Tuesday, December 30, 2008


The boxes went out in the trash today, the stockings are empty and now being used as "slippers" by the girl, and I have read most of my operating instructions for the gadgets I received... It's beginning to feel like New Year's Eve!

As if the girl's gift pile wasn't big enough, Grandma and Grandpa (Hubby's Parents) arrived Christmas morning bearing at least as many gifts for the girl as we had for her. I think toward the end she started wishing that Santa would conserve wrapping paper- 'cause the
unwrapping became less and less enthusiastic as she got towards the end. We survived the day, and I did no cooking or cleaning and stayed in my Pajamas ALL DAY! I didn't even put on a Bra- which tells you how little gave a crap about apperances. Upon hearing this report, a coworker exclaimed " Do you EVER do ANYTHING????!!!!!" I think she was offended that all these years she has been a traditional wife and mom and grandma, slaving over every holiday with no appreciation or thanks- and here I am RELAXING with In-Laws, and Husband AND a daughter in the house. HOW DARE I??

So yeah, I slacked on the traditional neurotic compulsive busybody stereotype and I don't care one bit. For all I cared, I would have spent christmas day munching on the shredded gift wrap if no one else decided to eat food and make enough for everyone. That would not have bothered me at all- though Sam and Grandpa might have needed a bit more sustenance after their headbanded interpretive dance...

I discovered that I am getting WAY over the whole "let's freak out and do what the rest of the world is doing because it's a HOLIDAY" mentality. It goes along with accepting that my life will never let me have a peaceful holiday off. At least not as long as I'm in "showbusiness" as a career. So I slacked on Christmas day and let the Hubby make Blueberry pancakes and the Mother in law dry out the ham and forget to salt the potatoes. HA! See? No guilt! Nee-ner-nee-ner-neeeee-nerrrr!

We don't have any plans for New Years Eve- and that is also fine with me. I made the mistake of leaving the house today with the Girl, and ended up hissing at her in the grocery
store- we are so much happier when I get to stay in the house! We do have plans to go out for a grown-up night of dinner and ( i hope) a movie on our upcoming 12-year anniversary, but movies are always difficult for me to remain kind through- I'm so used to watching plays in a sparsely populated theatre during dress rehearsals that the other people with their crunchy popcorn and commentaries make my ears steam like in the cartoons...

The new year has made me a bit reflective- the year has gone by so quickly, and it has really been a great year for all of us. I am looking forward to the new year (AND THE NEW PRESIDENT!!!) and hope that your new year is joyful and full of hope!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas coma

Yes, dear internets, it is almost 3am Christmas morning and I am writing a blog... We finished the wrapping of many many presents just an hour ago, and now I am finishing up my white russian and having a chip or three while Bruce Almighty realizes that being God 'aint all that. I tried to be a good little Unclutterer disciple this year, but I just have to accept that it is extra-hard being reasonable in Toys-R-Us when you only have one wide-eyed Child to buy presents for. I thought I was doing well, until I got all her presents out of the bags and into a stack of to-be-wrapped Christmas joy. Insane. Total insanity. Insano-rama. We actually put some of the gifts back in the shopping bag to be dispensed at future gift-giving opportunities. There are only so many gifts a four year old can digest in one morning, and I'd say that even after we put some back, she'll be busy "digesting" for the next week. I also bought Hubby a few things, and though I haven't really peeked, I know he bought me a few things. The wrapping took on new seriousness this year for me though- I considered just leaving her gifts out on a couch-cushion like a giant store display, but I just love the unwrapping part. So, Santa had his own wrapping paper so as not to give away that I am Santa. I know she wouldn't notice for another year or four, but just in case.

I hope that you all have a wonderful Christmas day filled with joy and family and at least one nap!

Merry Christmas!!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Here we are, mere Days from Christmas, and I feel like I've been hiding in a darkened room for a month and a half... oh, wait- I have been in a dark room for a month and a half, the first two weeks in a basement (which, though technically not dark, was definitely without any hint of natural light) and the rest backstage, lit by blue light and sequin-flashes.

I can't say I have not felt the Christmas spirit- one tends to get a lot of Christmas spirit when working a Christmas show- but I have definitely already felt my share of the Christmas spirit by listening to people who have come to feel like family performing the same twenty-or-so Christmas ditties for 23 performances over 15 days. We have three performances left before we roll up the dance floor, literally and figuratively, and move on to the rest of the new year that we call "life."

We just put the decorations on the Christmas tree before sending the girl off to bed at her new show-friendly bedtime of 11pm and now I sit here at my computer feeling a little nostalgic for the years of my life when Christmas meant getting to slow down. My life as a Costumer/Wardrober is more fulfilling- especially due to the fact that no one gets to force me to do Algebra or take Gym, but there is something to be said for being off work with the rest of the world.

I feel like the best way to convey my schedule is to tell you to imagine that you are an accountant, and put Tax season in December, along with Christmas. That is my typical Christmas season these days. I work for all but four hours between the hours of 9am and 11pm,Tuesday through Sunday, and two of them I spend buying fast food and eating it. Monday is the day I only work 8 hours...That is the most literal picture of my November and December that I can give you. All the while coordinating schedules for naps and dropping off the girl at the grandparents' house for (thank God) free daycare.

All three of us are in Yuletide this year ( or rather, they are onstage and I am backstage for it) so at least that means that I get to see the hubby and the girl for about 30 minutes over the course of my work day, so that at least is a positive.

I spent last Thursday away from the girl in order to get Christmas shopping done, and this Monday I will spend the day before 3pm either cleaning or procrastinating cleaning since we are having the in laws over to our house for Christmas... and even though it means I have to clean like mad, at least I can sit on my couch for the first time in a month and a half!

Despite all this, I am thankful for all that this year has brought me, and I will spend a great Christmas day relaxing in my slippers and thinking of the blessings this year. I hope no less for all of you!

Merry Christmas, and here's to an unbelievably fabulous 2009!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Light at the end...

I am so close to the "easy" part of December that I can taste it! As of Opening on Friday night, I am down to just showing up to work the show at the Symphony. Hubs and The Girl had their stage-debut last night at the dress rehearsal of Act II, and I was trying so hard to peek at The Girl that I forgot to peek at Hubs' butt- that's my little backstage tradition from the previous two years, so when they ran it again, I made sure to peek! Wouldn't want Hubs to feel left out!

The Girl did smashingly- luckily her co-kid onstage is 6 years older, so she has a coach of sorts right at her side. But I was nervous that she would notice all the people watching her and decide it was the perfect venue to do a little soft-shoe for her fans.

Now we will live in the theatre until December 23rd, at which point we'll stumble out into the christmas eve-eve night with sore feet and bags under our eyes and stockings full of secret santa gifts, and then go home and sleep. alot.

I hope our cats do the dishes while we're gone...

Monday, December 1, 2008

Well, the YMCA has petered off a bit due to 12-hour workdays and a thanksgiving trip home, but I am not yet defeated. I am still hoping to get there at least twice this week in spite of the head-cold that is threatening to take full residence in my sinus cavities. I have been to the Starbucks on my work-block a few times, but have only had two small GingerSNAP lattes- I guess it's important to jazz up the product name every four or five years- they are still yummy and evil. I have not given in to the Dunkin' donuts at all, and am even feeling relatively sane about life in general.

I have felt a couple of steps behind the rest of the world all year, and am finally feeling like I'm on-target. I took a couple of nights before I left for thanksgiving to get some procrastinated work out of the way, and I am always surprised how cranky a procrastinated project can make me- and how free I feel once I finally force myself to hammer it out.

In my knitting education, I have learned the Knit stitch, and am just doing that over and over on my needles- it's become familiar, and I hope to move on to new stitches when I have more time to fill once Yuletide opens. I've decided that I'm going to keep all my learning stitches as a sort of Sampler-scarf. The Girl is excited about having this scarf, and keeps asking to touch it and hold it. I figure she can have it when I'm done, and since its not perfect by any means, I won't care how she decides to use it or not use it.

My teaching job is coming to an end, and I will be sad to see the money go, but glad to have my Mondays back. All that's left after today is the grading and grading and grading.

My thanksgiving trip was a nice break in the middle of Yuletide- which is usually a tiring and busy time for me. I was only home for about 50 hours all together, but my family really recharged me, and it was good to see my Dad on the mend from his very recent heart surgery. He is not completely unaffected, but certainly still himself. I don't know what I expected to find, but my relief at seeing him is an indication that I imagined he would be worse off than he is. It is sad that it takes a big medical event to make you introspective, but we are all seeing each other a bit more clearly and with more acceptance than we had in recent years. I hope that mine and hubby's newer family can age as well and grow as close as my parents and sisters and I have.

I am feeling introspective and hopeful these days, and that is a good way to spend a 1 1/2 hour drive in the snow, yes?

Friday, November 14, 2008

anyone ever notice the word "Die" is 3/4's of the word "Diet"???

Back in high school I decided that I would never go on a "diet." It was somewhere between a comment about my sister not wanting to lend me a shirt 'cause "You'll stretch it out!!" and my mom saying how I looked so good "...You have a waist now!" after I had dropped a few pounds completely by accident. I am just a contrary person, and I refused to let those comments convince me that culinary torture was ever a good idea. (I do want to say, I would have stretched out my sister's shirt, had she let me wear it, and my mom truly thought she was complimenting me. I feel the need to defend them because I know my family has always loved me and never meant to judge- I hope).

I am thinking of these things lately, because I am 3 weeks into a YMCA membership that I have been faithfully using, and am determined to keep using. I am focusing on getting in shape, rather than being another woman who goes to the gym to lose weight and then begins stressing when her weight increases due to adding muscle. I haven't even weighed myself at all since I started going. More than anything, I want my heart not to freak out when I have to run up and down a set or three of stairs when someone forgot a piece of their costume during a quick change. I want to be able to know that I am heading off the overweight/unhappy, anti-exercise fate of some of the older women in my life.

The only catch is that I seem to be eating more junk than before, now that I am working out at least twice a week. I know, twice isn't much, but it's my minimum. If I make it three times, the hubby is required to literally pat me on the back. I am taking baby steps, not giant leaps and am seeing the results already. No, I'm not in a smaller size of pants, no, my waist isn't whittling at all that I can tell, but the treadmill practically had to walk me up a 90 degree cliff today to get my heart up to 80% of the maximum heart rate for my weight and age. I had to speed the thing up just to get it to let me walk on a steep-hill incline. I even considered hitting the "jog" speed button (4MPH) but I'm still a little afraid of that- plus I haven't bought any sports bras yet, and that is definitely a prerequisite before you'll get these 38 F's a-runnin'!

So back to the Junk food topic. I am normally pretty conscientious when it comes to choosing wisely and attempting to eat food that will work for me instead of against me. If I know I'm going into a stretch of work which will eat up my life, I make a point to stock up on food and snacks that will get me through the day with the minimum of junk food. But right now, for some reason (and I'm not saying it isn't PMS) I am eating horribly. I am spending my energy planning when I will get to the gym instead of what will I make for dinner, so dinner ends up being ordered/bought or scrounged. I will not deny that the girl and I ate my fabulous Parmesan-popcorn for dinner one night this month. :)

In my defense, I will say that I have noticed how AWFUL junk food tastes right after I have worked out- that's when I crave Sushi. Perhaps the answer is to work out three times a day so that the junk food always tastes bad when it comes time to eat, or maybe I should just drop by that sushi place that's so conveniently on the way home from the YMCA.

I am heading into a longer stretch of work beginning Monday, and I have stocked up on my Naked Juice, oranges and bananas, nuts and carrots, so now the only challenge is resisting the Dunkin' donuts and Starbucks (gingerbread latte) that are literally attached to the building in which I am working...

Wish me luck!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

So here's a flaw for ya!

Apparently, I don't blog whether I'm busy or not, or perhaps it's more truthful to say that the not blogging when I'm busy makes me feel guilty enough not to blog at all when I'm not "Busy"- by which I men when I'm working on a show/project.

blah blah blah on to some real content!

I have been visiting a website that is inspiring me in a way that scares the Hubs. It is http://www.unclutterer.com/ and I wish that I had a team of cleaners/movers who could come over for a week or two and tackle my house with me one room at a time. I would love to remove every item from my house and re-think the whole shebang. I feel like I spend far too much of my off-time either shuffling clutter around or procrastinating on shuffling clutter around. I work for two weeks, and then wake up on my first day off and have to transport a waist-high mountain of laundry to the basement, and do the dishes in shifts, and pick up all my daughter's books and movies off of the floor in front of her bookshelves.

Now, I do not mean to say that the Hubs does nothing around here- he does. It's just that we both have a certain level of tolerance for things-left-undone, and between the two of us, we can let things get backed up to the point where it takes a concentrated effort and a weekend to catch up on it... And if that ooks you out, then just keep it to yourself. At least I'm owning this for everyone to see!

So while I dream of sparkly floors, and glinty cleanness, My time "off" wanes. I am starting the next show on the 17th and then it's back to the ol' pile it up and leave routine around here.

In other news, I never did get a break come September 13th when my last show opened. I got a job teaching a class at my Graduate Alma Mater and have been doing that every monday since the beginning of august. It is a challenge, but I do think it's testing my teaching ability and refining it. So that's good. But I'm still driving that 120 miles every monday.

Also, I have a new toy. All this nonstop working has earned me the right to buy my own laptop. My very first non-hand-me-down laptop. At 34 years old. Hubs is the one with bazilliobites of info to manage on his computer, so he has always been the one to upgrade and I have always inherited his computers when they became too small for his large brain. Now, I have my very own laptop which I researched and comparison-shopped and said the final "yes" on. I feel so grown up and stuff. So now I am trying to keep the decluttering trend going on my desk. And so far so good -I have a couple of empty drawers, and an obsessive habit of checking Craigslist for a new, more streamlined desk that I love enough to put in my living room. No luck on that yet.

So, one week left before I have to rejoin the costume-force, and I'd better stop blogging today and get to doing. First, wash face and put on clothes; Second, go to library (as promised to the Girl); third, go the Y to workout; fourth- I don't really have that step yet, but there's a mountain of laundry in the hall upstairs and a work-table full of stuff in my workroom that needs to find it's home once again...

Monday, August 25, 2008

The Dog Days

"It's been a haaaard Daaay's Night/ And I've been working like a doooog." so say the Beatles and so say I. I should actually be working right now instead of writing this post for my seemingly-defunct Blog, but alas, procrastination is a very easy thing to do. ( I should even be cooking dinner, but I'm considering asking the Hubs if we can go out/order in). If I were someone else looking at me, I'd call myself "'Lazy McSlotherton" or something equally clever yet insulting. I've had some excitement in the last month or two, and even a "vacation"- though it was spent trying to ignore the To-Do list and a bunch of sneaky stress that left me sobbing in a back room at the vacation house one night. I don't often lose my grip on The Cool, but when I do, I'm gone for awhile before I can re-join life.

So its been a summer full of work, stress, procrastination and accomplishment, and I am just aiming for September 13th right now. That's the day that my latest show opens, and I can turn it over to the Wardrobe Supervisor and saunter into the sunset... towards the next due date. I feel like I should know by now that life is a series of choices followed by due dates, but I can't help but feel there's got to be more to life than working/earning. I've always felt that way acutally. My firmest belief is that you have to do what you love. The End. No qualifications. I do believe that I am following that, but I feel a bit clouded and pulled in opposite directions lately, and I keep finding myself wishing that I could have a month to myself to hang out with my daughter, cook dinner and make sure the laundry's done, and then somewhere in there I might get some time to feed my creativity. yep- Drained is the right word. So, the new Crusade has a title now. Onward and upward.

I hope that you all made it through the summer (and this post!)with more joy than pain, and I will keep regaling you with the inane details of my psyche served with a generous sprinkle of Penzey's Special Extra-bold India Peppercorns, freshly ground, of course!!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


I have been on a mission to unclutter my house since approximately a year ago. Well, to be truthful, I have wanted to unclutter since I had my daughter- that would be (almost) four years ago. What I may have attributed to the nesting instinct of pregnancy back then, I now am embracing as the way I just plain want to live my life. I want to be prefectly clear though- I only need to unclutter because I am blessed with the people in my life.

For example: My Husband loves to cook. This is great because I can count on at least one if not two weekend made-from-scratch breakfasts, plus a pinch-hitter with some good fast recipes when I've had a day that just makes me want to check out of my life by noon. The part where his presence means that I have uncluttering to do mainly has to do with the fridge. My husband cooks in quantities better suited to a boat full of hungry lumberjacks... why these lumberjacks are on a boat, I just don't know. Nonetheless, the Blueberry pancakes are stacked so high that all three of us can usually eat at least two gut-busting breakfasts, the Chicken Curry leftovers overflow more than three Gladware entree containers after we have finished stuffing ourselves until our sweat comes out yellow...and these are only two of his many specialities. So every time I go on a good re-stocking type of grocery trip, I have to purge the dead leftovers out of the fridge. You see, I generally don't eat leftovers. Hubby delights in having enough dinner left to take to work for lunches for a week solid- and usually does. but when those leftovers get pushed back behind the pickles or the eggs, well, you know what they look like when they are finally unearthed. I just pulled 12 gladware containers out of our fridge containing various amounts of leftovers- both recognizeable and unrecognizeable. Usually these fridge purges mean a whole sinkful of smelly gladware that I have to put my hands on. ick.

Then there's my mother-in-law. Good fortune, lots of free time and a roving eye for a clearance rack on her part mean that I have to organize and find a place in my home for a stack of scrapbooking supplies that is literally as tall as I am ( that's 5'6" in case you're wondering). I am a crafty gal, and being a costume designer, have an eye for design and an affinity for creating things. However, I have never made (or even begun to attempt to make) a scrapbook page in my whole crafty life. I did tell her several years ago that I thought I might be ready to try it, but I never did try it after all- not even when large boxes began arriving bi-weekly in the mail from her home several states away, lovingly packed full of the scrapbooking supplies she has been buying for me and keeping since practically the moment Hubby and I said "I Do." Just thinking about all the die-cuts and stickers and sayings and eyelets and ribbons and decorative-edged scissors makes me want to take a nap. I began to put this stuff in a garage sale earlier this summer, but then I got stopped by the voice-of-the-devil in my head that said "...But this stuff COSTS SO MUCH!" So now the whole of it is stacked neatly in my dining room where we walk around it and vacuum around it and occasionally stub our toes on it.

Then there's me. I am a piler. I am also plagued with what I call the "Later Syndrome." This is the uncanny ability to put off even a flick-of-the-wrist in favor of a nap or a leisurely read. The majority of my immediate family is plagued with this, and I am perhaps the vice-president of our club. (Maybe I'm even the president, for all the hours I log to this syndrome, but I surely hope not.) I will make a careful pile of junk mail for a week or three before shredding it all. I will actually clean the house in order to put off work that is due for some looming deadline. My desk is perpetually stacked with several inches of "to be filed" papers and note paper and hair elastics for my daughter. Sitting here, without moving my head, I can lay my eyes on last year's planner, three christmas CD cases ( no CD's inside) and an empty travel-size ibuprofen container... ON MY EVERYDAY WORKDESK.

I have been making an admirable effort to unclutter, though. I have gone through my clothing and gotten rid of all items that are too small or too beat-up for public use. I have purged my shoes down to (almost) only the ones that fit and make sense in my life as it is right now. I have put all our ragged towels into the "Rag Bag" in the basement and thrown out ALL of the expired lotions, medications, and freebies-I'll-never-use. I even went through the basement itself- cleaning, organizing, throwing away stuff and threatening to get rid of my daughter's 3 1/2 years of outgrown clothes and shoes. I have even gone through our bookshelves and purged half of the books we had out. I haven't gotted rid of them yet, though- that will take more willpower than I have mustered so far.

And now for my latest uncluttering. I started another blog when I started this one. the rationale being that I didn't want this to be a "mommy-blog." Well, what happened since then (besides alot of work that kept me busy) is that I would get an idea for a blog and think about posting it, and maybe even write a line or three, but I would never finish it because I then felt guilty about not giving the other blog as much attention, so then I would just go and take a nap or read a book or pout while I had another white russian. (Later Syndrome again!) So I have decided that I am going to condense the two into one. This one. Those who would label this a mommy-blog because there are some blogs on it about my daughter's shenanigans will just have to deal. I am many things to many people, and "mommy" is just one of those. I hope to get more design-centric content going on here, but in the end I refuse to just aimlessly search the internet just to find content for a design site.

I hope this means I write more often, and I hope that you all still find what you came here for.
Now, on to cleaning this desk...

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Mama got a new pair of shoes!

So, it has been a week or three.... Welcome back to me! I am in the throes of loathing and passion that is known as "one Week before Dress Rehearsal" on my latest show, and that is the only excuse I have for not being more present. I drive 120-ish miles each day that I go to the Costume shop for fittings or to stock to try to squeeze the proverbial water out of the proverbial rock of Costume Stock to attempt to stay within my show budget. More often it's more like wrestling with 200+ suits of a given color/style crammed into three feet of space in a room which has not been air-conditioned (or left open to air out) for 20+ years. Needless to say, there is a lot of sweat and gas-money involved in this enterprise. I can spare the sweat- it's the gas- money that really hurts.

Among the least-favorites of putting a show together is the "I-need-to-walk-ALL-DAY-but-would-prefer-to-have-well-supported-yet-cool-feet" dilemma. I always turn to my Nike crosstrainers in situations like these, but I know there's a better answer, and I have been determined to find it. In my line of work, a shoe MUST support, and if it looks cute at the same time, then you are truly a lucky person. Luckily for me (and unluckily for my bank account) my search for the perfect costume item takes me into any and all retail stores in a 80-mile radius from my house and/or costume shop. So, upon finding myself at a DSW (Designer Shoe Warehouse for those who have not encountered said shoe-mecca) I look for the shoes I need for the show and then reward myself with 30-45 minutes of looking for shoes for myself. By this point my feet- though well supported, feel as though they are being cooked in a pizza oven and this is when I am at my weakest- I know I am SO CLOSE to the Walking Shoes of God... all I need to do is seek and I shall find.

I did find!! I hope. I bought a pair of sandal-y sneaker-y shoes made by Tsubo- a brand I have never before encountered, but look respectable, supportive and COOL! Link shows the closest pic I could find online...

I bought them in a neutral slate color with kicks of teal and I can't wait to give them the ol' 12hour shopping trip test. (Well, I'd be perfectly happy not running that test for a full 12 hours, but usually by hour five you know if you're doomed.)

SO we shall see if my new shoes are the answers to my prayers, or just another pair in closet. in the meantime, stay tuned!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

HAHAHA!! *snorts*

Just read the product of a truly talented or messed-up mind over at http://www.knowledgeforthirst.com/ I laughed (and snorted) so much that I expected my hubby to tell me to shut up. I will go back for more. And I may have to try SmartWater now.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

So many inspirations, So little time

I have been spending alot of time following links on my favorite websites lately, and I am just itching to create. I am about to begin the intensive phase of my latest Costume Design, and so I end up sitting on the couch doing nothing instead of up in my fabulous workroom being industrious. Part of the problem is that I have so many projects floating around inside my head that I just can't decide what to do first. I need to switch my procrastination technique from manic cleaning, to manic crafting. You can always tell when I have "work" looming because suddenly it is very important that I sort through all the old figure drawings in that under-bed box, or Hubby walks in to find me scrubbing something with my pink cleaning-toothbrush. So I am going to start small and say that the first thing I am going to start is a small wrist-bag that will hold my essentials.

Summer always inspires me to streamline- my beauty routine, my hair, my clothes, my house...and my purse. All that extra just makes me hotter when the temperature climbs above 70 degrees. So I will begin with my purse (and I've already cleaned out the basement, so I'm all fulfilled in the cleaning department for awhile). I will post the progress here, of course, so stay tuned!