Spending time in San Francisco

It has been a busy couple of weeks here in San Francisco. Mostly I have been trying to see people and catch up with old friends. I’ve been trying to layer that in with time for myself, and – oh yeah, work! But its been a challenge! I have definitely been feeling a bit burnt out the last couple of days, but I wouldn’t trade being here for anything.

I had the unfortunate experience of being pick-pocketed last week. I was on Haight Street, and someone snagged my iPhone out of my bag. That was a big drag. Partially because I had just replaced my phone a couple of weeks ago when we returned from Alaska, and partially (well mostly) because it ruined my day off, having to go downtown to AT&T and deal with it. My lousy afternoon was remedied though by dinner at Donna Rose’s house. Donna is a former stage manager who I worked with many times at ACT. I just love her to death. She hosted dinner for myself, Elisa (another stage manager from ACT) and Gregory (an ACT company actor) at her place in Pleasant Hill. It was such a lovely evening – catching up on all the ACT news, and hanging with old friends.

The next day, I attempted to do what I had set out to do the day before (before the whole phone snatching debacle) – go to Golden Gate Park and take some photos – and this time, with a close eye on my iPhone, I had better luck. I walked around for a couple of hours snapping shots. It was really nice out and it was fun to see how the park has changed (the newly remodeled Academy of Sciences looks amazing), and what has remained the same.

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We have been on the “Broadway schedule” here in San Francisco, which means two shows on Wednesday, and only one on Sunday. While two on Wednesday kind of feels like a drag while we are doing them, having only one on Sunday is amazing. It really feels like we do get a proper weekend, having Sunday evening free. The week does go by quickly though with the two shows on Wednesday, and last week we also had an understudy rehearsal thrown in on Thursday. To make the most of the week, and so that it didn’t feel like every waking moment was being taken up by work, I made myself get out of the house early on Thursday and headed over to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Originally I planned to go the SFMoma to catch the Georgia O’Keefe/Ansel Adams exhibit which I had seen previously in Santa Fe and just loved. When I arrived though, I realized there was another fantastic photography exhibit there as well – Robert Frank’s “The Americans”. “The Americans” is a collection of photographs that Frank took in the 1950’s as he traveled around the country, observing American life. They are a truly fantastic collection of candids. I’m so happy that I was able to see the exhibit, because it was really inspiring. If you are in the Bay Area, try and see it while it is here!

At the SFMoma

At the SFMoma

Walking by the Contemporary Jewish Museum

Walking by the Contemporary Jewish Museum

After understudy rehearsal, I had my first sewing class! Roy, one of our wardrobe supervisors, agreed to teach me and Suzanne (one of our hair supervisors) how to sew. We are having a blast. First Roy taught us all about the machines and the different things they can do. Then we practiced stitching on scraps of fabric. And then, we each made a pencil case – with a zipper! We are currently working on tote bags, and then we are moving on to garments (I am making a top, and Suzanne is making a sundress). I’m starting to look at sewing machines. Suggestions for a good beginner machine, anyone??

My handmade pencil case!

My handmade pencil case!

After the show that night, I went over to Lyn and Chris’s place (two of the actors from the show) for drinks with Lyn. It was really nice hanging out with her. I love Lyn a lot – she makes me laugh. She is definitely one of the people I have connected with most on the show. We had a really great time. It was funny being back at the Steinhart, too – the apartment building Lyn and Chris are staying in – its where I stayed when I came back to do “A Christmas Carol” at ACT in 2002. It seems like forever ago.

On Friday, I had lunch with Katherine, one of my closest friends from college, and then did some shopping at Britex Fabrics for all my sewing projects.

That night at work I was ecstatic to find that my Duaflex camera had arrived! I ordered the old Duaflex from ebay to use to take “Through the Viewfinder” (TtV) photos. Basically you build a “contraption” around the Duaflex to block the light, and then you use your digital camera to photograph the image on the Duaflex’s viewfinder. You end up with some really cool grainy images. I’m having a blast playing with it.

My Duaflex

My Duaflex

The "contraption"

The "contraption"

TtV - Chinatown

TtV - Chinatown

TtV - Subway

TtV - Subway

On Saturday, my voice teacher from high school, Sandie, came to the matinee along with Kathie, the mother of three boys who I used to do theater with in high school. My friend Carrie and her husband Patrick were also at the show, and I gave everyone a tour afterward. I then had lunch with Sandie and Kathie and caught up on what all the kids who I used to do junior theater with were doing. It was so great seeing both of them and I’m looking forward to trying to connect with some of Kathie’s boys when we get to LA (where two of them live).

On Sunday, we had the luxurious one-show day and then I headed over to North Beach to meet up with Fin, Mary, Erika and Tristin for dinner to celebrate Fin’s birthday. I was so excited to finally be in town for a get together, and to not be working, no less! We had a yummy meal at Mona Lisa, and then walked down to the wharf and around Pier 39. It was a double celebration of sorts, as it was not only Fin’s birthday, but she is also expecting her first baby! So exciting.

Mary and Fin

Mary and Fin

I knew that my next couple of Mondays off were going to be busy, so I made it a point to spend this past Monday and Tuesday just doing stuff around the house, like cleaning and laundry and grocery shopping. Ryan was planning on arriving in town on Friday so I wanted to make sure everything was ready for him. I also wanted to spend some time working on some of my projects – like getting my Duaflex contraption made and cutting out the pattern for my tote bag (my homework for sewing class!). It was a very productive couple of days – and it was really nice to just check some things off my list of “to dos”.

On Wednesday, we again had two shows. Thursday I went downtown at noon and met up with Katherine and Monique, my roommate from college, who I hadn’t seen for nine years! Monique was in town for a few days with her daughter Amelia for a mother/daughter trip. It was so great to see her – it was like no time had passed (except that she now has an eight-year-old daughter and two sons!). We had such a nice time catching up. We ate lunch at Lori’s Diner, a 50’s style restaurant on Powell Street. Amelia was a hoot, too – the spitting image of her mom. Sassy and funny and smart. Definitely her mother’s daughter. I really hope it is not another nine years before I see Monique again. I love her so much!

Amelia

Amelia

Me and Monique

Me and Monique

In the afternoon, after splitting off from Monique, Amelia and Katherine, I went over to North Beach to do some scouting for a pub crawl that I am putting together for next week. And then, I went in early to the theater for sewing class #2! We started putting together our tote bags. We didn’t quite finish before our show call, though, so you’ll have to wait until next week for photos of our finished products.

And then on Friday I did a big shopping run in the morning for supplies for the BBQ I am throwing on Sunday for all my Bay Area friends – and in the afternoon, Ryan arrived! He had spent the previous four and a half days riding his motorcycle to San Francisco from Green Bay. I was so, so happy to see him. The next two weeks will be all about adventures with him. I have missed him so!

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