Catching Up

Well, its been a whirlwind few weeks with lots of ups and downs, and I can’t believe I’m only writing now! I have to be better about keeping up with my blog.

First off, work. “All About Me” opened, and then it closed. Ah, they can’t all be winners. It was definitely a challenging production period to be a part of – from starting with no script, to putting together a fully formed show in just four short weeks. I don’t really know why the finished product never caught on – it was definitely an enjoyable night in the theater – maybe it just wasn’t marketed well, who knows? At any rate, we did four weeks of previews, and two weeks of regular performances, and then closed on Easter Sunday.

Dame Edna and Michael Feinstein in "All About Me"

Opening night was a lot of fun – my best friend Michele came into town from Belgium for it. I hadn’t seen her since her wedding in 2005, so it was lovely to have her here. She was an ASM for Dame Edna on the Dame’s first Broadway show, so it was a reunion of sorts. Our friend Ruth, who has also worked with Dame Edna, came into town for the weekend, too. It was really nice having lots of old friends around. And of course Ryan also came into town for about ten days to celebrate and hang out with everyone.

Ruth and Michele

Michele, Ruth and I with Barry Humphries (Dame Edna)

Me and Ryan

Now that all is said and done, despite the fact that I would love to be getting a paycheck right now, and there were some great people working on “All About Me”, I am sort of relieved that I don’t have to go into work there anymore. The rehearsal process was very challenging, but the run of the show was not at all, and I think I would have been extremely bored in the long run. There also were a couple of not-so-nice people working on the show, and I’m sort of glad to not have to see them everyday now – I’m not gonna lie! I am very thankful to have gotten the opportunity to work with Barry Humphries (Dame Edna) though. He was nothing but lovely and kept all of us in stitches every day. It was wonderful working with him.

Ah well, I guess you win some, you lose some. That’s the nature of show business. And its kind of funny to have worked on at least one big Broadway flop! (Let’s just hope its my last!)

Me with Dame Edna

As far as work upcoming – nothing so far, but I’ve got some feelers out. I’m really hoping for another tour. Fingers crossed that something works out.

Another reason that I am happy to have some time for myself right now, is that the week the show opened, I noticed that Tallulah hadn’t been eating as much as normal, so I took her to the vet and she was diagnosed with FIV – feline AIDS. It turns out that she probably has had it her whole life (her brother died of it, but we assumed he had contracted it from a stray that Andrea had taken in). Cats can live long lives with FIV if they stay healthy. Unfortunately Tallulah’s white blood cell count was dangerously low when I took her in to the vet, and her liver was showing signs of fatty liver disease, because she hadn’t been eating.

To make a long story short, I am now taking her to another vet – a cat specialist (who I am not entirely happy with, I am still searching for a vet who also does holistic practice as well as regular western medicine). Tallulah has been on antibiotics for about a month now, which have brought her fever down to normal and are warding off infection. I have done a bit of my own research and have started Tallulah on a serious vitamin regimen. It seems to be working – she seems much peppier, her coat is shinier – she seems like her same old self, except that she is still not eating much. I am also trying to make sure she gets fresh air and sunshine.

The food thing is rather frustrating. I am feeding her about a can of food a day through a syringe to make sure she gets the nutrients that she needs. The last set of blood tests said that her liver had recovered, so I just want to make sure that it stays that way. She is probably nibbling about a half a can of food herself, and grazing the dry food as well. I have given her every kind of food imaginable – from every brand of cat food, to chicken, tuna, tuna juice, chicken broth, eggs, milk, baby food, you name it. Its very frustrating not knowing what to give her. She takes the food I give her in the syringe just fine – no spitting out or vomiting. And she comes to the kitchen when I am getting her food ready, but then when I put it out, she sniffs it and leaves. I hope eventually we figure it all out.

As far as the vitamins go, I am currently giving her the following twice a day (in food): immune support formula (from Only Natural Pet), bone meal, calcium, echinacea, and brewer’s yeast/garlic. Soon I will be adding a multi-vitamin, vitamin C and probiotic (waiting for those to come in the mail). I am keeping my fingers crossed that the next time we go to the vet, Tallulah’s white cells are up so I can get her off those antibiotics.

If anyone else has an FIV cat and you have suggestions of ways to help keep my cat healthy, I would welcome them! Also, anyone with a cat who is a finicky eater – any suggestions would also be appreciated as to how to get my cat to eat again!

My parents came for a visit last week. It was great to see them – and although they arrived too late to see my show, being unemployed was actually a good thing, because I was able to spend more time with them. We went to the New York Botanical Gardens, Central Park and on the Circle Line cruise. I also brought them up to my neighborhood for brunch at New Leaf Cafe, a walk through Fort Tryon Park and a visit to the Cloisters. We also went down to Hudson River Park and walked underneath the George Washington Bridge. It was a really wonderful few days with them.

Dad

Mom

At the Botanical Gardens

Going under the George Washington Bridge on the Circle Line cruise

As far as crafts go, I’ve been totally focused on baby knits. I made a sweater for my friend Carrie’s baby, a blanket for Fin’s baby Evan, and a sweater for my sister’s soon to be daughter. I’m currently working on a blanket, also for my soon-to-be niece. I think I am going to break out the sewing machine today to work on another Clothkits skirt for me. Its been a while since I’ve used my machine – but springtime calls for sewing!

Blanket for Evan

Sweater for baby niece

I’ve had time to get out and do some photography as of late, as well. I also splurged with some of my tax return money and bought a few new toys – a 35mm lens for my Nikon DSLR and a new digital rangefinder camera – the Olympus e-p2, which I am loving. It is so much fun and takes fantastic photos.

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Fort Tryon Park

Overlook at Fort Tryon

Me at Fort Tryon Park

The mall in Central Park

Outside St. John the Divine

That’s about all for now – keep your fingers crossed that I get a job soon!

Happy Spring!

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Rehearsals.

It has been a busy couple of weeks as “All About Me” started rehearsals. The script was still very much in flux on the first day, and still is, although we have a solid framework going. Its all about filling in the details around the framework. So without a finished script and only three weeks in the studio before we move to the theater for tech, rehearsals have been long and tedious…but fun all the same. I’m working with a really lovely group of people – much smaller than my Spamalot family, but talented and interesting and fun. I think once the show is set and everyone is comfortable with what they are doing, we are going to have a real blast together.

I haven’t been taking any photos in rehearsals as it has been such an intense time, and I am still getting to know everyone, but we did have a press event last week and so I took the opportunity to get a few shots.

Michael Feinstein and Dame Edna

Dame Edna

Meeting the press

Other than rehearsals, I have been trying to get as much rest as I can (which isn’t much!), catching up on “Lost” (I had never watched it before this season, so I hurriedly watched all previous five seasons in time for this year’s season premiere), trying to take a photowalk on my days off, and finishing up some knitting projects.

I went up to Inwood Hill Park a couple of weekends ago, which I had never walked around before, despite living right next to it for three months in 2003-2004. It is the only natural park in Manhattan (all the others are man-made). It was really lovely to walk through some of the overgrown trails. I love that wilderness like that exists right in the midst of the city.

Inwood Hill Park

Inwood Hill Park

I also went on a walk last weekend to Fort Tryon Park, and discovered some places that I had never been – like this archway.

Fort Tryon Park

I just love Fort Tryon Park – I’m so glad its in my neighborhood!

Fort Tryon Park

Fort Tryon Park

Some of the girls from “Spamalot” got together a few weeks ago for a “haircut party” to take advantage of Suzanne being in town (she cut everyone’s hair while we were on the road). Cara Cooper hosted everyone at her and Graham’s new condo in Hoboken, and it was so nice to see everyone – lots of beautiful faces from the last few years on tour. It was a great evening with some of my favorite girls.

Little pregnant Callie!

Jen and Suzanne

Angelina and Suzanne

Sarah, Alexa and Jen

And finally, a couple of photos of my two latest knitting projects – a vest called “Estes” and a sweater called “Lush and Lacy”. I began Lush and Lacy towards the end of the Spamalot tour and just got too sidetracked with the tour ending and my move to finish it until now. Estes was a project for “Vestvember”, but again I got sidetracked with moving, so didn’t finish it up until January. Ah well. I love them both. I also finished a little hooded sweater for Flickr friend Carrie’s little boy who is due to arrive any day, but I forgot to take a photo before I sent it off to her (duh!). Next up, probably a hat for me, and then maybe on to some baby knits for my soon to be niece!

Estes Vest

Lush and Lacy

Hope everyone is keeping warm! Happy Valentine’s Day to you 🙂

Making Stuff

Along with spending a lot of time on photography as of late, I’ve also been keeping up with knitting and have started on to a new hobby – sewing!

First up, a finished knitting project – “Ingenue”, by Wendy Bernard, from the book “Custom Knits”.

Ingenue, by Wendy Bernard

"Ingenue", by Wendy Bernard

This was a really enjoyable knit – it is a very easy and straightforward pattern, and I love the construction of the collar. You make it twice as long as your desired finished length, then fold it over and stitch it down inside the sweater. It creates a very sturdy collar that really keeps its shape. I love it. I used Brooks Farm Four Play – 3 skeins, purchased at Rhinebeck (only about 810 yards!). I was unsure about using a variegated yarn, but I love the end result and the drape of the yarn is gorgeous. It was lovely to knit with.

Project number two is a sewing project – my first real one after the pencil case I made a couple of weeks ago. As I have written before, I have been getting together on Thursday afternoons with one of our wardrobe supervisors, Roy, at the theater, and he has been teaching me and Suzanne (one of our hair supervisors) how to sew. For our first big project, Suzanne and I both made “The Everything Tote” from the book “Weekend Sewing” by Heather Ross. We definitely had a lot of instructional help from Roy, but all in all, the bag was not so hard to put together. I used some red canvas for the outside and a black and white cotton print for the lining (FYI – the book states you only need 1/2 a yard of fabric for the outer layer and 1/2 yard for the lining – not so – you actually need 1 yard of each).

Everything Tote, by Heather Ross

"Everything Tote", by Heather Ross

Next up on the sewing front is buying my own machine! In class I am working on an Amy Butler top, and for my birthday I treated myself to three skirt kits from Clothkits, so I’ll be putting those together. In knitting, I just had to rip an almost completely finished sweater (“Riding to Avalon” by Connie Chinchio) because I ran out of yarn, and there is no more to be had anywhere (it was Brooks Farm Solo Silk, purchased at Rhinebeck). I’ll use the yarn for something else. Right now I am working on a cotton top called “Empress Pullover” – a pattern from KnitPicks. I’ve had to completely rewrite the pattern to fit me, so we’ll see how it goes.

Here’s to a craft-filled summer!

Finished Knits

I took the opportunity in Tampa to take some photos of some knitting projects that I finished in the last couple of months. The good weather and the backyard provided a great space for said photos. As always, if you are on Ravelry, you can always see more information about my projects there.

First up, 28Thirty by Sarah and Rachel.

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Yarn: Malabrigo Worsted, in Pigeon. 5 skeins.

Needles: US 8

Size: Medium

This isn’t the best garment I’ve ever made – the yarn pills A LOT, and it was awfully tight when finished, so I had to block the crap out of it to get it to fit correctly. The yarn is very warm and soft, and I love the color, but it is also very light, so the weight of the buttons tend to cause the button band to gape – also the collar doesn’t stand up turtleneck-esque as it is supposed to because the yarn is not quite sturdy enough to allow for that.

That being said, I still LOVE this sweater and wear it all the time. I love the cropped length – it looks really cute with a long shirt underneath. And again, I love the color. It is so versatile. I would definitely consider making this pattern again – only next time with a sturdier, bulkier yarn.

Next up – Wicked, also by Sarah and Rachel.

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Yarn: Malabrigo Worsted in Marine, 3.5 skeins.

Needles: US 7

Size: 36-39

Wicked came out a tad big, but I love it. It is super comfy and warm and I love the color of the yarn – the varegation in the blue is so subtle and beautiful. I really like the look of the pocket on the front of the sweater, and I like the shorter sleeved version,  allowing for a shirt to be seen underneath. I’ve read that Wicked is “the sweatshirt of sweaters” and I agree – so, so comfortable! The stockinette did get to be a little tedious after a while, but I so enjoy the finished project  that it was all worth it!

Finally, Rusted Root, by – you guessed it! – Sarah and Rachel!

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Yarn: Socks that Rock Heavyweight in Grawk. 2 skeins.

Needles: US 6

Size: 32-35

Love this top!! The Socks that Rock is a great colorway, and I love the stitch definition. The pattern was very easy and fun to make and the lace panel kept it interesting. I love the fit and the poofy sleeves. Total winner!

For my next project, I promise to branch out and make something other than a Sarah and Rachel pattern!

Goodbye to 2008! Part One – Knitting.

2008 Knits, originally uploaded by francescarussell.

My 2008 retrospective is going to be a three-parter. I’ll begin with my 2008 knitting projects. This was a year of firsts for me – the first time I felt comfortable knitting for others (my Time Capsule cozies were in demand!) and my first time knitting for babies (the Marcouiller twins). Also, the first time knitting a sweater in pieces and seaming it together (the Tilted Duster), and also my first crochet projects! (scarf and Cupcake). I definitely feel like I have more confidence in my knitting abilities after this year, and am looking forward to more successful projects in 2009!

Christmas in Des Moines

It was a snowy, cold week in Des Moines. We had a long, long bus ride from Fayetteville on frosty roads to get to Iowa. There was an accident on the highway that caused us to have to detour onto a two lane highway for quite a while, but we finally arrived in the early evening to the Renaissance Savery in downtown Des Moines – the same hotel we stayed in when we played Des Moines in August of last year. 

Snowy trees on the way to Des Moines

Snowy trees on the way to Des Moines

After getting settled in, I headed over to The Royal Mile, my favorite Des Moines pub, for some bangers and mash. Then I watched a bunch of “Planet Earth” while I waited for Ryan to get home. Have you seen “Planet Earth”? I borrowed the DVDs from our prop guy, Scott, and they are amazing! I don’t know how they captured some of the things they did on film. If you haven’t seen it, check it out.

On Tuesday we finished load-in. It was easy and quick, as we’d played the theater before. Tim, one of our ensemble guys, drove over and we loaded up his rental car with all the presents we had bought for the family we had adopted in town. It felt really good to be giving Christmas to a family in need. Everyone should do it if they can!

The show opened smoothly on Tuesday. It was a big friendly house. Afterwards there was an opening night party at the Court Brewery. Not as fun as the party we had there last year where everyone got drunk and silly, but the food was good, and you can never argue with free booze.

Wednesday we had the day off for Christmas eve. Ryan and I stayed in all day. I had caught a bit of a cold on the travel day, so we took it easy and hung out in the room, watching more “Planet Earth”! In the late afternoon, we got dressed up for the “Spamalot” Christmas party, which began with drinks in one of the ballrooms at the hotel, followed by dinner. After dinner (yummy roast beef), we congregated in Karl’s room (the giant penthouse on the top floor of the hotel) for dessert, drinks and to exchange our final Secret Santa gifts.

Mitchell and Suzanne at dinner

Mitchell and Suzanne at dinner

Ken and Matthew Greer's daughter, Miranda.

Ken and Matthew Greer's daughter, Miranda.

Angela was my Secret Santa – she gave me some gorgeous hand-dyed, hand-spun yarn along with a pattern book, some earrings, more chocolate and some wine. So generous! I was Mitchell’s Secret Santa, and he LOVED his punk rock knitted hat that I made him!

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The biggest hit of the party, though, was Mike Berg, our pyro guy, who dressed up as Santa Claus and passed out everyone’s presents. Everyone took turns sitting in his lap to get their photo taken. He was the perfect, perfect Santa.

Bergie Claus

Bergie Claus

The guys with Santa

The guys with Santa

You can see all my Christmas party photos here.

Paula and Cara

Paula and Cara

Annie, David and Lyn

Annie, David and Lyn

Christmas day was mellow – another stay-at-home day. We had a show that night and then gathered for drinks in the hotel bar afterwards. 

On Friday, the weather was warmer so Ryan and I ventured out. We had originally planned on going ice skating, but because of the warmer temperatures, there were giant puddles all over the ice rink, and skating through water didn’t look like so much fun. We instead walked up towards the Capitol building and looked in some of the shops along the way.

The ice rink

The ice rink

The snowy Capitol building

The snowy Capitol building

On Saturday the temperatures dropped again, and all the melted snow from the day before froze, leaving a sheet of ice across downtown. It was pretty treacherous walking to and from the theater as it was so slippery. The icicles on all the trees and street lamps were really beautiful though. I had never really seen the effects of an ice storm before, and although this one was very mild, it still left some really pretty visual effects.

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On Sunday we closed and on Monday I got up very, very early for the flight to Cincinnati where we will spend New Year’s. Wishing a happy 2009 to you and yours!

Tallulah, pooped after opening her presents.

Tallulah, pooped after opening her presents.

I Got Nothin'

I was in Norfolk, VA for a whole week, and didn’t do anything of interest, and for the first time on this tour, I TOOK NO PHOTOS LAST WEEK! Well, except for my daily contribution to the 365 project. I had every intention of taking some photos down at the beach (we stayed in Virginia Beach), but on the one day when I was not in rehearsal (we had a put-in and understudy rehearsal last week), it poured with rain, so there was no picture-taking for me. Ah, well.

So –  I have nothing to share about Norfolk. There was a decent mall downtown and a street with restaurants on it near the theater which were pleasant enough. Other than that, I was at work, or at my room at the Candlewood in Virginia Beach. The audiences were nice and lively, the stagehands were dumb and lively, and I am happy to have moved on to Boston!

So, in lieu of any interesting tidbits about my week, here instead are some photos of a couple of knitting projects that I completed in the last couple of weeks.

First, my Gretel beret – the pattern is by Ysolda Teague. I used one and a half skeins of Blue Sky Alpacas Suri Merino, purchased at Make One in Calgary. I love the hat – It fits perfectly, and the yarn is so soft and warm. 

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The second project I finished while we were in the Berkshires –  the Prairie Tunic, by Veronik Avery. I used 4 skeins of Rowan 4-ply cotton. It’s a very cute summer top, which can also be worn over a long-sleeved shirt in the winter, as I did in my FO shots.

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More details about these projects can be found on my ravelry page.

I have a third project nearing completion (just needs buttons) so look for photos of that soon!

In the meantime, I arrived in Boston this morning, and am looking forward to a more eventful week than last week (and subsequently a more interesting blog post next week!).  Enjoy your week, everyone!

At the Colonial Theater in Boston

At the Colonial Theater in Boston

Vacation, Week One – New York

The first week of our layoff has been busier than I thought it would be! I had planned on spending the first week in New York City, seeing friends, and running errands. Unfortunately I couldn’t find any affordable hotels in the city so I ended up staying out in Fishkill, where we were housed last week for West Point, and renting a car for the week so that I could commute into New York City when I needed to. It is about a 65-mile drive, and really gorgeous this time of year, so I didn’t really mind. I figured between going into the city, I could get some relaxation in here in Fishkill.

Patty and David

Patty and David

The first day off was spent in Rhinebeck at the New York State Sheep and Wool Festival! After saying goodbye to a very tired Ryan for the week (he was heading home to Green Bay), I met up with Patty and her husband David for a day of yarn shopping, good eats and of course, the Leaping Llama contest! We packed a lot into the day – in fact I didn’t take many photos at all because we were trying to get so much in. I left with some great loot – 4 skeins of Brooks Farm Fourplay, 3 skeins of Brooks Farm Solo, and 2 skeins of heavyweight Socks that Rock. Where I am going to put all this yarn, I have no idea!

At Rhinebeck

At Rhinebeck

On Monday I did some shopping at Woodbury Commons, an enormous outlet mall not far from West Point. All the big labels have shops there – I did sort of a speed through of the shops, but did walk away with a few things, including a new pair of Kate Spade sunglasses – yes!

Tuesday I got my highlights done and hibernated a little – it was rainy and gusty outside. Wednesday was my first trip into New York City for the week. I met up with Patty at the Container Store. She was shopping for shelves and caddies to hold all the needles that were to be sold at the new Lion Brand Studio, where Patty is the studio coordinator (sorry Patty if you are reading this, I don’t know your exact title). After we finished shopping, I went over to the studio with her to check it out. It is a really cool space – big and bright with an exposed brick wall, and shelves and shelves of yarn. Lion Brand yarn will be sold there, and all kinds of yarny-related events will take place there, such as classes and book-readings and such. I think it is going to be really awesome. The studio opens in November, so if you are a knitter and in New York, go check it out!

After that, Patty and I went to lunch and hung out for a bit. After we parted ways, I did a bit of shopping downtown in Soho, and then headed uptown to see “Billy Elliott”. What a great show! The story is so good, and I was really impressed with the staging and choreography. And I cannot say enough good things about all the child actors, especially the kid playing Billy. AMAZING. Definitely check this show out if you had the chance. Billy’s passion for dance and the reasons why he loves to dance reminded me of how and why I fell in love with doing theater. It was a really really nice reminder.

Thursday ended up being my one relaxing day of the week – I hung out with Tallulah and caught up on my TV shows. The new season of “Friday Night Lights” is soooo good!

Friday morning was my immigration appointment. It was quick and painless. I should have my new permanent card within 90 days. That afternoon I ran some errands and then hung out in the park for a while. I miss Central Park a lot. It is my favorite thing about New York City. It is just a really magical place.

That evening I met up with Brian, who was the first assistant on “Spamalot” when I first joined the tour, for dinner. I miss Brian so much! It was great hanging out with him and catching up.

On Saturday it was back to the city one last time. I stopped by my storage unit to drop off a box and change the locks on my units (a set of keys were in my stolen purse). After that, I met up with Kathryn Clark, an old friend from ACT, for a beer and some snacks. Kathryn and I moved to New York around the same time. She used to be in casting and worked for a big agent and for Warner Brothers TV when she was in New York. Two years ago she decided to change careers and moved to Arizona to go to grad school to study psychology. Now she is back in New York and working towards her credentials by doing group therapy with convicted sexual offenders. Talk about a 180 degree change in careers! It was so great to see her – she is one of my favorite people, and it was so nice going through the growing pains of moving to New York with her. I’m glad we were able to reconnect.

After leaving Kathryn, I went and met up with my friend Richard for dinner. Richard is also a stage manager and currently working on “Spring Awakening”. We’ve done a couple of shows together – “Twelfth Night” in Central Park and also “The Great American Trailer Park Musical”. I love working with Richard, and it was great hanging out with him and catching up. He has been such a great sounding board in the years since we first met and I really treasure our friendship.

I saw one more show before leaving NYC – “In the Heights”, which won the Tony for Best Musical last year. How strange to walk into the theater and see the corner where I lived for three years recreated as a set onstage! There it was  – 181 and Fort Washington! The show was energetic and fun and original, and I had a great time. It made me really homesick for Washington Heights!

Now I am back in Fishkill, and earlier picked Ryan up from the airport. Tomorrow we drive to a farmhouse that we rented in the Berkshires, to spend the week relaxing before heading back to work in Ottawa. I can’t wait to chill out and knit and read and watch movies and go on some hikes. Look for photos to come in my Flickr photostream!

It was so nice getting a chance to spend some time “back home” in New York City this week. I miss it.

Wishing you all a lovely week!

Back to Philly, and back to New York City!!

I was so overjoyed to get back to Philadelphia, one of my favorite stops from last year. It was a long-ass travel day but we finally arrived in the City of Brotherly Love and checked into our super huge, super plush Rittenhouse apartment. I had found this apartment building a while back, and to rent on our own was way too expensive, but at the last minute the rental company struck up a group rate for our show, and so we are in this amazing apartment for less that what the hotel option cost! I haven’t taken any photos yet, but I will. The best part is the location – we look right down on Rittenhouse Square, which is a small park surrounded by restaurants and shopping, and only a few short blocks from the theater.

On Monday night, Ryan and I revisited our favorite bar in Philly, Monks, for dinner. Monks has tons and tons of beer on tap and in bottles from all over the world for you to choose from. They also have a very eclectic, delicious menu. I had a duck salad. Yum! And of course a side of pommes frites, which are so good at Monks. There was a group of Spam company members already at the bar. Everyone remembered this place and picked it as the first to return to!

On Tuesday I joined Zipcar! How awesome is Zipcar? You reserve a car online and then just go to where it is parked and drive it away – no dealing with showing up at a rental car place and being told they have no cars. It’s awesome. I walked over to the Zipcar office and picked up my membership card, and then promptly reserved a car for the afternoon. We spent the whole afternoon grocery shopping at Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods, and then DROVE the groceries home! That night, we ate at Alma de Cuba, another amazing restaurant that we had promised ourselves we would return to.

Ryan eyeing the sampler plate at Alma de Cuba

Ryan eyeing the sampler plate at Alma de Cuba

On Wednesday, I woke up early and Tallulah and I drove to New York City. Tallulah was due for her yearly vet appointment, and it was great that we were close enough to the city to go to her own vet, Dr. Ramos. We met up with Andrea for breakfast and then set off for the vet. Tallulah did so well – and she has lost two pounds since last year! Yay for the Catkins diet! Dr. Ramos was very pleased with her weight and overall health.

Back in the Heights

Back in the Heights

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Then we drove to Brooklyn and spent a blissful afternoon with Patty, eating lunch and knitting on her roof deck. Tallulah didn’t know what to do with herself, between the bees and the butterflies, and the amazing smells of Patty’s flowers and vegetable garden.
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There was one scary moment when Tallulah decided to check out the space UNDERNEATH the deck, but Patty smartly crafted a kitty toy out of a circular knitting cable and some stitch markers, and we lured her out.

We headed back to Philly that evening, pooped, but happy. Thanks, Patty!

We loaded the show in to the Academy of Music on Thursday. It was nice to see so many familiar faces on the crew – especially the wardrobe staff. Those ladies (and gents) are so nice, especially Pam, who dresses Patrick. It’s great to be working with them again.

On Friday I started the big sort through of my trunk. I am going back to New York next Monday and plan on driving up to my storage unit and leaving a bunch of stuff there.

Saturday we had a visit from our union reps to discuss ratifying the proposed new production contract. This contract governs all Broadway shows and tours. The new proposal is not a good one. I won’t go into all the gory details here, but the per diem rate being offered is horribly behind the times. With rising hotel rates, we are no longer able to pay for our hotels and meals solely out of our per diem. The new contract doesn’t offer any help in that area. There are also some aspects affecting stage managers that have been sorely overlooked. Anyway, to make a long story short, it wasn’t a happy meeting. Although I didn’t speak up at the meeting (there were plenty of other people doing that), I feel I have been very communicative with the union through emails expressing my concerns over the new contract. I feel satisfied that I have spoken up in that way, and that I’m not just sending in a “no” vote and not explaining why. I don’t necessarily think anything can happen now, but maybe three years from now, when the contract is renegotiated again, perhaps some of these concerns will be taken into consideration. One can only hope.

Other than that, life has been all about the Olympics. I’ve been addicted to the swimming and the gymnastics. Michael Phelps is super-human! Go USA!

Hope you all had a great week!

Malabrigo Cowl

I bought some gorgeous Malabrigo yarn in Appleton at Iris Fine Yarns and had originally planned on using it to make a hat, but the more I thought about it, the more I worried that the hat would be too bulky. So after seeing photos online of some of the beautiful cowls everyone has been knitting lately, I decided to go that route instead.

The pattern is the Dolores Park Cowl by Parikha Mehta, which I found via Ravelry. I used two skeins of Malabrigo Aquarella on size 11 needles. 

Of course now we are off to Oklahoma City where it is 98 degrees, so the cowl may not see the light of day for some time! Oh well, I love it anyway!