming on.

I'm taking one more delicious, luxurious, relaxed, perfect day on the couch, and then I will re-enter the real world. There's so much to do. I have an apartment to clean, an opera to study, a score to make beautiful, an a** to shrink, a career to jump-start, and phone calls to return.

But not just yet.

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