Standby: Christmas. Christmas: GO!*

We're starting the holiday a little early here in the Bossy-Melear household. Packages from his side of the family have been arriving steadily, and of course we couldn't contain ourselves, so we opened them all. My favorite is a subscription to The New Yorker. I can't wait to pretend I am one. From my $400 a month Houston apartment. Cue smug laugh here.

When it became very clear that the present I had bought for CameraMan was not going to make the trip to Oregon, we decided to open our presents tonight instead. His present took an entire roll of wrapping paper to cover, it was that big (yes, I am wasteful and anti-environment, I know. Don't tell Al Gore.). Mine, on the other hand, came in a very small envelope. His present? A new soundbar speaker system for our TV, which will replace his 5 speakers, subwoofer, receiver, and miles of speaker wire. It's already set up, sounds great, and looks bee-yoo-ti-ful.

My present? 9 private salsa dancing lessons with CM as my partner! I am so excited—I cannot wait to start (and cross of #30 on my list)! The lessons don't start until January 4, and it's a good thing we have to wait, because a few hours ago I stubbed my left baby toe so badly that I became mildly hysterical, laughing and crying and gritting my teeth and swallowing unladylike expletives. Unfortunately, the pain has only gotten worse since the incident, and putting on even the softest sneakers finds me limping around moaning. Not ideal for dance lessons.

Tomorrow we are Oregon-bound for the Bossy Compound, where I'm hoping that a few days of lying around eating cookies in my pajamas will heal my toe and keep me in the Christmas spirit all week long. I hope you all have equally ambitious plans for the holiday.

*Stage management humor: always hilarious.

Chicago, Chicago, that toddlin' town

A couple nights ago we were at dinner with a friend and he asked me how I liked Chicago. I opened my mouth to answer him, and 5 minutes later I finally took a breath. Because I liked Chicago. A lot. It felt like home, and the thing is, I knew it would, and at the same time was sure it wouldn't quite live up to my expectations. A little like Paris, which I just absolutely knew I would love love aimer, all the while being terrified that the Paris I loved was in books and movies and maybe the 1920s, and not at all in reality. It's terrible to be disappointed in something you've built up in your mind, but in some ways it's worse to be vindicated, to have the place you've exalted actually be just as amazing as you pictured. Because now all I want to do is move there. Immediately. I'm talking about Chicago, but it could just as well apply to Paris, actually.

So I'm crossing it off my list.
  1. Live in Chicago.
I've done it. I've lived right in the middle of Chicago, with Millennium Park as my backyard and the Art Institute and Symphony Center right down the block. I've ridden the El and the Metra to the neighborhoods and the suburbs. I've eaten deep-dish pizza more times than I'd like to admit. I've seen theater both big and small. I've complained about the winter and crowed about the fall. I've walked the Magnificent Mile and been to the top of the Sears Willis Tower and had cocktails at the top of the Hancock Building and taken an architectural boat cruise and eaten funnel cakes at Navy Pier. I've lived in Chicago.

And, like the best items on my list, now that I've crossed it off, all I want is to do it again.

My kind of town, Chicago is.

Peer Pressure List, Vol. 20

This week has left me feeling a bit schizophrenic, what with shuttling back and forth between Chicago and Houston, Janacek and Puccini, walking and driving, freezing and sweating. As of today, I am safely ensconced in our Houston hovel, and I plan on staying here for, oh, about a week before flying away again. And what's more, I start rehearsal for Tosca tomorrow. That's right, TOMORROW! There's time for one deep breath, a few hours of sleep/denial, and that's about it.

So, without further ado, this week's PPL:

  • Southwest Airlines: You know what's great about Southwest? Oh, everything. You know how all the other airlines charge for baggage now? Southwest doesn't. You can check 2 bags for free. Perfect for the girl who's accumulated so much stuff in the past 3 months that she needs 2 trips to schlep it all home.

  • Restoration Hardware towels: On a whim/months of dreaming and planning, CM and I finally overhauled our bathroom and bought all new towels. In this case when I say towels, I mean clouds of fluffy cuddliness sized for a giant and softer than any metaphor you can think of. And while we were at it, we upgraded our shower curtain, too. Now the bathroom is in shades of Sky, Marine, and Azure. It's so luxurious in there that you almost forget the whole room is only 3' x 3'.

  • Mercadito: For the past couple months, this has been our go-to after-the-show spot for drinking and gorging ourselves on tacos. The drinks are fancy, the food is delicious, and the lighting is just dark enough for arty photos. I was so happy to go there one more time after closing night of Katya. I'll be dreaming about the pomegranate guacamole. And the company I kept while eating it.

  • Puccini: Good Lord, Tosca is gorgeous. It's Mama Bossy's fave, so I think this music is in my blood somehow. I will not be sorry to listen to it every day for the next 2 months, that's for sure.

  • Christmas: I'm wholeheartedly diving into the holiday season as of now. The Santa Mix is playing nearly constantly on the soundtrack of my life, the (waist-high) Christmas tree is up and decorated, the stockings are hung (although not very gracefully, as we have no good place to hang them), and the ingredients have been assembled to make many cookies this week. And yesterday I ate Puffer mit Apfelmousse at the Christkindlmarket, so it must be Christmas time. I'm so ready.

A tired tale of procrastination

I had two major tasks to complete before tomorrow, when I head to Houston for a few days. I'll only be back in Chicago for one very quick day (and closing night) before I go home for good, so there will be very little time when I get back to complete said tasks. What are they? Finish making my Faust score pretty (why yes, that show DID close over a month ago—I don't want to talk about it), and pack up my apartment. Two tasks.

Here's what I did all weekend instead of doing either of those things: scrubbed pots and pans (have y'all heard of an S.O.S. pad? I had an unfortunate mac and cheese episode which involved a scorched roux and resulted in the bottom of one of my pans being completely burnt. A friend gave me one of these pads, and it was like magic! Apparently they clean ANYTHING! Anyway...), wasted time on the internet, went out to dinner with friends, read a book, took a driving tour of the North Side, caught up on my Hulu queue, and did French verb drills (Je suis sérieuse).

Which meant that today arrived, and I was in a panic to get everything done. Same old story. At the end of the day... I'm mostly packed and my Faust score is half done. The rest will have to be finished Saturday.

My brightest idea of the day was to walk to the UPS Store to ship a box of my stuff home. I looked at a map, and it seemed pretty close, so I hoisted up the box and set off on foot. Turns out, it was actually half a mile away, and the box I was carrying? Weighed 26 pounds. My arms were so tired by the time I arrived that I could barely sign my name on my credit card slip. Thank goodness my job doesn't involve any heavy lifting—I don't think I'm cut out for it.

For the rest of the week, I'll be leaving my tasks behind and winging my way to Houston to snuggle my kitten, smooch my CameraMan, celebrate happy hours with friends, decorate the apartment for Christmas, get a long-overdue haircut, and (oh, right) prep Tosca.

For once I don't feel like procrastinating at all.

Peer Pressure List, Vol. 19

That's right, it's back: The Peer Pressure List. Every Sunday, I'll share five things making me happy that just might make you happy, too.

  • Neutrogena Triple Moisture Hair Mask: I've been using this hair mask once or twice a week for the past couple months, and I love how shiny and silky it makes my hair. And as a girl with admittedly expensive tastes, I also love that it's cheap, available at the drugstore, and lasts a really long time. I keep hoping that shiny hair will distract from my unsightly dark roots, but all evidence to the contrary.

  • The Best American Travel Writing 2009: I buy these books every year, and I ration out the essays for as long as I can stand it because I enjoy them so much.

  • CameraBag for iPhone: I am having fun exploring this great camera app for the iPhone (recently mentioned in the NY Times). It's hard to be unobtrusive among friends when I break out my giant DSLR, so sometimes it's nice to fly under the radar with the iPhone camera. I took this pic last night at a dinner party:

  • XOCO: One of the most delicious Chicago restaurants I have eaten in since I arrived. I had a lime agua fresca and a torta with smoked ham, bacon, avocado, cheese, and a cilantro crema. I followed that up with churros and one of their incredible hot chocolates. If you are a Chicagoan, eat there immediately.

  • Kittens: It started with the Airstream Diva's adorable pictures, and it has only escalated since I saw this video. I have full-on kitten fever, I admit it. I can't help it.


Not having a television growing up (blame it on the hippies) gave me a great love of reading, the ability to play board games opposite myself, and endless hours of backyard playtime. It also gave me a large gap in my pop culture references, because besides afternoons at my best friend's house watching Punky Brewster, Full House, and Saved by the Bell, I didn't have much exposure to TV until high school.

Well, now I'm making up for lost time. I love so much of what's on TV now (and a few recently canceled shows—REALLY, PUSHING DAISIES???), and I don't even want to talk about how many hours I've logged on the couch watching my favorite shows. I DVR, I Hulu, I Netflix TV on DVD…I do it all. Currently my tastes are turning toward quirky comedies, most of which, coincidentally, air on Thursday nights. I would like to turn your attention to my 3 faves of the fall:

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. I don't always watch the videos people post on their blogs, so if you don't want to watch all of these, please at least watch the first one. This video pretty much sums up everything I love about this ridiculous show, and it has cheered me greatly on several hard days in the past few weeks.

Community. I started watching this one a few episodes in, but now I'm hooked. This little clip, while awesome, is lacking my favorite part of this show: Joel McHale. Hubba hubba. He's smart.

30 Rock. This show gets funnier all the time, despite my growing fear that I might actually BE Liz Lemon. Although, I guess that would work out pretty well, since Tina Fey is CameraMan's #2 celebrity crush. I don't think being his #1 celebrity crush is quite so attainable for me.

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow

Ever since my schedule for this year was set, I've been bragging about it. Not in terms of the jobs themselves, but in terms of the weather. Autumn in Chicago, winter in Houston, spring in New York. Sounds perfect, doesn't it? And so far, it has been. Crisp fall days, changing leaves, hot cocoa, and most importantly, fall clothes. Velvet blazers, cashmere scarves, cable-knit tights, jeans tucked into riding boots, sweater dresses...this is what I live for. Sure, it rained some, but mostly it's been idyllic, with just enough unseasonably warm days sprinkled in to give my favorite silver ballet flats a workout.

I have no complaints. Except...

This is Chicago. In December. Is it too much to ask for one teeny tiny snowfall before I leave? It doesn't even need to stick—I just want to feel it. Real honest-to-goodness Midwestern snow. Where is it? Time's running out, and there's not a flake in sight.

Besides which, if I leave now, without having experienced even a little bit of the infamous brutal winter, I'm going to have to be physically restrained from moving here the minute I get the chance. Because so far, Chicago hasn't given me any reason not to.

Come on, I dare you.

Let's December it up!

Dear readers, I hope you all had wonderful Thanksgivings full of laughter, transcendent food, and just enough family drama and awkwardness to keep things interesting. I am just now emerging from my binge eating-induced coma, and I cannot believe that it is December 1st already. Where did the year go?!? I'm wrapping up my time in Chicago, and with it these 6 months away from home. In less than 2 weeks, I'll be back in my Houston hometown with my CameraMan, my kitten, and the couch of my dreams. FOR TWO WHOLE MONTHS. I am so ready.

CM was just here for 5 days, and I got completely spoiled by having him around all the time. We Amtrak-ed it* to his hometown in Western Illinois for Thanksgiving with his family, complete with multiple turkey dinners, many many babies and toddlers of all sizes, and plenty of Midwestern staples like corn casserole and jello salad. (Okay, I just read back that sentence to myself, and it kind of sounds like we ate babies for dessert. I'm leaving it.) I had to be back in Chi-town for a show on Saturday night, and then CM moved his flight back a day, so we ended up with 2 1/2 great days all by ourselves in the big city. He saw the show, we Mercadito-ed it up*, we pajama-ed* for a whole day, and only emerged from the apartment to do fun things (like bowling!). It was heaven in vacation form.

But now he's gone and it's back to life (back to reality). There is a lot to be done in the next 12 days. Two scores cleaned up (and the Faust one is really really long, so it should count as two), paperwork finalized, my life packed up (how did I accumulate this much stuff?!?), and Tosca studied hard. Plus, there's the last-minute socializing, since the panic is setting in that I won't be seeing any of these people again for far too long. And the sending out of résumés, which sometimes feels like a full-time job in itself, although mostly because I spend so much time whining about it that by the time I get down to actually doing it I'm exhausted. And the Christmas shopping (lots of good ideas this year). I'm a busy girl.

There's something about the first of the month that always feels like a new chalk-free slate. It makes me want to start a project or a new routine. Maybe a gym routine, other than the one I have now which consists entirely of talking about going to the gym. Maybe a face washing routine, because the lady at Sephora was very judgey when I said I never do that. Maybe a blogging routine. Who knows?

*Sidebar: I've recently become overly enamored of creating new verbs out of words that are not verbs. For example, to sit in a booth is "boothing," or the informal, "boothing it." Or, to cook from a recipe is "to recipe," or "to recipe it up." Please help me in taking this thing viral—you'll be glad you did.

How to win friends & influence people

I was walking into the train station to get a Jamba Juice before rehearsal (original Peach Perfection with an immunity boost, if you're buying) when I heard her voice: I love your bag! I don't mean to brag, but I get that a lot about this particular bag, a large orange patent leather tote. (Sidebar: actually, the bag was mentioned in a New Yorker article about a soprano I worked with last year, because she was using it in rehearsal. I would have to look it up, but I believe the quote might have been "chic orange tote." But I digress.) So when I stopped to tell her where I had gotten the bag, this girl, about my age, started asking me all kinds of questions about myself. It seemed a little weird, but there is a lot more chatting among strangers in Chicago than you might think—mostly about the weather—so I didn't think much of it. It briefly crossed my mind that she might be hitting on me, but I wasn't really getting that vibe from her. I was anxious to get to work, but she seemed nice, and I don't have such a plethora of Chicago friends that I'm about to be rude to a nice girl who wants to talk to me. You never know, right?

Except that sometimes, you do know. Because not 3 minutes into our conversation, she said, So if you're from Texas, you must know my company. It's based in Dallas. Some of you have already figured it out, I'm sure, but not me. What company does she work for, you ask? What else: MARY KAY. My heart sank and I immediately began inching closer and closer to the Jamba Juice, my eyes darting back and forth looking for an escape route. And while I attempted to evade her, there was no controlling what came out of my mouth. I think I claimed to already have a MK representative, an imaginary friend in Houston who's just selling makeup on the side to help pay for college and isn't really interested in making it full-time. WHAT?!? SHUT UP, LOUISA! And then I think maybe I told her I was too busy for any of her upcoming seminars, but she should just give me her card so I could contact her when my schedule freed up. And it would have been great if I stopped there.

Except I didn't. Because then she asked for my phone number, and for some ungodly reason, I gave it to her (yes, my REAL number). I can't explain it; I was panicking. And, wouldn't you know it, she has already called me and left me a frighteningly perky voicemail. She wants me to learn more about the "executive side" of the company while I'm here. I will not be returning her call.

I made the mistake of telling a couple people at work this story, and now every time they see me I hear, I love your bag! Because apparently that is all it takes to get my phone number. And now you know.

In which I become a contender

Most days I wouldn't even be considered for the Best Girlfriend in the World award, should such a thing exist. I'm moody, fiercely independent, high-maintenance, and never around. I hog the remote and the covers, I'm always cold, and I refuse to watch scary movies. I cry at the drop of a hat, I have to be right all the time, and I'm a stickler for good grammar (you'll notice I've picked sides in the Oxford comma debate). Most days, I'm a pain in the neck, I know I am.

But yesterday was not most days. Yesterday, I climbed the ranks in the Best Girlfriend in the World contest. Why, you ask? Because yesterday, in honor of CM's impending birthday, I surprised him with a behind-the-scenes tour of our favorite animals at the zoo: the sifakas. Turns out, not only are they incredibly adorable (look at those eyes!), but they are also sweet-natured, just as soft as they look, and very social. We got to hand-feed and pet them, and the baby sifaka even licked our fingers!

And then, when we got home, I gave him the rest of his present: an entire series he loves on DVD (I won't tell you the name of it because CM doesn't want people to question his sexual orientation). And after that I put on a slinky black number and let him take me out to dinner.

I think I'm just a little closer to that trophy now.


Love: Chicago. I think I may have found MY city (although we can revisit this topic when the real winter kicks in). Living downtown is an incredible luxury—being steps away from Millennium Park, the river, the lake, and an easy walk to work is an unparalleled thrill, and I'm so glad I splurged on this apartment for what will most likely be a once in a lifetime experience.

Hate: Being so far away from CameraMan. At the moment we're 4 months into a 6-month separation, and though we've been doing really well up to now, we're both starting to feel the distance. Now that my show's open, I've had some time. I spent all last week being a tourist: museums, the aquarium, and an architectural river cruise (pictures to come, I promise). As much as I enjoyed it all, it made me miss CM something fierce, because I know it would have all been much more fun together. And it seems like every few days something happens with our Houston apartment, and I can't help because I'm far away. None of this is anything new to most people in our business, but it's new to us, and we're finding our way through it.

Love: Taking pictures. My camera has become my almost constant companion, and I might be finally learning how to really use it. And I'm having lots of fun exploring Lightroom and all its photo editing magic. For me, there is no better way to discover a new city than through a lens, and while no substitute for CameraMAN, my camera is doing a pretty good job keeping me company.

Hate: My 365 project. Yes, HATE. I know this is going to be a controversial decision (for the three of you who care), but I've decided to put the project on hold indefinitely. It already accomplished my primary goal, which was to get me into the habit of bringing my camera with me, and of taking pictures of the defining moments of my life. I suppose I could keep going just because I've come this far, but at this point I'm not getting any enjoyment out of it. It's become a chore, and I'm ending up with a lot of uninteresting pictures I'm not proud of. Also, I really miss writing in this space, and at least right now, I don't think I can maintain both. So... it's over. For now. I will still take lots of pictures, and I will still post some of them here. But probably not every day. And I'm happy about it.

Love: Laughing Cow cheese: seriously, how can this creamy amazingness be 35 calories? Boots. Jillian Michaels. Flowers from CM. My birthday. Cool, crisp autumn weather. Cashmere. Getting skinnier. Vanity Fair. Tanqueray and tonics. Glee. Janacek. Foodie dinner parties. Public transportation.

I think I might be back.


The inside of the opera house is absolutely gorgeous, and as I often do in my job, there are days where I have to pinch myself that I get to do what I love in these beautiful spaces. This picture didn't turn out quite how I wanted it to—good thing I'm here for a couple more months to try again.

Opening night of Animal Crackers at the Goodman was like a palate cleanser after lots of intense French opera. Tap dancing, silly gags, and THE MARX BROTHERS! I might have smiled for the entire show. Also, there was a cast party with yummy Italian food. So basically, heaven.

Sometimes there is nothing better than crawling into a bed of clean, sweet-smelling sheets. This is the best-smelling fabric softener I have found yet.


I am falling more and more in love with this amazing city every day that I am here, dreaming of ways to move here for real (no offense, Houston). My almost nightly walks in Millennium Park might have to end at some point due to cold weather, but for now I will enjoy the proximity of this unique park for as long as I can.

I missed another day, and I'm not even going to apologize about this one. The past couple weeks were so insane at work that it just wasn't happening. Instead, I'm linking you to an awesome video postcard that CameraMan made me. I've only watched it about 10 times.

Opening night at the Lyric is very glamorous. There was a red carpet, and a buffet of hors d'oeuvres, and lots of gorgeous gowns. I dragged The Best Friend along and we sat in incredible seats for a beautiful production of Tosca. And not a single boo was heard during the curtain call.


I'm attempting to combat my natural tendencies, the tendencies of an antisocial hermit. Saying yes to invitations, contacting friends, being proactive. It's mostly going well, especially when I'm not working crazy weeks like this one. Last week there was this party, on a gorgeous rooftop in the middle of this amazing city. The sun was shining, and the skyscrapers were all around us, and there was Leiny's Sunset Wheat, and I was very very happy. And then later that evening I had an interview via Skype, and it went well, and I got the job, and I took it.

So all in all, a good day.


Living the car-free lifestyle is definitely agreeing with me. I treasure my 20-minute walks to and from work. I love feeling the energy of the city without any barriers insulating me.

However, as I walked home from work on Sunday through the pouring rain and stiff wind, I have to admit, I was wishing for my car Frankie just a little bit.


Yep, that's right, it seems like I just started Faust, but I'm spending my free time at home working on the next one: Katya Kabanova. I'm trying not to freak out about the fact that it's in Czech (CZECH!). Despite having been to Prague twice (it's one my all-time favorite places), I can barely order a beer in the language. So for now, I'm studying. A lot.


Far from my stuff and my loved ones, it's the little things that make me feel at home. Even a candle helps.

There is an amazing farmers market in downtown Chicago, just blocks from where I live. I spent a lovely Thursday morning exploring the goods and came home with lots of treats: luscious ears of sweet corn, perfectly ripe tomatoes, artisanal bread, yummy leeks, sweet cippolini onions, fragrant basil, and delicious honeycrisp apples.

Yet another shot of this incredible city at night.


I like living on the 36th floor because it makes me feel fancy. Also, have I mentioned the view?

Currently my nighttime snack of choice. When I can resist the siren song of Ben and his friend Jerry, that is.

One of the best parts of my day is walking home through downtown at the end of the work day. I take my time, strolling at a leisurely pace, trying little variations to my route, often with my camera out. Sometimes even while experimenting with manual focus. Whoa.


I've been taking advantage of the Art Institute's free Thursday evenings when I can, and it's really the best way to do it. When I pay to go to a museum, I feel obliged to get my money's worth, and I end up enjoying myself less. When it's free, I'm happy to pop in and see whatever I feel like and leave when I want to. At the moment they have a gorgeous special exhibit of Japanese screens. I'd love to fill my home with these.

It's really not a very good story—a lot of back and forth with apartment management involving a mailbox key that didn't work on my mailbox. The important part of the story is that after 12 (TWELVE!) days of not being able to check my mail, I finally did, and this is what I found. Sweet, sweet Netflix.

Another weekend, another incredible dinner with friends new and old. Apparently the pianists in this city are all gourmet chefs. Maybe the ones in Houston should follow suit. Hint, hint.


For anyone out there who's BK (Baby Krazy), I highly recommend checking out the fountains at Millennium Park on a warm day—they will be FILLED with children playing in the water. These 2 cuties came from a set of identical red-haired triplets, impossible to photograph all at the same time because they were moving around so much. Telephoto lenses were made for taking pictures of other people's adorable children. What, is that weird?

Every night when I get home, I raise the blinds and look out over this glorious nighttime view. I love feeling the city all around me.

I was having trouble cuddling on the couch without my kitten or my CameraMan, so CM sent me my very own softest blanket in the world. You'd be surprised how much it helped.


A ridiculous evening at the Museum of Contemporary Art with the Best Friend resulted in many failed pickup lines (theirs, not ours), mediocre food, and just a little dash of art. This picture is of a light and water installation that caught my fancy.

CameraMan came for the holiday weekend, and we spent the first evening at Navy Pier with the New Oregonian. Navy Pier is lots of fun on a warm summer night: funnel cakes and fireworks and ferris wheels, oh my!

CM introduced me to some great foodie/pianist friends over an incredible meal. This is just the dessert: homemade peach ice cream with roasted peaches. I'll be dreaming about this one for quite some time.


I'm loving my new backyard.

And my neighborhood.

And my art collection, especially its new gorgeous Modern Wing.


We tried out a new Houston restaurant, the Broken Spoke Cafe. Moules frites and a Stella…delicious!

My first night in Chicago, just taking in the breathtaking view from my 36th floor apartment window. I think I can handle this for a few months.

And then I forgot to take a picture. So I'm changing it up a little. Instead of a self-portrait of me looking ashamed for missing a day, here's a bonus pic of the Bossy Cat in the car. I miss my baby.


A trip to Houston always has to include a trip to see Caroline at White Salon, the best hair stylist I have ever had (do you live in Houston? Go see her!). This visit, it was time for a change. Et voila: the new, improved LMB.

I was only home for a few days, during which I attempted to fit in visits to all my favorite restaurants. Drinks and nibbles at t'afia hit the spot. Here's CameraMan with a very pink drink inexplicably named Come to Daddy.

Nobody was happier to be home than my sweet kitten, here seen in a joyful reunion with our amazing couch.


My boys: the chorus men of Cenerentola. I miss these guys.

The road trip back to Houston got off to a rough start with the Bossy Cat getting sick, but by the second day she was feeling just fine. In fact, we drove 15 1/2 hours on Monday.

By Tuesday, she was taking her turn driving.


My summer roomie PiGuy is a world-famous karaoke singer, so when he invited me to sing a duet with him at the last Karaoke Night of the summer, how could I turn him down? I couldn't, as it turned out. "Come What May" from Moulin Rouge, if you're wondering.

We had a bit of an LU reunion at Glimglam during Performance #11. From left to right, we have Yum-Yum, Maestra Koestner, Nanki-Poo, and another Yum-Yum from The Mikado circa 2002. Oh, the memories.

All packed to go home—nothing left in the closet except my outfit for the closing performance.


Screen doors are incredibly enticing to the Bossy Cat, what with all the bugs and animals just inches away yet untouchable.

Princess J and I put on pretty dresses and went to Alex & Ika's for one last dinner. We even splurged on the 15-minute dessert.

LMHC and beautiful Shelby met up with me in Dickson City, PA, halfway between our two houses. We had lunch, shared lots of girl talk, and listened to Shelby doing her latest thing, squawking like a duck.


I never tire of photographing my beautiful cat, but just in case you're tired of looking at them, you'll be happy to know that I only have a week left with her before I leave her with CameraMan for a few months. I'll have to find a new late-night default subject.

Princess J had people over for shrimp étouffée, and I got to be the sous chef! WienerLover and The Almost German were in town for the weekend, and fun was had by all…except the idiot who drank too much and only vaguely remembers the fun part of the evening. Ahem.

Apparently the perfect cure for a hangover is greasy food, shakes, and trashy mini golf. Thank you, Mister Shake!


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