Back to Reality

I can’t believe its already been a month since the tour closed – life has been busy, busy, busy.

My parents and my brother Simon came for a visit at the beginning of August. It was great to see them and they brought lots of cute things for the baby! It was also the first time they were able to meet Eric’s family – we had dinner at their house on Long Island and it was such a nice time – so great for our families to finally meet! We also spent one lovely afternoon driving up through the lower Hudson River Valley. We visited an old house called Boscobel and had lunch in Cold Springs.

The view of the Hudson from Boscobel

The week after my family left, I went with Eric and his parents to their house upstate in Copake for the week. We spent all week making things for the baby. Eric was working day and night down in the garage building a dresser for the nursery, and I set myself up on the screened-in porch making a quilt for the crib. It was a really relaxing week, and over the weekend, some of Eric’s friends joined us, which was fun. There was lots of eating, drinking, four-wheeling and shooting of shotguns 🙂 Tallulah came with me and even she and Eric’s dog Riley were getting along swimmingly by the end of the weekend.

Working on the quilt on the porch

Finished baby quilt

Eric working into the night on the dresser

Eric working on the dresser

Dresser top

Finished dresser

Eric and his friend Christiana shooting at clays

About two weeks ago the former tenants left and we finally were able to get possession of the house we are moving into! It was in pretty bad shape when Eric and his dad first went in, so they decided a complete renovation was the best way to go. Within a week they had all the walls and ceilings torn down. I went over there to take a look and to start brainstorming ideas for a new kitchen and bathroom. There is a lot to be done, but hopefully it will all come together before the baby is born. I’m getting more than a bit anxious about being so transient right now when we are so close to having the baby, but I’m trying to be patient. I really want to start working on a nursery though! And I would really like to spend the last weeks of my pregnancy focusing on the baby and the birth and just being generally low-stress. I’m having anxiety dreams about everything being in boxes when the baby is born and not even being able to find a diaper. Must take deep breaths. I know it will all be okay.

My landlord in Manhattan is also not being very accommodating about extending my lease one month until the end of the year (currently my lease is up on November 30th – 9 days after the baby’s due date). He is only agreeing to a two-month extension, until the end of January, which we really don’t need. We will likely be in the house in December, so spending that money on rent on a place in Manhattan, seems like such a waste. On the other hand, if the baby is late, I am not excited about the prospect of driving to the hospital from Long Island, while in labor, which can take up to two hours in traffic. I haven’t decided what the best course of action is yet.

I’m so thankful that my actual pregnancy has been relatively easy, because the logistical details of my life during it, have definitely been anything but! First, trying to get proper pre-natal care while touring around the country, and now trying to work out a plan for a house renovation and move in the third trimester. Its been a bit tiring. I’m so excited about our house though, and I know it will be wonderful when its done. I am so looking forward to Christmas, when we are in the house, the baby is here, and we can just enjoy our new family.

Nursery-to-be

Dining room-to-be

Living room-to-be

The front of the house

Its nice being back in New York City. I’m enjoying being back in my apartment and sleeping in my own bed. I’ve been working a little bit at “Rock of Ages” on Broadway as a sub stage manager. There are a quite a few tour cast members working there now, so it almost feels like we never closed. I’m going to continue working until the end of September, and then call it quits for the duration of the pregnancy. I’m already getting pretty big to be backstage!

On 5th Avenue, near Union Square

Waiting for the subway

Times Square, the day before Hurricane Irene

Hurricane Irene came and went without much incident in New York City. All the Broadway shows were canceled for the weekend. I went and bought lots of bottled water and canned food and candles, anticipating that we would lose power at some point, but we were really lucky here. Aside from a leak through my bedroom wall, there wasn’t any other damage done to my apartment. I did tape my windows, just in case of high winds, like many people around the neighborhood did. I went for a walk in the afternoon after the storm passed, and there were quite a few trees down, but otherwise Washington Heights fared okay. I know a lot of friends in New Jersey and on Long Island who had a lot of trouble with flooding and power outages. Eric’s parents lost power for a day. Our house on Long Island was luckily okay – no leaks or anything. We were really lucky!

Windows taped for Irene

Captured water from the leak in my wall

Trees down in Washington Heights

The sunset after Irene passed by

Other things happening in these parts: Tallulah is doing okay. She had a wellness check a couple of weeks ago and her white cells are down again. She’s been really picky about her food, too – but I’ve found some new foods that she seems to be enjoying. She’s been a bit lethargic lately, but she is hanging in there. Hopefully she’ll come around and perk back up. She’s a fighter.

I’ve been making more things for the baby – I finished another sweater for her, and I’m now working on a blanket. After that, I want to sew a name banner and some bunting for her room. I’ve also been buying tons and tons of baby supplies – I’ve purchased most things on our registry now. If I can’t be setting up a nursery, at least I can have everything bought and ready to go for when we do finally have a nursery to move into!

My Tallulah

Baby Kimono Sweater

Finally, I leave you with a photo of me at 28 weeks pregnant – third trimester, woah! The baby will be here before we know it!

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.

F

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!

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 🙂

A Busy Start to the New Year

There has been a lot going on so far in 2010!

Ryan came to visit for ten days, and we had a great time. We spent New Year’s Eve with Patty and David and some of their friends in Brooklyn and then New Year’s Day with some “Spamalot” friends up in Inwood. We managed to see a lot of people and also a lot of things. We enjoyed the Tim Burton exhibit at MoMA and spent one day walking across the Brooklyn Bridge into Brooklyn Heights where we did a self-guided tour. We saw more “Spamalot” friends at a birthday party for Esther Stilwell, a former the Lady of the Lake and even took in a Rangers hockey game at Madison Square Garden. It was a really nice time. Ryan is doing some work on the “Legally Blonde” tour, and hopefully we’ll be able to figure out a time when he can come back to New York again – and soon 🙂

With Ryan on the Brooklyn Bridge

The Brooklyn Bridge

Esther at her birthday party

A few days after Ryan left, Suzanne, a good friend from the “Spamalot” tour came into town and stayed with me for a couple of days. We spent one day walking a good portion of Manhattan from Washington Heights down to Midtown along the Hudson River. There is a fantastic trail that runs down the side of the island and it is well-used by joggers and cyclists alike. I think we walked 7 1/2 miles in total! We also spent time with other friends from “Spamalot” – a Mexican dinner with Tim, drinks over at Ben Whiteley’s apartment (our conductor from “Spamalot”) and lunch with Vera, one of our former prop heads. Suzanne is still in town (but staying with other friends now) – and so still on the agenda is a Golden Globe party and a haircut party with the “Spamalot” girls! (Suzanne is a very talented hairdresser so everyone has been waiting for her to get into town to get their hair cut!).

Suzanne

Taken while walking along the Hudson

Taken at the Boat Basin

Other than hanging with my friends, I have been doing lots of knitting and reading and taking lots of photos. I’ve been trying to get my photo mojo back, which I feel I’ve lost a bit since moving back to the city, so I bought a stack of books for myself for Christmas to try and kickstart the inspiration. I think they might be helping 🙂 I’ve been making myself go on photowalks, and also checking out museum exhibits. I went to the Brooklyn Museum earlier this week to see the exhibit “Who Shot Rock and Roll” which showcased the work of rock and roll photographers from 1955 to the present – it was really great.

Books for inspiration

In Fort Tryon Park

In midtown

On the lower east side

At the Brooklyn Museum

And so now, after a lovely three months off work, I head back to it tomorrow. I’ll be assisting my friend Jim on the show “All About Me” – Dame Edna’s return to Broadway 🙂 I’m really excited about it – you can read more about the show here.

Hope everyone is having a wonderful 2010 so far!

I'm Still Here!

Sorry for the extended blog absence. I never realized how difficult and time-consuming moving into one’s own apartment could be! I mean, I guess I’ve done it before, but maybe I had just blocked it out of my memory! I have spent the last few weeks painting, shopping, assembling furniture, hanging things on the wall, the whole works – all in between trips to IKEA and Home Depot! I moved into my place in Washington Heights on December 1st, and it is finally “almost there”. I am still waiting on a few furniture items, and still have a few things on my “to do” list, but for the most part, I am really happy with what I have done…so, here’s a few pics!

Bedroom

Kitchen

Kitchen

Living Room

Living room

Yarn and Fabric Storage

Office Area - this is still a work in progress

Other than moving in and doing all kinds of home improvement, I have mostly been trying to catch up with friends and see a few plays. I did a week-long reading of a new musical called “Touched”, and retrained at “Wicked”, where I am a sub stage manager – going in when someone is out sick or on vacation. After the holidays I will start the search for some more full-time work, but in the meantime I am nesting and recharging my batteries, and loving every minute!