Sunday, October 3, 2010

Enough is Enough

For support:

The Trevor Project -
The National Center For Bullying Prevention -
Matthew's Place -

It's time to end this.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


Ok I totally can't leave it like that. You all are the best. And her birthday party was a total success. She managed to pull her tiny little three year old self together and have a wonderful time. Four of her friends came. The theme was whales--selected by none other than herself of course. And thanks to Etsy, man did I have super cute whale-themed cupcake toppers and stickers.

I'm so fascinated watching the raw emotion of being three. Nothing is filtered. Nothing is held back. When she's happy she laughs. When she's sad she sobs. When people are singing "Happy Birthday" to her she feels uncomfortable because everyone is looking at her. I know this feeling. What do you do during that agonizing minute and a half when everyone is singing "Happy Birthday" and looking at you and you are to simply sit and listen? If you are the Bean you do this:

And honestly, that's kinda what I want to do every time a group of people sings "Happy Birthday" to me. It is hard to just sit there, smile, and listen.

I'm still thinking a lot about how I don't feel things as strongly any more. Or maybe I just don't allow myself to feel things as strongly any more. I have another job. Another good one as it turns out. But it's a little scary to let myself just be thrilled about it. I always feel like I have to couch my excitement in something so I don't end up disappointed. I kind of think that, ironically, actors learn to feel things less. We can't want jobs or opportunities or accolades because in this business we just really really rarely get them. I, for instance, am continuing my remarkable run of ending up on the cutting room floor. Remember the movie from exactly a year ago as it turns out? Well, recently I did this really hilarious web advertisement for the video game Civilization V. Doc Hubby and I happen to be totally addicted to Civilization which made the whole thing all the more sweet. I had a really funny short scene to do. A good actor playing my husband. I never dreamed that we'd be cut. Here's the final video. Look carefully and you'll see me smacking the hell out of a sock puppet, but snip snip snip goes my scene. My record is, like, 8 and 0 for having lines cut from anything on film. Anything. What's up with that, yo? Hm. So I have to stop hoping my lines will end up in whatever I shoot and just be glad I can pay for preschool.

Maybe that's my problem. Maybe the people who really succeed don't let that wanting dim. Maybe that's what drives their ambition. Frankly, I'd rather be basically happy all of the time.

But in this case I am happy. I have a new job. And that's thrilling. I will turn 41 during my second Broadway show. Hopefully when the cast and crew sing Happy Birthday to me I will be able to sit there and just listen.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Horror of Her Birthday

It would appear that turning three is a nightmare.

I don't remember so I can't really say.

But the hot mess of misery my Bean has been since Monday...the actual DAY...and today...the day that Doc Hubby and I are hauling 44 tons of shit to the park for a party for hopefully four kids but we'll see if one gets lost on the way since his Nanny has no idea how to find a street and a cross maybe only three.

I mean cupcakes suck. Presents suck. Making your own pizzas sucks. Pizza sucks. Spray parks suck. Parties suck.

We apparently suck the most.

No wonder she's so miserable.

Terrific threes, huh? Someone text me when they arrive.

I just heard a kid wailing from the street below. Five stories down. Pretty sure that was her.

I'm about to go sweat off the ten pounds of weight I have gained this summer. Except that I'll simultaneously put twice as much on eating cupcakes and tiny whale fluffernutters.

Oh and finally. Sarcasm doesn't work with three years olds. So my biggest weapon is basically rendered useless.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Huckey Berries

So I did go to the Tony's. Like two months ago. But it's summer. Who's counting?

I wore the shoes.

I didn't start getting ready early enough. Which is weird. I'm chronically, freakishly, eerily, supernaturally, time-warpingly early most of the time. But I guess that's once I leave the apartment and assuming I don't have to return from the subway to do an obsessive compulsive check to make sure I turned the stove off. So we didn't really have time to take good pictures before we left. And like an idiot we took a bunch in the lobby which are horrendous. Really really ugly. Took a few in the natural light and they were tolerable. Took lots afterward in the dark which was actually pretty fun. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

It started to rain a bit while we were in the car. The streets next to Radio City were closed and the traffic was gridlocked so we got out of the car at 7th Avenue and 50th to walk over. When we first got out of the car it felt funny to be holding my train, jumping puddles in my $220 shoes and dodging tourists in I heart NY tees. But as we got closer, more and more people in formal dress joined us, having also abandoned their cars in the traffic. Umbrellas. Long and short dresses. Tuxes and suits. It was a truly New York experience.

Radio City was a mob scene. I didn't walk the red carpet, though my parents definitely wanted me to. Which is sweet. Some day I hope to walk the red carpet when the people taking pictures know my name. So we lined up and gave our tickets and went in.

In the future, if you happen to be attending the Tony's, I encourage you to avoid a dress with a train. Everyone stepped on the train. Doc Hubby stepped on it three times. Honestly I stepped on it a time or two as well. Trains are good for presenters. And winners. A pain in the ass in the line for the bathroom. The dress however? Thank you again Carmen Marc Valvo. Like a column of silk. Which it was.

The ceremony itself was tons more fun in real life than on TV. Full disclosure--I hadn't seen all of the shows nominated. But the performances from the musicals were thrilling. Totally. Sean Hayes was adorable. We sat in the very very very back row of the orchestra, but we were right on the center aisle where all the entrances that were made from the house happened. Sean Hayes running like Spiderman. That girl from "Glee" singing Barbara Streisand. And Will Smith and Jada Pinkett entering about an hour into the whole event and then turning around and walking partway back up the aisle and then going back down. Most exciting celebrity sighting by far.

Our play didn't win anything. Which was more of a bummer than I imagined it might be. I think I really wanted it to. My sweet friend Maria looked beautiful, but she didn't win either. She came over to bum a snack from our assistant costume designer (and the fact that our costumes didn't win was just criminal), and I got her attention. She hugged me and said "Oh Wendy, I wanted to win so much--just so I could thank you." And I was so very touched by that.

Maybe I've been feeling nostalgic ever since.

A month later I was at the Farmer's Market in my hometown trying to pick out the best and freshest corn. This is not an easy task. The Farmer's Market in July is buried in corn. And local peaches. And blueberries. And toy John Deere farm equipment. But I spotted an old man in a bright blue trucker's hat. He only had two things for sale. Corn and "Hucky Berries." I bought his corn. The hucky berries were what my grandfather would have called huckleberries--small and I imagine a bit tart. It seemed to me that if all he brought was corn and hucky berries, both of them must be pretty good. It's been so dry in Central PA that lots of the corn is chewy. His was lovely. Small kernels. Lots of pop. Sweet.

From the Tony's to the Farmer's Market in the span of a month. It's having experiences like that bump up against each other that I think makes life awesome. Sometimes I try to make the juxtaposition mean something. Or tell a story. Sometimes it does. Sometimes it's just kitty litter embedded in the soles of $220 shoes and huckey berries.

Here are a few pictures from the Tony's. Warning, these are a lot of photos of me. I wasn't clever enough to have a bag to take with me (frankly I'm amazed I had an appropriate dress and shoes that semi-fit. A bag was just too much) so I had no camera at the event. I know. Idiotic. Anyway, I don't usually post a million photos of me but here I am. Not at the Farmer's Market.

I wish I had taken a picture of the sign that said "huckey berries." It would have been a better picture than any of those.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Why Normal People Shouldn't Buy $222 Shoes Online

So here's why normal people shouldn't buy $222 shoes online. Otherwise known as, why I can't have nice things.

The four of you who read this blog know that I am not famous. I am an unfamous NYC actress. And somehow last year I bumbled into a Broadway show, having stopped acting to have a child, not worked for several years, and pretty much determined that no one would ever cast me in a play again. So I did the play. It was a great experience and low and behold it was nominated for a Tony Award. So I'm going. This Sunday.

What am I wearing? What, you think LL Bean might not be able to outfit me for the Tonys? Ms TJ Maxx may be out of her league? Ok, yeah. My manager knows an incredible PR guy at Carmen Marc Valvo and after two trips to a room full of dresses right out of "The Devil Wears Prada" I have a gorgeous silk chiffon dress to wear. On loansies. Amazing.

So shoes. Ok don't mock me. Because I feared I actually would make it to Sunday and not have a pair of shoes to wear other than Keens, I went to Aerosoles (I said don't mock me) and got a pair of gold shoes on sale. Just in case. Don't mock me. I then went online to the amazing Zappos and ordered two pairs of the most gorgeous Elie Tahari strappy sandals. A ten and a ten and a half. Because come ON, my feet may have flattened during pregnancy but I didn't go from a nine and a half to an ELEVEN! Right? They arrived at my door in what seemed like 45 minutes. They were on sale. They were two hundred and twenty dollars. I have NEVER bought shoes anywhere near this expensive. But come on. The Tonys! Once in a lifetime. And a kick ass free dress. So they came. Two hundred and twenty dollar shoes come in beautiful boxes. And they are gorgeous. I slipped on the tens. Too small. I slipped on the ten and a halfs. Um. Could they be too small? I wore them a few minutes. My hideous toes slid over the edge a bit. Really? So I kept wearing them around my apartment for about five to seven minutes. Doc Hubby agreed. Too small.

No worries! Zappos pays for returns. Genius. I determined to pack them up. Order (gulp) elevens tonight. They'll be here Saturday. Return the others. I pulled them off my feet and HOLY CRAP WHAT IS THAT ALL OVER THE BOTTOMS OF THESE SHOES!!!!

So there are two problems. Well myriads really. The bottoms of these shoes are like butter. Soft gorgeous leather. And the first thing I noticed when I went to carefully slip the shoes back into the box--spots. Water I believe. I am making pasta for the Bean. Probably a few drips on the floor. Maybe that will dry? And then I noticed the brown crungies. Food or crumbs or something. Now may I remind you, I did not wear these on the streets of New York City. Just in my teeny tiny apartment. Possible to carefully scrape off the crumbs? Possible. But then I took off my glasses and looked carefully. They soles are pitted. Pocked. With what?

Kitty Litter.

Yup. Kitty Litter. Embedded

This is why normal people should not buy $222 shoes on Zappos. Because we have hardwood floors and small apartments, and when we have never worn a pair of $222 shoes before, we have no idea how incredibly soft and fragile the soles are.

My advice to you if you decide to buy expensive shoes online and need to try them on before you decide to send them back? Sweep your danged apartment. You'll be glad you did. And Zappos, I love you, but if you can figure out that I'm an LL Bean girl ordering $222 shoes using all that wacky computer stuff, can you put a little note in my box that tells me "wear these shoes on carpet or sweetheart, you're buying them." Thanks.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Actual Series of Emails Exchanged Between Me and Doc Hubby Today

The following is a verbatim exchange of emails between myself and Doc Hubby today between 10:11 and 11:16 am.

Me to Doc Hubby: All ok. My texting not working. At a nice blog event. Xo.

Doc Hubby to Me: You OK if I stay here late tonight to work on the grant?

Me to Doc Hubby: If you are ok with me locking our child in a closet.

Doc Hubby to Me: Funny, but dark. You need that girls' weekend.

Me to Doc Hubby: You think I am joking. Also funny.

I am finding two and 3/4 to be so so so so much more challenging than anything to date.

Screaming match two nights ago. Over chicken and a yellow pepper. Sobbing, snotty nosed (on her part), red faced, cruel and fuming (on my part...or was it the other way around). I feel that the battles, particularly over food, are going somewhere quite dark and not at all funny. It was so much easier when I picked out cute little organic green beans and prunes all tidy and pureed. Now she gags on chicken nuggets and mac and cheese and I just want to scream "MOST KIDS WOULD BE SO HAPPY TO HAVE THIS TO EAT!!! THIS IS KID CRACK!!! JUST SLATHER IT IN KETCHUP AND CHEW AND I'LL GIVE YOU A FRIGGIN' CUPCAKE ALREADY!"

Mac and cheese. Nope. Chicken nuggets. Nope. Needless to say anything green. Nope.

I think I am going to have to get some kind of book.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Two Child Stars and Acapella Groupies

Do you know that I know two child stars? Like, right now. I am actively friends with two child stars. Neither of them are from this country which may explain why they are so relatively well-adjusted. Compared to our child stars. None of whom I know, personally.

Both are ageless. Both are incredibly warm. Both love children. Both are still actresses. Both have beautiful accents.

I have not worked with either of them, but I would very much like to.

The universe has asked me to think a lot about getting older in the last few weeks. First, I wasn't cast in a play because (among other things as well I'm sure) I am too old to make the production work. Then, I went to see an absolutely brilliant high school production of "Hamlet" directed by my absolutely brilliant friend, Sarah, starring an absolutely brilliant high school senior whom I once had to nearly fail in a 9th grade acting class, but that was just because he was lazy and this famous actor's kid was dragging their whole scene down by being a jerk. Not because he wasn't talented. So I went backstage to congratulate this kid, who will be famous in about five years, mark my words. I was standing outside the dressing room waiting for him to emerge, when another cast member breezed out with all the casual confidence of a 15 year old New York City prep kid. I asked him if Hamlet was still in the dressing room. He hovered briefly in flight, looked me up and down and said, "Are you his Mom?" May I remind you that Hamlet is a high school senior. Oh hello nice to eat you.

So then I got an audition. I have been getting a lot of little TV auditions for character roles. One line in a TV show...two lines in a movie. I show up, and as a young "character actress" I find myself in a waiting room full of old ladies, fat African American women, and weasel-faced, frizzy-haired forty-somethings in sweatshirts. I guess I fall into the latter category? And may I say, thus far I have thought to myself "If I were casting this, I'd choose the old lady, the fat African American lady, or that frizzy-haired chick in the glasses over me in a heartbeat." And may I further say, I have not been cast in any of these roles. But then I got this audition for a one-act play festival. I got the script. I read it. And the whole premise of the play is that the character I was auditioning for was devastated because she's too old to be hired as a topless dancer. Really? Really really? I mean, not that I'm looking for employment in that line of work, but really?

Thank you universe.

When I was 20, I was in a beautiful play in college called "Abingdon Square." Funny, I now live in the city that is home to Abingdon Square. I was cast as Aunt Minnie, a white haired, old lady--wig and all. I have been a "young character actress" since I was 11 and cast as Mrs. Fuddy in the 5th grade winter play, "The Christmas Elf." During rehearsal for "Abingdon Square" I remember getting a piece of advice from one of my teachers, a brilliant actor who happened to be performing in the show as well. He told me, "Stop trying so hard to play her age. Don't act your idea of what it is to be old. No one feels old inside. I am surprised every day when I look in the mirror and I don't see a 25 year old looking back at me." This to me, at 20, was a revelation. And some of the best direction I've ever gotten.

So then tonight we went to this crazy event. The United Glee Club of NYC, this 114 year old group of rich white guys from fancy-schmancy colleges who, like, rent Lincoln Center so they can still wear tails and sing with other rich white guys like they did in college (and to their credit also do a lot of wonderful charitable work) had a concert. The acappella group Doc Hubby sang with in college was their special guest group. I fell in love with Doc Hubby when he was the leader of this particular group. I was their biggest groupie in the early 90s. I have a soft spot. So this group was there and singing and bouncing around and being 20 and doing a lot of the same exact stuff they were doing 20 some years ago and I thought...wait a second. If we went up afterward and talked to them, and told them who we were, and who Doc Hubby was, and how awesome they were...even if I'm the only one hip enough (or lame enough) to be wearing jeans to this event, and even if I have a good haircut and don't really look my age, these sweet faced boys would smile benignly and nod and think, as we did in the late 80s, "Man that dude and his wife are ancient." And if they bothered to do the math, or if we simply said what year Doc Hubby directed the group, they might scratch their shaggy heads and go on to say, "Dude, I wasn't even born then."

What they don't know, is that I still wake up every morning and look in the mirror and wonder why I don't still look like I did when I was singing the first tenor part of "Somebody Loves Me" to myself in the shower in my senior dorm.

Monday, May 10, 2010

The April Fools Day 1989 Popcorn Incident

So Aunt Becky of the very funny blog Mommy Wants Vodka, wrote a post recently about a photo album she found in the bottom of a box of old crap her mother gave her. It was full of pictures that, until the lost album was found, she believed were gone. Hard copies of pictures, young people. The kind that once lost, or torn, or used as coasters, are truly lost to the world forever. Unless you take something called a negative to a photo shop and pay actual money to have it developed again. Pictures, she confided, that were full of her and her friends doing weird and crazy stuff when they were young.

I read the post. It struck a chord. I left her the following comment:
So this one time during sophomore year, my roommates and I popped 13 pounds of popcorn. This was before microwave popcorn. BMP. And then during the middle of the night we taped newspaper across the door of the sticks-up-their-asses prep school boys from Rhode Island who lived across the hall, leaving a small space between the newspaper and their door. A space that we filled with 13 pounds of popped popcorn. We took a lot of pictures of that.
To which she replied:
Please tell me you can scan these pictures for me to see. Because I NEED THIS. HILARIOUS!
And I so love getting replies from truly funny bloggers who I want to be friends with, that I did it. I scanned the photos from "The April Fools Day 1989 Popcorn Incident" and I will, without the consent of my roommate Jennifer or the sticks-up-their-asses prep school boys from Rhode Island (who really were good friends despite the fact that one of them called my roommate a Pinko Civil Libertarian. At the time I had no idea what that meant. Now I realize what a huge compliment it was).

So here they are. If I were The Bloggess I could do funny arrows and comments but my photo editing capabilities are way way less advanced than most elementary school children so I will just have to editorialize below.
This is me and Jennifer in our room after popping 13 pounds of popcorn that we got at Stop and Shop. We used two air poppers. One of them literally went up in smoke somewhere in the midst of the popping marathon. We switched to a second one that went on to serve us well for many years. In this photo we still have our contact lenses in. The sign behind me does indeed say "Wombat Crossing." A clue as to just how cool I was in college and maybe why I never had a date for Casino Night.

Okay so here we are taping "The Boston Globe" to Rod, Tod and Jonathan's door. No joke. Those are their names. Nice guys. Very rich. At least one is a foreign diplomat. One is a fancy pants corporate lawyer. Not sure about the other.

Dumping in the popcorn. Dang. Look how skinny I was.

More popcorn. Middle of the night. Nice glasses.

Took my glasses off for the final picture. They are in my hand behind my back.

So what happened? The next morning, when Rod, Tod and Jonathan opened the door, a wall of popcorn collapsed upon them. It worked like a charm. They thought it was hilarious! We were awakened by them laughing and bringing bagels to our room. We are all friends now and spend weekends in the Hamptons....

I lie. My mechanical engineer father would be appalled. Our newspaper structure did not prove strong enough to hold the weight of 13 pounds of popped popcorn. The bottom ripped out. Rod, Tod and Jonathan opened their door to discover their door obscured by The Boston Globe, and right behind it, a mountain of popcorn. They were not amused. I seem to recall Rod chasing us back into our bedroom and dumping a way smaller bag of dirty popcorn in one of our beds. Rather violently.

While she perused her old photo album, Aunt Becky marveled at how fun her life used to be. Although I think she had a lot crazier youth than I did (honestly, the popcorn was about as illicit as my exploits got), we do have that in common. When I flip through page after page of grainy photos, unable now to remember what exactly was so hilarious about pretty much everything we did that I felt it required to be documented, I am struck by how funny every day was. How intensely I felt...EVERYTHING. How hard I laughed. How much junk food I ate. How skinny I remained.

I'll tell you the saddest thing. I now know that the newspaper needs to be really strong. That duct tape would work much better than masking tape. That you need to reinforce it a lot. But I will never have the opportunity to try that joke out again. I don't think so, anyway. I'm pretty sure the Elusive Icelander next door would not be amused. Plus he signed up for extermination this month so he'd probably take a pile of popcorn lying at his feet even worse than the prep school boys.

So someone out there. In college. Maybe with only a week or so left. Would you please oh please try this. Take lots of pictures. Reinforce the newspaper really well. And tell me how it works? Thanks.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Only Girls

My maternal grandmother was an only child. My mother was an only child. I am the eldest. I have a younger brother. I have one daughter.

My mother found this poem in my great-grandmother's things:

For a Very Young Daughter

By Anne Mary Lawler

Soon you will leave your pinafores and toys,
Your dolls and dishes, and your little bib:
Soon you will scorn to sleep within a crib;
And you will smirk at grubby little boys
And write them silly notes; you even may
Walk giggling home from school with them each day.

Then, shortly, you'll be dancing, satin-shod,
Trailing your singing skirts about the room,
Lovlier than a daffodil in bloom;
And you will flirt with smile and frown and nod,
And play at love, and break a heart or two--
And I shall know that I am losing you--

And then--too suddenly the world will change--
And you will walk in tenderness and tears
Bravely and strong to meet the waiting years;
And I shall find it sad and sweet and strange
That you will grow, as women grow, quite wise
In mending socks and singing lullabies.

Yes, I shall lose you--for the days are swift,
We do not have the skill to check their flight--
Perhaps we would not, even if we might;
So I shall watch the spinning hours lift
Our lives apart--and still find strength to smile,
Knowing that you were mine this little while.

Sometimes a poem written a hundred years ago, while a tad sentimental, is just right for a cool and dafodilly April day. Though I must confess my hope that Anne Mary knew that her daughter would grow quite wise, period. Not merely in mending socks and lullabies. Anne Mary needed to complete her rhyme.

I'm struggling with potty training. Blink and your baby's gone isn't she? Urine is sterile, right? I'm like a parody of a Mommy Blog.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Read this.

Yup. This is right.

What those grown ups did was not okay. And they were grown ups. I am watching my baby girl learn how to behave. I am watching her learn the very very hard lesson of sharing. Of putting others in front of herself. Of being considerate and loving.

Isn't it time grown ups started acting that way too?

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Blush Off The Rose

New York is a lot of things. Gentle, it is not.

I was walking to my yearly GYN appointment (if you must know) which takes me all the way across Central Park South to the East Side. Central Park South is a lovely expanse of ritzy NYC real estate, stretching from the huge new mall at Columbus Circle to the Plaza Hotel on Fifth Avenue. But it also happens to be where all the horse-drawn carriages park while they wait for visitors to drive around Central Park. On a windy March day, Central Park South is eardrum-freezing bitter and yet still stifling with the smell of horse manure. With just a dash of horse urine for luck. A waft of cow manure makes me homesick for Central PA. Horse manure, on the other hand, does not. When I was pregnant and yarfy, this walk along Central Park South was like running the gauntlet. I am proud to say I never once puked on Central Park South.

So I was walking across the bottom of the Park last week. I take it as something of a compliment that the carriage drivers don't proposition me for a ride. Despite the LL Bean jacket, I guess after seventeen years maybe I do look angry enough to be a local. I'm walking by and they're all hanging out, some in grungy top hats. Some in baseball caps. Chatting and waiting. When all of a sudden one of the horses kicks over his feed pail, spilling a decent amount, but certainly not the whole bucket, on the street. And the driver grabs the bucket and yells, "F--- you, you f---ing idiot!" He yells this at the HORSE. And something in the way he yelled it was kind of dark. More like a wife-beater than a business partner. Reflexive and violent. And it just kinda made me wonder...

Oh it's soooo romantic...a carriage ride through Central Park....snuggling under the blanket with your sweetie....snapping pics of the forsythia and daffodils.

Welcome to New York City 2010.

Kinda takes the blush off the rose a bit, doesn't it?

Saturday, March 27, 2010

A Barf Conundrum

Ok all you experienced moms. And all you people who, on occasion, walk on sidewalks. Here is my question:

What is your obligation to the universe when your kid throws up on a sidewalk?

I guess you could extrapolate this to any public puking, really. But for the purposes of this question, let's take the circumstances as they happened, and go from there.

It was very cold on Wednesday. The Bean has been, as I have stated, coughing so hard that she spits up diluted juice. Well, on Wednesday I was determined to take her to the park (read: leave the apartment before I was compelled to shoot myself), after stopping at Starbucks for the most absurd drink ever invented ever ever (a decaf, tall, soy, skinny, cinnamon dolce latte - Fat Flush compliant for my money). But when we arrived at Starbucks, the line was out the door, so we reluctantly turned around and headed directly toward the park. At which point the Bean started hacking. And hacking. And hacking. And ultimately, regurgitating small amounts of juice. Okay, with a little particulate matter to be totally honest. Several small puddles. And here's the really insidious thing: the puddles were small enough that really, that you could walk down the street and totally not see them--until it was too late. But they were definitely big enough to do damage. No doubt at all about it. As I urged the Bean to breathe deeply and try to stop coughing, I knew that here was just no doubt those puddles were going to be targets. I could see it coming.

But there I was. On the street. No caution tape. No orange cones. No flares. No hose. No mop. No wipes even. Not cold enough that the puddles would freeze. Not hot enough that they would evaporate. And nary a rain cloud in sight.

And for the record, let me say that I clean up my messes. I am courteous to others on the subway. I always wait my turn in line. And I have even been known to pile up all my dishes on the table at a restaurant and pick the crumbs off the floor when our family has made what I consider to be a mess larger than any stranger should have to clean up. So this is not an easy moment for me...this moment coming up.

Did I have a choice?

I wiped the Bean's mouth and sleeve with a tissue and jammed it in my back pocket. And I walked away from those puddles on the street. Knowing for certain that some poor person was inevitably going to step in them and be grossed out beyond belief when she got home. And it would be entirely my fault.

This, my friends, is why everyone in New York City doffs their shoes the moment they walk in the door.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Falling off the Wagon and Hitting a Waffle Truck

If you're in New York City, particularly in the area of the Upper West Side, and you're on some crazy diet...well my friend, you've come to the right place. I fell off the Fat Flush Wagon...I am trying very desperately to climb back on but it's not easy to avoid dairy, wheat and sugar when your kid has her first ear infection and coughs so hard she throws up diluted juice all over the hard wood floors...nonetheless, I confess that I fell off the Fat Flush Wagon. And I hit a Waffle Truck on the way down.

So in the interest of full disclosure here are the ways in which I have fallen off the wagon in the last two weeks.

The Waffle Truck - Good God has anything better ever been invented? A Truck? That sells waffles? It is quite simply divine. I managed not to eat the Bean's waffle too while she was sleeping in a feverish daze. Just barely. That would have been low.

The Mermaid Inn - I wanted the lobster roll. I should have had the broiled salmon. I compromised with the Grilled Shrimp Sandwich which was totally and completely beyond divine.

The Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Scone from Silver Moon Bakery - Very nearly not falling off, right? I mean, it's so whole wheat that the wheat berries (are they like crunch berries) crunch in your teeth. But dang I could go for that right now.

So...considering falling off the diet wagon, yourself? Feeling like I did nothing to help you fight to go to bed hungry?

I remind girl coughs so hard that she throws up diluted juice all over the hardwood floors. That oughta do it.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

I am a Knee Jerk

So this last week or so I've been worried that I go through life saying "no" to the universe. I'm I'm totally honest with myself, my knee jerk reaction to most every suggestion, is really usually "no." No I don't want to go see that play, I just want to stay in and watch TV. No to this job. No to that event. No to this meeting. No to that social invitation.

I have really started to wonder what I'm hiding from...

Is it just that I'm a scaredy cat?

Is it that I'm truly lazy at heart?

Why do I look for the bad, and indeed expect the worst, from new situations or experiences?

Aren't I a little old to be afraid of everything? (And while I'm at it, aren't I a little old to worry so much about who I would eat lunch with?)

I am so adamant to Doc Hubby that we raise the Little Bean to expect the best from the world. To trust people. To be Anne Frank in post 9-11 NYC. I don't want her to get in the habit of making decisions based on fear. I want her to be adventurous.

My friend Sam's dad is an old British actor who has been around the block more than once in this business. One of his mottoes is "Just do the audition." Nike got wind of it and made a lot of money with that idea.

However, I have recently learned that his other motto is "Your career is not defined by the jobs you do. It is defined by the jobs you choose not to do."

So how do I listen to my gut about what not to do when my first impulse always seems to be to do nothing.

My friend Rebecca says that she thinks it's the jobs that make you want to cry that you should take. True. But I think that refers to the challenge of the role or the play itself, not the challenge of trying to arrange babysitting. The thing is, lately, I'm not sure if I can tell the difference.

Lately, I just feel like a Knee Jerk,.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Smarty Pants Preschool Update

Wait listed.

No joke.

My 2 1/2 year old daughter was just wait listed.

I wrote a comment about it on someone else's blog and actually typed "weight listed."

Think that means something? Not sure what, if anything. Maybe I'm putting too much weight on all this even though I keep saying it's crazy and doesn't matter and what the heck is wrong with New York.

Or maybe I just need to start the Fat Flush. Which I appear to be doing tomorrow.

I'm pretty sure that no one should be wait listed before the age of four.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Calling All Artists- Win This House Essay Contest

A Facebook Friend who is also an actress (and a brilliant one at that) posted this link today on her Facebook page and I had to blog about it.

Are you an artist? Are you longing for an artistic home? A couple from Maine, a musician and an illustrator, realized that (in their words) they had one house too many. Their sweet little cottage in Sanford, Maine was sitting empty. So they want to give it away to a self-employed artist. Give. It away.

Here are the basic rules as they outline them:
The contest is open to anyone in the Arts, any field; musical, dramatic, visual, writing etc. if in doubt, ask. Entries will be limited to 4,000. when we reach that number the contest will close. If we do not reach 4,000 entries by June 1st 2010, we will close the contest and determine if the house can still be given away if not, everyone who submitted will receive a refund. We will post when the entry level is reaching maximum. We will post when the limit is reached and the contest is closed.

You must be at least 18 years of age at the time you enter the contest.

You must write 500 words or less expressing how the world will be a better place if you win this house. You cannot use names of people or names of specific towns. Essay entries will be anonymous. Pertinent information must be submitted on the separate form provided to insure anonymity. Spelling does not count, (we are artists after all) but content does. The essay can take the form of poetry, dialog or song verse if you choose.

I love everything about this. Follow them on Twitter to see how the contest is progressing. I know that I will.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

One Sentence Saturday

Our cat has a thyroid condition.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

The Difference Between Here and Ocean City Maryland

When we were on vacation last August we saw this show on Discovery Health called "Just Cook This." This dude, Sam Zein, who hosts it is a pretty unlikely host of a cooking show. He kept burning himself and dropping food. It was funny enough to get me and Doc Hubby both on board. On one episode we watched, he made a Mixed Mushroom and Goat Cheese Pizza that looked amazing. So we decided to try it.

We spent the next day playing arcade games in Ocean City, MD and stopped at a Stop and Shop or Fresh Pride or some equally massive food store to get the ingredients--a tabernacle to grocery shopping. A palace. A temple. A ziggurat. I needed an uncooked pizza crust, parmesan cheese, garlic, goat cheese, mushrooms, and one of those packages of prewashed, organic if possible, spinach. I hit the produce section first. Not a bag. Not a shred. Not a leaf of baby spinach. Not to mention organic baby spinach. Some limp nasty looking watery salads in a bag (with those inane zigzag cut carrots and radishes) were the only small greens. I had to buy a bag of the big nasty bitter spinach leaves and spend fifteen minutes removing every stem. All other ingredients hastily found. Goat cheese. Check. Surprise really. Pizza crusts? Took a while to find them in the refrigerator section, but once located, several different options. Pizza created. Delicious.

Cut to today. Superbowl Sunday. One year anniversary of Bean walking. I want to make the pizza again. I send Doc Hubby out for the ingredients. I figure, this is New York, so we will have many options of goat cheese and they will call it chevre and you can even get it low fat. Spinach for days. Prewashed. Organic. Indeed all is found. All...but the pizza crusts.Really? I eye Doc Hubby really skeptically. This is New YORK! I say to Doc Hubby. We have everything. Did you really look? He assures me he did. On occasion he can't find his own feet, so I am skeptical. Even a bit disdainful. Did you ask the guy? No need to revisit this tired and really not that funny joke. He hands me a Boboli. I scoff.

So I get all bundled up. I storm out the door and say I'm going to the ultra fancy neighborhood store "to get a pizza crust." After all we won't be watching "Extreme Makeover Home Edition" tonight. I want a yummy damn pizza. I go directly to the fancy gourmet joint about half a mile away. I pass three other grocery stores along the way. I stand in shock and look at the mini tart shells, whole wheat pie crusts, and filo dough. No pizza crust. I go to the next closest grocery store. The "big" one that's cheaper and not so fancy. Confident. I ask the guy. Strike two. I pass by the medium fancy grocery store that's only five blocks from home. Doc Hubby said he scoured it before getting the Boboli. I am starting to believe him. He has also checked the grocery store in the first floor of our building. There he got a mound of frozen pizza dough. "What will we do with that?" I exclaim in disgust? Do I look like I have a pizza stone??? Have you seen our cabinets?

I am ready to slink in and apologize. I buy jello chocolate mousse and Applegate Farms Hot Dogs as a peace offering. And then I remember. This is New YORK. The Italian Market. The fancy specialty shop two blocks closer to home. Doc Hubby was just constrained by his non-NYCness. Of course you check the specialty shop when looking for what turns out to be a specialty items. When you ask the man for the uncooked pizza crusts he will surely...frown and shake his head and not even speak. Yup. Friendliest city in the world.

I slink home. Five grocery stores. In half a mile. Not a single uncooked pizza crust. Are they too big? Do they take up too much valuable grocery store real estate? Or does everyone figure it's New York. Why the heck would you make a pizza when you can get a slice at five joints in the same ten block radius as the grocery stores?

I am using the Boboli tonight. Go Saints.

So that's the difference between here and Ocean City Maryland. That and there is no skeeball in my apartment.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Old MacDonald Had A Toucan

So we had the callback at the Smarty Pants Preschool today. Did I mention I paid them a one hundred dollar application fee for the pleasure of hauling my kid there for the third time today? In the snow?

It was fine. Really just fine.

But at one point they were all having rug time and singing "Old MacDonald" (yeah, pretty sure that's the same song they sing at all the non-smarty-pants preschools, too) and each time it was the moment to name an animal, the next kid in the circle got to come up with the animal and say what sound it made. The first kid said cow (totally easy to be the first kid--cow is such a gimme). The second kid said pig (and the Bean was the one who chimed in that the pig says oink--totally out of turn but still cute and game and okay annoying to that kid's Mama but still cute). The third kid apparently said horse but honestly only her mother could translate that one. Then it was the Bean's turn. "And on that farm he had a..." And the kid who just leapt up and oinked out of turn, paused, stared at the rug, and said very quietly "cow." Yup, and cow had so clearly already been done.

But they are nothing if not accepting at the Smarty Pants preschool so everyone mooed again.

Then we got to the last kid. "And on that farm he had a..."

"Toucan!" exclaims the kid.

Show off.

In case you were wondering, a toucan says "squawk."

Monday, February 1, 2010

Where's my friend God?

Conversation as I'm loading the Bean into her carseat on Sunday and leaving our mouse-infested, plumbing-free, mildew-ridden upstate fixer-upper.

Bean: Mama, can we go to the cabin?

Me: In a couple of months....I hope Poppop can hear you saying that.

Bean: Where's Poppop?

Me: He's in heaven with God.

Bean: Who's God?

Me: God is...God.

Bean: Where's my friend God?

Me: He's in heaven with Poppop.

Bean: Where is heaven?

Me: Up in the sky. the sky...

Poppop died a little over a year ago. Hewould be so happy to know how excited the Bean is about going to the cabin. I hope he can hear her. Yet another reason we can't sell the cabin.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Look What My Kid Did With Her Tub Crayons Post

I swear this was not my idea. I am a mere observer.
With toes like these? Smarty Pants Preschool here we come.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Things I Could Blog About

  • Food blog: I made Coq Au Vin for the first time last night. The Barefoot Contessa's recipe. My friend Rebecca made this for us once last year and she pulled the chicken off the bone before serving it and served it over egg noodles so I did too. I felt so Julie and Julia. Except I didn't use Julia Child's recipe. And my name is Wendy.
  • Mommy Blog: The Bean is sick. Third week of preschool. Only four other kids in her class. She cannot live in a vat of child-safe Purell....right? This will happen. This must needs happen. As must her first stomach bug. At which point I seriously fear instead of standing there and holding her forehead while she barfs into her princess potty, I will run the other way, trying desperately to stifle my own gag reflex. I often fear I am not cut out for this.
  • Actress Blog: What is it with the callback? I feel like I'm some kind of callback jinx. To be honest, I can't give you any details about the callback I went on today because I totally honestly had to sign a confidentiality agreement before I did the first audition. I am not joking. This has happened a few times in the past when I was auditioning to hock new products. One of them was that bagel stick thing that came with the cream cheese stuffed inside it. Bagelfuls or something. A complete breakfast in a cellophane wrap. I guess that was a pretty good idea. Has anyone tried one? So I went to the callback for the aforementioned secret thingy. The format was improv. No scripted lines. The first audition was just me and a camera and I felt all free and hilarious and said funny stuff about jello salad. So today I had new funny ideas about jello salad that I was all ready to say when they asked me (no the product is so totally not jello salad or jello in any form). And there were four of us called in at once into a room full of auditore--like twelve--most of whom were staring at computers. They were all sitting around a table, and we had to improvise together. And I got nervous and said the same old stuff about orange jello salad I said the first time instead of the new funnier stuff about green jello salad I thought up last night. And then I couldn't think of anything to say and I just kind of laughed nervously and the man in the suit running things had to prompt all of us and that so isn't a good sign I don't think. But honestly, the guy playing my husband was so funny and believable that when the audition started and the woman asked him a question to prompt him I totally thought it was real and that things just got super awkward in the room. I was fakey and kitchy and stupid. Still I hope they really liked the guy playing my husband because he was so tall that no one else could be his wife except me the Amazonian actress. Did I mention that I used to be in a Broadway play.
    When Allison Janney was first trying to get work, some casting director or agent notoriously said to her, "I don't know what to do with you...lesbians or aliens maybe?" Or wives of very very tall men.
  • Mommy Blog meets Actress Blog: So this is too good. Just as I was finishing that last sentence, I got a call from the Smarty Pants Preschool where we are applying for next year. (I love saying "where we are applying"--it's so totally snooty and obnoxious that I kind of get off on it). We're in the midst of preschool applications for next year and this is New York so it is, of course, insane. Where I grew up you "register" for preschool. Here, you "apply." So stupid. The Bean had a playgroup session for the Smarty Pants school today, and her Daddy had to take her because Mama was at the above discussed total waste of time callback. So the Smarty Pants Preschool just called. The Bean has a callback. Another playdate next week. If I mention our trip to Starbucks for Vanilla Bean scones on the way home, then this post becomes a triple Food/Mommy/Actress post.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Conan O'Brien Just Said...

To the young people: Please don't be cynical.

"If you work really hard, and you're kind, amazing things will happen."

I so want that to be true.

Course 33 million dollars makes it easy to be generous.

Oh wait...cynicism.

I still really want that to be true.