Monday, November 25, 2013

What you're missing

You know those cute little intro's at the beginning of every episode of Glee where they quickly recap everything that you've missed so you're all caught up whether you wanted to be or not? Here's my version.

While I'm preparing for the role of my life on Thanksgiving day as Martha-Stewart-wannabe I've begun and not completed several blog posts:

A tale of two stockings (hyuk hyuk)
I am the only member of my family of four without a stocking, so I decided to use the bag of old holey sweaters and make one for myself.
Mine's the one in the middle
Then I realized I attached the lining all wrong and it'll never hang quite right, so I started a second one for my mother-in-law using this tutorial from Cluck Cluck Sew and everything came out perfectly.
That's cashmere, bitches.
So I'm starting a third one for my mama! Wonder how many years it will take me to complete the entire family...

I think this would have been a great post for that "12 days of Christmas" blog hop or "Me projects", and yet, here are two photos and that's all you get.

Flywheel is craywheel.
Or crywheel.
Yeah, crywheel is better.
"Because you have several ways in which you would like to measure your own weaknesses."
Let's just say my bestie and I tried it and there were WAY too many ways to measure yourself in there (and your output.) The "torq-board", or leaderboard they occasionally flash on the screens, helped assure me a spot in the race for last, and proved my bestie shoulda put her name in the ring, as usual...[she would have crushed everyone, but whatevs.]
This would have been a nice fitness post, since I haven't had one in awhile and I know you guys were looking for a workout, just like my a$$! [may have been limping down the stairs later that day.]

Audition Reports to come
I'm working hard on some new pieces! For once, I know. They are not even 15 years old. They are, like, younger than the children! It's amaze-balls.
Audition the Monday after Thanksgiving weekend: not great.
Getting a headstart on my 2014 audition season material: priceless.

Boxes upon boxes.
The shop is heating up already for the holidays! I've been doing a lot of holiday shopping online so if I open a box and it's not a toy, but rather, some supply purchases, I'm like WTF...
Blog-followers, please enjoy 20% off during the holidays with coupon code HOLIDAY.

Yes, the shop has been super busy and yet, this happened.
Star Wars Pajamas for Baby Doll Boys??

Whatever makes him happy. That's what I do.
Hubby finished a project. Like, finished-finished. Not even HGTV-finished. Super-duper-mouldings-nailed-in-and-painted finished.
I mean, wouldn't a before and after montage be nice?'re getting this.

This girl: songstress.
I've been OBSESSED with my daughter's dance education lately.
I made her try another school, I've been attempting bribes...she just loves gymnastics. 


I have to let go of my projection of my love for dance onto her. Let her take gymnastics. Now, as for music-songwriting-singing...funny: I never even thought about it. I guess because I had no formal education before college...but there's something in her, for sure.

"And that's what you've missed on GLEE from ME!"

Sunday, November 24, 2013

sUn-edited: Better Together

As part of some cruel joke I couldn't sleep as of 5 am. So I gave up around 5:45 and came downstairs to watch a movie or something. I remembered I had the televised version of Ironman on my DVR from last weekend so I settled in for some good old fashioned triathlon-inspired heartbreak.

My son woke up around 7; my daughter around 7:15 and they finished watching it with me. Then, while I wiped away my tears and gave up trying to explain the awesomeness we had just witnessed, we promptly switched to watching the Wild Kratts.

The whole scene just got me thinking about the Kratt brothers and the family members I saw helping each other through the race. I also really enjoyed Hines Ward's journey [especially entertaining watching him fall while trying to clip in and out of his bike] and noticed how close he became with his trainer. I thought about my half-iron journey, and how alone I was. I designed my own training plan, I signed up for all the races leading up to it alone and mostly raced them alone; I set out on practice rides at the wrong time of day and put in my swim miles at the oddest times possible. I knew, at least this summer, with my four-year-olds at home most of the time, I would never be able to conform to a tri club's schedule. And I didn't want to overwhelm my husband with a trainer, even an online coach, after the expense of my triathlon habit had reached its pinnacle. [I have yet to remind him how much I could use a wetsuit for Christmas...he'd start calculating possible 2014 race registrations into his schematics.] And then, in those last two miles of the 70.9, I looked at the wide expanse of field in front of me and could not have felt more isolated from the rest of the world.

I did not like that feeling.

I think an independent spirit courses through my veins and most of my family's genetics.

It is very difficult for me to ask for help.

It is near impossible to do something for my mom. She is the worst patient ever.

And our family has its drama. That rebellious and stubborn Scotch-Irish-Choctaw-Sicilian heritage fights itself, sometimes within each person! Come to think of it, the Polish side of my family seems rather mellow comparatively.

But, at the moment, there is little togetherness. And even with my husband and I, we have always prided ourselves on a marriage of independence and mutual respect of each other's different desires and pursuits.

Watching the Ironman and the Kratt brothers...this silly combination makes me want to encourage my twyns to go forth into the world with a sense of that togetherness. I would think, if they grew up and decided to start a business together or something, that that would be an amazing show of our efforts as parents to get them to interact in the most constructive way possible. I'm always dumbfounded at siblings or twins who go to the same college. I think, "didn't you want to use this opportunity to get a little space? Aren't you your own person??"

But now I'm thinking, it could not be more positive.

I want my kids to see my husband and I barreling through life, tackling projects and achieving goals we have set for ourselves, but I want them to see that ultimately, we could not do anything without each other. That we are better together. That they, with or without families of their own, will always have a partner in crime, in business, in life.

And that is a very. good. thing.

Happy Sunday!
Is it a day of un-edited reflection for you as well? 
What are you thinking about?
Did you watch the Ironman on TV as well as online like this tri-geek? 

Friday, November 22, 2013

The girl's got the system down #funforFriday

Twyns, you are not even 5 yet. And I'm already dealing with "school is boring", atheism, not believing in things you don't see, and manipulating the system. All in the span of a five minute drive to school. What are the teenage years going to be like?!

On the drive to school this morning you got to talking about what you wanted for Christmas with Daddy.

The girl: I want a pink batgirl motorcycle with pink batgirl.
Daddy: Well I think it's only black, like your brother's.
The girl: Ok black.
Daddy: What else do you want from Santa?
The girl: Well I asked for a fairy house, but maybe I should ask for a human house.
Daddy: Why?
The girl: Well I'm not sure fairies are real.
Daddy: Why?
The girl: Well I've never seen them.
Daddy: Well there are a lot of things you haven't seen that are real. You haven't seen Santa Claus have you?
The girl: Yes I have he's at the mall.
Daddy: Ok well what about Jesus? Have you seen Jesus?
The girl: No.
Daddy: Well do you believe in Jesus?
The girl: Yes.
Daddy: What about God have you seen God?
The girl: Well I've seen a statue of Him.
Daddy: Well you believe in God, right?
The girl: Yes.
Daddy: See, you believe in a lot of things you haven't seen so I think fairies are probably real. What about you, little guy? Do you believe in Jesus?
The boy: No.
Daddy: You don't believe in Jesus??
The boy: No.
Daddy: Well what about God, you believe in God?
The boy: No.
You, girl, leaned into the boy and said: You're supposed to say yes to those!! I think he was just kidding. Weren't you just kidding, boy?
The boy: Yeah.
The girl: Was that a yes? I COULDN'T HEAR. WAS THAT A YES, BOY??

OH MY! I don't know which is scarier - his responses, her manipulation, or the whole subject matter!!

Do you try out recipes before game day?? 
I'm going to attempt a sweet potato soup this year... 
pinned it here.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

So I didn't get the part...

So if you follow on Facebook, I gave up on "getting the call" Sunday night, since they so graciously emailed us after the callbacks to let us know they would be completing casting by Monday. Seriously- that level of information, although not much by most workplace standards, is much appreciated! I started to give up Friday night and began to look at the many things on my holiday list I could otherwise accomplish with my sanity intact.

I immediately assumed they chose a non-union actress. This is my new go-to excuse for not getting a part. It's very convenient. In my 20's, it used to be: "well I'll never be an ingenue- I'm a character type." "My voice doesn't match my age." "I'm not a chorus girl."

Now it's: "guess they went non-union."

But if I'm being really honest with myself, I don't exactly look the type. I mean, I know I can play a 35-year-old mom (I am one) from trailer-trash London, (I'm made from parts trailer-trash-South), but do I look it? Not really.

And I certainly don't look like the woman who played Sandra on film:

Uh, I'm referring to the one on the left.
So that may be another reason.

Also, of the 7-10 days they had listed for rehearsals before Christmas, I listed two "off" (for my kids' birthday- the "family" day and the "kiddie party" day.) Ten years ago I would have slapped myself across the face for that kind of thinking, but to me now, it makes perfect effin' sense. No effin' way am I letting some show get in the way of my twins' 5th birthday party. This is a BIG one. I remember my 5th. We only have these two little sweethearts; we have only had one other birthday party for them, when they were two. They may never want another one together for the rest of their lives. 

Here's how we spent their first birthday; under so much snow we couldn't go get the cake!

So I'm looking forward to that.

And, in the same weekend of constantly-checking-my-email, I got another audition notice that looked promising. 

And, it's primarily singing.

Contemporary music. 

And, it's for a woman in her late 30's/early 40's who "carries a little weight; has a wide vocal range and doesn't mind talking about her body."

So, that's, hello, ME.

So I've been Google-ing new audition pieces and using this excuse to get in touch with those "dream roles" I was talking about the other day. 

Here's the latest bumper crop of candidates: 

Anything that Stephanie J Block has played, including:
Grace O'Malley in Pirate Queen 

Anything that Karen Ziemba has played, including:
The Wife in Contact
Rita in Steel Pier
Morales in A Chorus Line 

Anything that Bernadette Peters has played, including: 
Dot in Sunday in the Park with George
The Witch in Into the Woods

All of the female parts from the musical Chess
All of the female parts from the musical 9 to 5
The Spiderwoman in Kiss of the Spiderwoman
The narrator in Joseph
The narrator in Pippin (now that a woman has actually played this role on Broadway, perhaps I can rip these songs back out of the back of my audition book.) 

Here's to another season of auditions! December is a little early, but the local theatres will start their season auditions in January (meaning: casting for the entire 2013-14 season in one audition per theatre), so it's time to start the prep & practice work.

And oh yeah, it's a week before Thanksgiving!! 
Are you going to come clean my house for my guests??
I think I don't even know what it's supposed to look like anymore.
Are you hosting??

Friday, November 15, 2013

twynmawrmom memes encore #funforFriday

I had a little fun with memes once before, thought I'd do some more:

Happy Friday! 
What's your latest favorite meme say?

Thursday, November 14, 2013

5 Ways to Improve Confidence

Whether it's mom-ing, tri-ing, quilting, or performing, I exude confidence.

This is not always a good thing.

'Cause I don't usually know what the eff I am doing.

I remember when, during one of my very first professional auditions, they asked me if I could play the drums.
"Of course. Not, like at a professional level, but yes."
They believed me, of course, and started whispering behind the table and audibly discussing when they could call me back to see such a skill. Probably also checking out the acne scars, the lack of make-up, the ill-experienced resume staring at them, and perhaps the ill-hidden look of terror steadily creeping over my face. I started to sweat, imagining myself taking the train up to my uncle's and pulling an all-nighter to study with him.
"Thanks. We'll let you know." And that was that.
It took me awhile [like: 20 years] to realize that I didn't need to [ineffectively] lie to people, because there were certain things I was actually good at, and just as the cliche dictates, the right opportunity would eventually come around [like: 20 years later.]

But recently I've had a few friends come out of the wood-work during a 'first' of theirs to ask me about it: either mom-ing, or sewing, or tri-ing, or even performing [what can I say, I inspire people to believe if I can do it, surely they can.] So I start to spew all that I know. Knowing I'm not an expert, but perhaps these friends realize that I'm going to give them the real deal: I'm confident in what I do know, and I'm also confident in what I don't know, and will be honest about both.

But what about things I don't write about? How about that geneticist I know who doesn't feel comfortable asking me about her latest discovery? And the mountain climber. Poor guy, he knows I'm from Florida, so he doesn't bother to ask. I'll address the root of any one thing in life: confidence, and how to bank on it.

1. Try something dumb
When you try something outside of your comfort zone, you feel dumb. Maybe it's a ballet class. Maybe it's escargot. Maybe it's an interview for a corporate finance position when you work in asset management. Weird. Dumb. Gives you a bad taste in your mouth. Makes you realize:
"Hey! I really suck at this. This is dumb. But I'm awesome at ...."
In more realistic terms, I found that the 70.3 was my dumb. I think that I could improve on my Olympic distance tri length time next year, and I will try. I'm not saying I might not also feel dumb at the end of that race, too, but then I get in my car and say to myself, "Yes but how many of those bitches can hit a high D?"

2. Believe that others are scared, too.
I cannot bear to follow blogs where the moms appear perfect to me. I also cannot bear to follow blogs where there are calamities 24/7. Everybody's in the same boat: we're all just discovering our own path in motherhood/parenting, and some days we hit upon something grand, and I will Google and StumbleUpon your grand moment. Other days, you gotta admit: no one's perfect. Isn't it always the self-help authors who are divorced with kids in therapy just two years after publishing? I don't know...I like to believe so. So when you find something works for you: don't think it an accident. You did something right, and you are perfectly capable of doing that something right. But conversely, when you look upon your two-year-old who has just ground his own poop all over the shore rental's carpet, walls, and doors, fear not: other mothers want to throw their child up against the wall in this moment as well. Yes - we think about never having had children - we think about taking the next train out West - we think about neighbors and teachers we know who would be better suited to professionally care for our children - we have doubts. You're not alone. Be confident in your feelings. Don't throw your child upon against the wall - but be confident you're not the only one to have ever experienced this emotion.

3. Try believing yourself right first.

Hubby and I watched the best documentary on NetFlix the other night: Somm.


It's about a group of Sommeliers who are taking the "Master Somm" exam. You are only allowed to take it once a year, and only about 5% pass it on any given year, so many are re-taking it. This is a movie ALL about confidence. You have to believe you have this natural born skill to smell and taste a million different variations, but you also have to hone that skill and train that skill to its finest point for accuracy. In one scene, one of the candidates is so confident in his tasting that he vehemently opposes the proctor's declaration of the wine he has just tasted. He believes the proctor switched two bottles of wine between the two glasses he just tasted. He leaves a trial tasting believing himself right first. You watch him fight the master/proctor and have to admire his confidence. He is living life right. Anyone who is successful believes themselves to have a good plan, a good idea, a good way of doing things. They believe themselves right. And half the time, even if they are not right, they get away with it! You leave the conversation/meeting/race thinking they are amazing. You believe them, too. Conversely, there are people in life who never think they are right! They may have a genius IQ but always second-guess what they are doing. Those are the ones whose bright ideas are wasting away in a their brains instead of coming out into the world and living. Try trusting you are right. Yes. You did read that fact. Yes. You did know the answer to that problem.
"Yes, child, I am your mother and I, for a fact, know that you need gloves this morning, bitch!"
4. Try saying yes.
This is a fun improv game we actors often play. You get in a circle, or on a stage, and whatever your fellow actor throws at you in the scene: "Oh my love, my loins burn for you but the fire-breathing dragon behind you burns deeper", you have to go along with. You say: "Yes, and..." and add something new to the scene: "Yes, and... the dragon is my lover. So you cannot have me until you slay him."It brings you to new heights in life. It allows you to expand the scene, the plot, and the world you are creating rather than cutting down what someone has just created, and making the imaginary world smaller and less dense. If I said, "There is no dragon behind me; you are mistaken." Where could we go next? I'd have to create a whole new world from scratch. I think this is a fun way to live life. In conversation, in parenting, in traveling: there is no reason not to go forward with an idea, rather than cutting it down to a smaller size. I fantasize about being those parents who allows the children to pick a spot on the map for the family vacation and drive to it. Or, even if my kids just want to dance, I make it a dance party. Yes, and a dance party with commentary. Yes and commentary that alternates between family members with a microphone. Yes and the microphone and now piano playing too...and so on and so on...

5. Never stop changing.
People are amazing. People are dynamic. Understanding that things change, life changes, circumstances change, before they happen, will give you the confidence to face anything. You will not be living this same life tomorrow. You may feel trapped in Groundhog Day, but you aren't. Think about life a year ago. Imagine those changes a year from now. Nothing stays stagnant. If you wake up with that knowledge, there is opportunity around you. I usually go to the grocery store and get the same things every time, but I keep my head up. There is sometimes something new! Sometimes?! Not all the time, and it's not like the grocery store is an exciting place, but one new spice on your spice rack may wake up one new sense in your family's palette at dinner that night and remind them that life is not always the same. My silly example: hubby and I went to Home Depot last Friday night to pick out the flooring for the bathroom remodel we are doing. He was going to use the same product he did in the basement, because he really liked it.
"The Easiest Floor Ever!", literally, on the box.
I wasn't 100% sure on the color, but he knew we needed to get this done by Thanksgiving, and any other color was going to be special-order. But we needed to see it in person and discuss. Lo and behold, his usual in-stock color was not on the shelf. It was out of stock. I was going to ask someone to help us find it 'in the back', but my husband gets frustrated with me "HOME DEPOT DOES NOT HAVE A BACK." He often tells me. So now we were faced with having to order something we haven't seen in person and wait a week for it to come in, or use a different product. We went down a different aisle to peruse the other products. I looked up, and saw a few boxes of the product he liked. We asked a stockperson to come help us decipher it, and it was a special order return of the espresso color I had been eye-ing!! AT A REDUCED PRICE! I'm sorry, it may seem silly, but to me this was a perfect win of confidence-meets-opportunity. It was a win-win-win. I kept my eyes open, I looked around me, and not only did we get the product my husband liked, in the color I preferred, but we also got it at a reduced price.

Believe an answer is in front of you. Believe in your abilities to do something. Believe you are right. [That baby totally needs a nap; you know this to be true.] It is the only way to live.

Don't get me wrong - I have my blah days - I have my doubts - ALL THE TIME. But then something comes around to make you feel confident in yourself and you have to LET IT. I'm sure I will find out I did not get the part I auditioned for last weekend - and feel blah again. But for this week - the week of anticipation - I feel confident that I did well and that someone half-wanted me [for that callback], so I'm all juiced up and ready to serve you up a plate of brass balls.


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Audition Report #2

In continuing my audition report series, which hasn't gotten very far in six months as I've had a) other projects and b) no roles to suit me 'round here! But this one...this listing, I could not resist.

It was for Beautiful Thing, a play I performed in college. A role I performed in college, of a mother whose gay son comes out to her, and although I was not age appropriate for that role at the time, I am now! So I kavetched about auditioning, as you may recall, and then I went.

What the h, right?

So the kids had a birthday party to go to which was great because I couldn't linger on my monologue all day. I dropped them home and dashed back out to the city, parked and had 10 minutes to spare.

Waiting in the lobby of the Adrienne Theatre spaces I sign in and try to relax. I pee three times. I text hubby and bestie "Glasses no glasses." Consensus was glasses. When they call my name, on my way through the door I ask the monitor girls "Jacket no jacket." They assure me it's warm down in the lower level, so I leave it behind.

Still memorizing monologue...creating neumonic structures in my mind as I head down the stairs...

There are three people in the room; two men behind a table and one woman in a seat beside them. The "main" guy, whom I later learn to be the head of musical theatre at Temple University, introduces the other two, which goes straight in one of my ears and out the other while I smile and nod and hope I don't choke. Scratch that, it didn't even go in one ear to be lost out the other side. This is all about me, not you, people! I'll meet you when you hire me!

He asks me something to the effect of what monologue will I be performing? And for some reason in this very moment in time I cannot for the life of me remember if the character's name in Pygmalion is the same as it is in My Fair Lady, which is Eliza, of course, but not being too sure I kind of mumble the "Eh" and more clearly articulate the "Liza." And then I say "Pygmalion" and he nods and says,
"Oh for a minute there I thought you meant LIZA as in MINNELI!" 
to which I respond with a few high kicks with jazz hands and proclaim,
"Well that would probably be much better actually!"
Then on with the show. I get my monologue out, hear a few chuckles, don't murder the accent completely, and then he prompts me to chat about the play a little, as I've listed in the info/conflicts sheet that I performed the role of Sandra before. Since I know the character, he asks me to act as her performing the same monologue from Pygmalion, but after a few beers, as Sandra is known to do.
"Have fun with it!" he says.
So I improv. The accent is a little worse, the monologue lines are coming to my brain a little slower, but overall, I did have 'fun', so to speak.

He asks me if I'm free the next night at 6 for callbacks, and I say,
"What is tomorrow? Sunday? Ok yes!" and he winks.
So I feel great; feel like I showed my knowledge and abilities for the day and yet, still a bit insecure that I did not get an official callback yet...wait and see...get home around 6 and go about mom-ing, feeding kids, putting them to bed as hubby continues bathroom remodel (post to come.) (hopefully.)

My hot Friday night date: buying a toliet!!
I get an email at 7:55 PM re: the callback for the next day and the scenes we will be reading. Yay! Oh sh**. What if I actually get this part. Ok calm down, still more to go...

Feeling justified in my choice to actually audition, I write a reminder to myself that buzzes on me right as I walk around the corner to the theatre:
"Remember you [as subject of event]- are an actress; be grounded in your professional abilities. [as address of event]"
This was a nice little note to myself. I remember this is something that I like to do, that I'm good at it, and that people actually pay me to do it because I'm that.good.

I walk in and see at least three other "Sandra" types in the lobby and the monitor coming down the stairs, upon seeing me, says, "Great! You're all here." She tells me she will be pairing me up with another actor to read through the first scene. I go to pee two times.

I meet him, shake his hand and ask what part he is reading for, thinking he might be playing my boyfriend, and he says, no, he is reading for one of the teenage boy parts.

Because I'm now old and am playing the real mom parts and can't distinguish from teenage boys and men who should be playing my romantic opposite. HARSH.

We read through twice and head upstairs to a different rehearsal room, get ready to do our thing for the director. He is now sitting with another woman and introduces her as a casting director of sorts. I say "of sorts" because he also made some joke about 'they don't trust me to make the decisions alone' and now I really like him. He gives us some insight into the scene and gives us a heads up that we may do it a few times. We read through once and he gives us direction to do it bigger, especially for me. This scene involves a mom reacting to a neighbor boy being hit by his family, and I'm both angry about having to deal with it and the fact that I've just learned my son is gay and may be dating this boy. So I go big or go home. And we are sent out.

I'm paired with another boy to read a second scene. We all found different corners and spaces to rehearse for the first scene, but now for this second round all of the Sandra's and Jaime's and Ste's are all just spewing out Southeast London accents and emotion and rage willy-nilly throughout the space. I can hear the other women and although it is likely they were just marking their emotions and accents during rehearsal, I begin to feel more confident in my knowledge of the character. There is no way Sandra would be toned-down and warm. She's a mess. A bar wench. She only reluctantly gives in to being a mother. And then I chuckle at myself for trying to own this part; I never did before. And here I am holding my actual script instead of photocopied!

The second pairing is reading a much more emotional scene; the one in which Jamie is coming out to his mother. My fellow actor and I discuss it as we are practicing it and we agree to GO BIG. We perform the scene once for the director and I feel like we are all crying by the end of it. No need to do it again. No need to see anything else. We all need a minute. The director tells him "Boy, she sounded like your mom, didn't she?" And he laughs and agrees. Something special did happen in that room. I found a new take on the scene; and I don't know if that actor was actually gay or not, but he was definitely in touch with that emotion of coming out. On our way out the door the actor tells me that the director knows his mom. I smile. Perhaps I am the only actress here who is actually a mom.

And as my friend would say, "Yeah because all the other parents are home with their families, jackass!!"

We got an email saying casting would be completed by Monday. So...I'll let ya know, of course! Follow me on Facebook or Twitter if you'd like the blow-by-blow-up-to-the-minute-surprises!!

Ever been show-boating in a competitive environment?!?!
COME ON, you know you have!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Zombie curfew

When I drive home late at night...

Or frankly, just when it's dark...

Which has been earlier and earlier lately...

So this is more and more likely to happen...

Hubby gets nervous.

And I know why.

I get nervous, too.

It's a strange, dangerous world out beyond our beautiful suburban walls.

I drive home in cloak of night from my wanderings.

There was no point to going out - just "out" - and why!

Why would I put us at so much risk.

I press down on the gas firmly and with conviction.

I swing that car around the bend to my home.

I pull up onto my driveway, shut off the ignition, jump out of my car, slam the door and run run run to my back patio, frantically sorting through my keys and trying not to jingle them with any high-pitched noises, so as to unlock the door and slide myself inside the house while simultaneously kicking the door shut behind me and locking it tight tight tight.

I open my eyes and realize I had shut them and was holding my breath.

I try not to look around while any of this is happening.

I DARE not peer into the darkness behind my house.

Ohhhhh....why didn't I go through the garage??

But I kind of hear them.

There's like a light, low, moan.


It is night.

It is black.

It is waaaaaaay past human curfew.

They are OUT.

They know not what they hunt.

They only know, that they hunt.

They are so dumb.

They are brainless.

They are without REASON.

They will bite my ears off without even THINKING ABOUT IT!!

They will nuzzle on my neck first.


Why was I out alone.

Why was I coming home late.

Why was I out.side.

If I were to be found half eaten, everyone would agree: it was surely her fault.

For she was out past...

Zombie curfew.


I am serious.

This is a real thought running through my crazytown brain.

Any irrational fears you harbor?
What am I going to do when the kids want to start watching horror movies??

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Free floating anxiety

I submitted for an audition on Saturday and got an audition appointment.

It is for a 'straight play', not a musical.

I have done exactly one 'straight play' in my life: Beautiful Thing

This is the one for which I have an audition on Saturday.

This somehow translates to me thinking I'm positively perfect for this role!

This role that I played when I was 20 in college- a mother of a gay teenager coming out, and now that I'm age appropriate for the mother - she is listed at 35 - this somehow makes me think I'm even more perfect for the part.

There's just one little problem...

I have to convince the casting director/director of this fact.

And....I don't ever, like, ever, EVER audition for non-musicals so my monologues are either:
a) crappy
b) unrehearsed
c) old
d) all of the above.

To top it off, this part requires an accent.

An accent I somehow miraculously seemed to pull off in my college years that I haven't attempted since. 

An accent which doesn't work with any of my crappy, unrehearsed, and old monologues.

So I bought the script online.

[It was $7, and kind of nostalgic.]

As I feared, there is not really a grouping of dialogue for which I can remove the other characters and make into a monologue of sorts, so that I can play this character for these people who are hiring for this character.

So, if you like, Google 'cockney accent monologues for women', what you are mostly going to find is Eliza Doolittle, and Pygmalion, and My Fair Lady, which, by the way, are all the same. 

And....that's not very contemporary, is it?

Did I mention that there is only one Equity showcase application possible in this production?

Which means that, of the cast of 5, only one of us hired can be union.

And....I'm betting it might be reserved for the main role: the gay teenager.

But you never know, TwynMawrMom, you never know!

And whatever I choose to audition with, I should probably memorize it before Saturday, right?

Let me mention, also, this would start rehearsals December 15th, which is like, the worst time for a twin mommy who has her only children's birthday the week before Christmas.

ALSO - just one more little thing. Never really approached my husband before about the idea of me portraying a romantic relationship on stage before because, well, I was never the romantic lead in anything before!


So....broaching the subject with the hubby, "and....if I had to kiss someone on stage??? We have never talked about this before..."

"We can cross that bridge when we get to it."

He's so 'supportive'??? Does this mean you know I have no chance of winning this part, or that you think the likelihood of me getting hot and heavy on stage in the theatre with a man who isn't actually gay in real life is very slim?!

Who can say.

One more thing.

The memorizing.

I mean, I used to be really good at this back when I was say, with brain cells.

And we are less than 48 hours out at this point, so...

No, no. Nope. Don't think I'm taking this audition.

Crapping out as it were.

But...honestly? What could it hurt? Other than my pride??

And kavetching about it - this is making it worse.

I'd be good for the part.

I know I could play it well.

It would be a nice addition to my resume.


What am I doing?!

As you can tell from my "audition report" series, the last few months have been pretty dry. Not many roles right for me in the area...

What am I gonna do??? 

And I get myself into these dilemmas because I am...a nut-job.

I did manage to order some new headshots....

But....they won't be here in time. 


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

How to help a friend through infertility

It has surprised me on both sides of the coin: in receiving advice/counsel during my struggle with infertility, and in giving it, either to friends going through it, or friends who have friends going through it. It's another situation in life where there is never quite the right thing to say. But let me try to help you get started...
  • Patience is key. This is not going to go away overnight. If you've been clued in that this is what's going on in your friend's life, she may have already been struggling with it for a little while, and she may be headed towards years of ups and downs to come. Don't come running in with a game-plan and offensive strategy; grab a seat on the couch and get ready to be there for awhile.
  • Nothing will be right in her world, until this is resolved. You can try and lighten the mood; take her out for pedis, dinner; try to tell her all of the reasons she should appreciate not having children right now [don't do that actually, like, ever]...but nothing, no NOTHING, will be okay right now. Even if the IVF is scheduled for next week, she can't go out and have 'one last hurrah' with you; she can't go on a scuba diving trip to celebrate a diagnosis with a plan of attack. She can't even complete 50% of her workload right now. She can't believe this is going to be ok. Even if and when she is blessed with a child in her life, she might not believe it. She is mired in a matrix of sorts. Her brain is in another realm, fighting unknown forces, and her body is still living the day to day that is required.
  • In keeping with the metaphor of The Matrix, be the Trinity, not the Neo. Try to enter the matrix with her. Try to see what she sees. Try to listen when she explains the many different "if this, then that" scenarios. Maybe you actually have some knowledge on one of those if's, and you can offer a strategy or two, or doctor or two, for combating this evil that has befallen her. You can't control it for her; you can't make it right; you can't tell her which pill to take. You can't be all-knowing. You can fight along side her, and try to understand the world she has just entered.
  • Connect her with other friends you may know who have gone through it, and have come out on the other side. Most of us are happy to speak to someone else struggling with infertility. We almost always discuss the possible diagnoses first, and compare and contrast battle scars. But even if we don't have the same issue, we will still sympathize, and mention coping mechanisms. Strategies for remaining strong as a couple. Doomsday scenarios. Preparation for the worst, and best that may come. Honesty. The simple words: "It. sucks."
  • Do not let her wallow in darkness, but give her space. She may be keeping her distance because you have a pregnancy or new baby, and you don't understand why she is not around as much. You need to let her know that you are still willing to be an ear, but understand that she might not be one for you. It may be a one-sided relationship for awhile, if one at all. The friendship may have to take a step back. And as open as you are willing to be, she may not feel the same. She may require a different level of privacy with you than you used to have. I know, you just want your friend back. She wants to be a mama. You have to let her wallow at the edge of that desire, but do not let her go over the edge. You know your friend; you don't know what she's going through, but you do recognize when there is more than struggle going on. If you see signs of complete despair and retreat from the world of the living, you have to help. You have to knock on her door and drive her to the therapist. You have to make sure she has not completely given into the darkness with which she has been faced. Partner with her partner if that happens; he/she may not recognize it as they are dealing with their own side of this story. There is a difference between depression and giving up. Make sure it is not the latter.

  • After the journey is concluded, your relationship will be different. Understand that your friend may never be the same. You've gone through the ups and downs with her; the doctors and the hCG levels and the "fifth time's a charm", but let's face it: it didn't affect you as much as it affected her. It is a trauma; a loss of innocence. Her life may take a new turn and children are not in the picture. Or, if she is blessed with a child (or two!) in her arms, meeting you for play-dates and hitting the carpool scene, she may still harbor feelings of fear and jealousy for a long time. She will remember your kind words and your open heart, and want to go back to the way things used to be between you. But at best, there will be an adjustment period. And, at worst, she may find she needs to start fresh. Just with any life event, relationships will change.  They will deepen; they may separate. But you will have forever shared the friendship before infertility, and you will hopefully make it to a new level of friendship afterwards. Stay with it; stay with her. The new friend will remember all the good times you shared and be able to continue to build on it with your help. But it will be different. And it will take time.
Our Story

My husband and I put on a brave face for many months. We told a few close friends what we were going through [one by one, month by month, as suspicions arose and our faces were looking less brave.] We tried to 'live it up' and made a checklist of all of the things we couldn't do once we were pregnant/had kids, and tried to do one every weekend. We played video games [it was the era of the Wii] and bought boxes of candy; we went to amusement parks and rode roller coasters; I dyed my hair; we became tourists in our town; we got stinking drunk at our favorite restaurant and left our car there to take a cab home. We laughed like teenagers at ourselves the next morning when we had to go get our car.  This is my way of coping: finding the good; celebrating irresponsibility. I retreated from many friendships at that time; especially those who were pregnant or had newborns. Always underneath our daily lives was a sadness. I don't think we really had time to address the full story - our story of infertility -  until the kids were at least 2 and we went on our first trip together sans kids. It was a nice signifier of the journey we had gone through, and that that part of our journey was over.

Boxed and put away.

[Next to the NICU box; which is a whole other chapter!]

You can only hope this for your friend; you cannot make it happen. You are wonderful to wait patiently and keep your heart and door open. She will be forever grateful. You are already a wonderful friend for searching through advice columns like this one. Sometimes the best thing you can do is text "thinking of you." Because you are. And likely, she is thinking of you, too.

And now I sprinkle for you, some *baby dust* to those who need it.

And *hugs*.

Thinking of you. 

Friday, November 1, 2013

Cue Bob Barker: "A NE-EW CAR" #funforFriday

Youuuu guessed it!

We have purchased. The minivan of my dreams.

Or, as my son puts it, "The Star Wars Car."

Daddy knew just what DVD to pop in for the 'tour.'
What eventually put us over the top is, after the Renn Faire, we saw a Used Car Sales place we hadn't seen before: Car Sense, which is basically a local, PA-based company that competes with the nationwide conglomerate Car Max. We pulled in after a long day at the Faire upon learning, with a quick scan of their online inventory, that they had one of those Buick Enclaves that I had been coveting.  Hubby needed to drive one. He was not impressed! So he decided I needed to drive the Nissan Pathfinder, the SUV he had been coveting. I was not impressed! I decided right then and there it was the time of our lives to get a minivan. We could not have been happier with the process there, and the inventory. 

 Daddy is leaping for joy at getting a virtually new 2013 car for a used price at Car Sense!
Mama's excited to put the 70.3 magnet on that bad boy.
Nan is excited she has a dedicated seat all for her.
And that we quickly sold her old car before she had to go home (she got one of ours.)
The kids want to live, sleep, "eat dinner", and of course, watch movies in it. These are all actual requests.
This is how you wrestle for the back seat.
This is how you 'stow and go'
And even though we are living a little LARGE for our garage...
We are all, basically, in minivan heaven.
Or Movie-lovers heaven. Not sure which.
Oh yeah, and it was Halloween this week! We ran the gamut of costumes...
First up: Rapunzel and Ironman
Second event: Ariel "princess edition" and...
Ironman 2
Finally: pink princess (a costume from 2 years ago) and Spidey/Ironman/Darth hybrid hero-villain
The Darth is in the shoes....'which are super fast! watch me run to that house mommy!"
Telling the story of their outfits to the neighbors. I heart this picture. 

Happy Halloween! 
Happy Friday! 
Happy Let's-Forget-Thanksgiving-is-there-and-go-straight-to-Christmas-at-the-stores-shopping!!

Did you forget Thanksgiving was next too?

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