Did You Feel That?

Hey blog fans! I’m sure most of you are used to my, um, sporadic blogging schedule, so it will come as no surprise to anyone that I haven’t updated in a month. To those that it does surprise, hey, have we met?

Anyway, do y’all remember when there was an earthquake here in NYC yesterday? I mean, seriously, I do consider myself somewhat of an expert now. I mean, to be fair, I slept through my very first earthquake. I was pretty upset when I woke up in Coventry that morning to realize that everyone else in the company had felt it, but I had totally missed it. At that time, I was like, whoa 5.2, that is some serious earth quaking. I fully believe that God in his heaven was like, heh, heh, heh, can’t wait for future Susan to see what I am capable of. Oh, hey 9.0 earthquake while I’m in Tokyo with a company of 50 (100 if you add the children’s chorus we picked up in Tokyo), yes, you have made your point, and I can see that 9.0 rocks way harder than 5.2. Oh, also, I would like to concede complete victory to nature after experiencing the 250 odd aftershocks in the five days following March 11. You totally win, nature. We humans are just along for the ride.

So, this is why yesterday while we were sitting at our desks and the building started swaying, I got an all too familiar feeling in my stomach. Confusion ensued though because I work in Times Square and not Hollywood. Yes, I realize that all you Californians laugh at our East Coast freak out to some 5.8 earthquake felt here in NYC because you guys are the kings of earthquakes, but I also feel that if all of a sudden we moved the sprawl of Los Angeles into a 1 mile radius and called it Times Square at rush hour and had to read all your Facebook postings of how f’ing hard it is to walk to work when tourists can’t seem to stop the practice of stopping eight-across and twelve-deep on the corner of 49th and 7th to read what’s on the TKTS board (hint: it’s NOT Book of Mormon) , then we’d have an equal opportunity to roll our eyes.

But, I digress. In any case, I felt the why-is-this-feeling-so-familiar-to-me swaying of 321 W. 44th St. and my heart raced into warp speed. Thanks to my former ROA pal who reminded me that all was okay since I was at home and everyone was speaking English! Quite a change from March. But I must admit that after Facebook confirmed that it was in fact an earthquake (like true New Yorkers, we tried to log onto ny1.com, but sadly, it was jammed. I totally needed my news from Pat Kiernan, my NY1 hero, who is on vacation, sadness!), I must say, I felt a very strange sense of “wait, how many of these did I go through in those few short days in Tokyo. How on earth did we survive that??” I mean, I immediately had to text my Joseph… ACM to say, “did you feel that.” Which was the phrase repeated most often in those days after the Tokyo earthquakes, as you were never quite sure if you were going crazy, or if the hotel / train / ground / Starbucks was, in fact, still moving.

We all eventually returned to our desks to laugh at everyone’s first “everyone’s ok” postings transform into super snarky and jaded updates for the next hour our so (or if you’re the producer of my show, the next three minutes upon which we promptly returned to our accounting and marketing duties), then people would just mention throughout the day, “hey, remember when we had that earthquake?”

Anyway, what a random New York event. I wonder if people will remember it like the blackout or the transit strike. Both of which were total ridiculous experiences to go through, but, as they tend to do, united us all as New Yorkers bonding over how f’ing long it took to get home that day…

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When it Rains, it Pours

I mean, seriously, isn’t it amazing how a day can run it its course from one place to another? I mean, maybe I’m being a little extreme, but today was one of those days where nothing big happens, but all those little things add up and suddenly you’re like, “um, when can I go back to bed??”

I started my day in an amazing mood. Like birds helping me get ready for work a la Cinderella-style amazing. I’m not really sure what spurred my good mood, but I’m prety sure most of it was caused by Spotify. I know that Google+ has launched, and I got on board like the techy-geek I am, but truth be told, I don’t really know what to do with it. But SpotifySpotify, I can get on board with. I’ve been reading about it on my geek bible blog Lifehacker for over a year now, so when it finally came over to the US, I hopped onboard (via an invite from Klout – who tells me I am an expert on puppies?!  Um, thanks Tully. My sister having a dog for two months has made me an expert – obvi) Anyway, Spotify uploaded all my music, synced it all to my fancy droid and was basically making me the happiest person ever all morning. So, I was hop, skip, jumping to work this AM, even stopping to give directions to two very lost people on my way to the subway. Running up the stairs with a good 45 min to spare before my 11am meeting, I was making amazing time. Time enough to grab some breakfast and an iced coffee on my way into the office when all of a sudden I was faced with the dreaded announcement + orange tape that there were no trains running locally into Manhattan.

WTF, MTA. Are you kidding me?! As I stood on the Astoria-bound platform (for all you non-New Yorkers, I was now waiting for a train to take me AWAY from the city, further into Astoria before being able to switch to an express stop and wait AGAIN for a train to take me into Manhattan), I texted my CM having just no idea how long it would take me to get to the city. The thought of grabbing a cab crossed my mind, but my history tells me that it would have just taken more time. An HOUR later (I should note here my normal commute is about 20 minutes), I was finally rushing toward Times Square and into my office on W. 44th St. Seriously MTA? Day ruined. It was 11:10am and I was totally late for my meeting. Ugh!

Have I mentioned how much I love my job? Seriously, I have enough stories about the shows I have worked on to fill a book (right, Mom?), and I feel the universe is finally rewarding my CM perseverance with an amazing opportunity. Not one that I want to blow by being 10 minutes late to a producer meeting! UGH, MTA!

In any case, I ran into the office and discovered the meeting had been cancelled. I suppose it was good news, but I was so frazzled by my commute that I was a mess. I sat down at my computer, and after having to update my computer access so I could update my QuickBooks file yesterday, could no longer access any of my network files. Seriously? No Quickbooks, no union reports, no anything. Cut to my phone ringing off the hook asking questions that I could only solve with network access, and I was just slowly descending into the depths of an irrational hysteria. I decided I just need a little coffee, to settle down into some sort of a work mode. I went to the kitchen, poured my coffee, added milk, took a sip and @(*$&!@(#&!#, the milk had gone bad – hold it just a second, why is everything in this fridge warm and tepid? In the Heights reference? Anyone? No one? (I feel I should mention at this point of my blogging, my computer/Spotify randomly, out of nowhere, started playing “New York, New York.” Awww, Spotify wants me to remember what I’m doing here during my rant of the ridiculous events of the morning! Thanks Spotify!!)

Anyway, to say the least, I was a hot, hangry mess. Sorry, Sister Act!

I managed to finally pull myself together. I got my drives remapped on my computer, my CM got everyone out of single user in Quickbooks, I printed checks, I stickered payroll labels, I finished union reports, and I filed workers’ comp claims, and most importantly, I ordered lunch! All in all, it turned out to be a very productive day, but it just never felt like it came together. Eventually, I headed to the theatre, where all was totally fine for a Wednesday night, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was totally out of my groove. I mean, all was business as usual, but I just felt like I couldn’t get it together. Don’t you just hate those days?

I was supposed to cross-train / run two miles today, and I just couldn’t do it. I headed home in the heat and was in my pjs in a record-breaking amount of time after walking though the door. Cousin Susan bought Coronas (actually Coronitas, since I’m in half-marathon training), and they totally won out the night (also, Golden Oreos, but let’s not focus on that). After the ridiculously horrid four mile run I had last night, it was a lovely night off. I have the day off on Friday, so I felt switching out my 2 mile run from today until Friday was the best thing for my psyche.

Naturally, after typing all these things out, none of them seem like a big deal. I suppose it was just that kind of terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days that we all have every once in a while. I will put off on the moving to Austraila part for now, but am fully heading to bed immediately to avoid any sort of Groundhog Day occurrence of this day again tomorrow.

Good night all from Astoria, where the N/Q trains are not running locally into Manhattan from 10am -3pm again tomorrow, so plan accordingly!

A Normal Sunday Night at Home

Just a snapshot of life here at the house of Susanx2:

I walk in from work. Cousin Susan is in the living room in her brand new dress from Bloomingdale’s in the dark watching a Lifetime Movie about J.K. Rowling.

I sit down on the couch and am crying in less than 5 minutes. Damn it, Cousin Susan! I can’t deal with her publishing her first book and getting off food stamps. She just loves to write! She went from poverty to one of England’s wealthiest people in three years. She created an entire world from her imagination while drinking coffee in Scotland. She succeeded against all odds. Tears, tears, and more tears.

Next: I need to order dinner, meanwhile, Cousin Susan is trying to rent a movie On Demand:

Cousin Susan: All I want to watch now is Harry Potter.

Me: I CANNOT focus on movies right now, I’m dying of starvation. Can I order a milkshake for dinner?

Cousin Susan: Oh, order me a soda

Me: What kind? Wait, I think I have arthritis in my left wrist.

CS: You don’t. I want a Diet Coke.

Me: It’s merely a matter of time before I get arthritis. Everyone in my family has arthritis. Wait, maybe I just slept on it weird.

CS: There is a marathon of Harry Potter movies on ABC Family right now, maybe we’ll just watch that.

Me: There MUST be something else on tv. Isn’t The Holiday on??

CS: I want to watch the Oprah: Behind the Scenes when JK Rowling was on.

Me: That isn’t on Netflix. I need you to calm down with the Harry Potter obsession.

CS: Is there anything about Wicked on Netflix. I want to see “For Good” from Glee on it.

Me: *cannot handle, but dying of laughter* I’m blogging this entire conversation.

CS: QUIT BLOGGING ABOUT ME, I like to remain a mystery.

We decide on New in Town starring my favorite person on earth Harry Connick, Jr. and also Renee Zellweger. I’m certain it’s a mistake, but, we can’t agree on anything else, since I’ve already seen The King’s Speech and all the Harry Potter movies.

Update: we made it about 12 seconds through the movie before turning it off. Outrageous Midwestern accents and a thoroughly horrific Renee Zellweger haircut. For the love of GOD Netflix. Could you please get your lawyers on getting the rights to movies on demand that people actually want to watch?? Infuriating.

Update #2: We next queued up The Fighter. We are nothing but women of mystery here in the 11106.

Travel Day Trauma

Has it really only been a week since I was lounging around on the shores of Lake Michigan? It seems like ages ago!! This week has flown by in a blur of flights, running, Kleenex, NyQuil, catching up with friends, Harry Potter, and the 100th performance of Sister Act. Not too shabby a week here in the city.

So, I last left you after Nick and I were stranded in the O’Hare Airport after our flight from LGA was delayed by a faulty weather radar. Not that I minded being deplaned by a mechanical issue, but it was beyond aggravating when we did finally arrive in Chicago.

To back up the trip, we left Astoria at the lovely hour of 4am (what?) and arrived with time to spare to our gate. I bought trashy books and magazines as I’m prone to do on vacation, and we settled into our seats a little loopy due to our early departure. Across the way from us, I recognized a friendly face! It was my pal Jason, who was traveling cross-country to load in a show for which he is the tech director. See, even New York City can be a small place in the early morning hours at LGA.

In any case, we finally were called to board the plane, and after MUCH confusion, we realized that there was an entire group of people on our flight that maybe won a contest if it was their first time to fly EVER. Seriously, I’ve NEVER seen such ridiculous chaos getting onboard a plane in my life, and I that is after spending two years touring the country for work. I mean, you know how they have that obnoxious red carpet loading zone for the first class fliers? There was this entire tour group of like 30 people standing in that line, and spilling over into the regular loading lane effectively blocking all entry to the gate. So, they begin calling boarding by groups, and it’s like no one has head of that before. The gate agent is having to explain on the PA how to look at your ticket for what group number you should be boarding by. It was so ridiculous. After much tussling and a group of seven breaking us up, Nick and I finally got on the plane.

And you would think that would be all, but of course not. We watched hysterically as people full on carried their luggage horizontally down the aisle of the plane, stopping completely when the overhead compartment just above their seat was full. There was no movement when the flight attendant told them there was space just a few seats down, “No, my seat is here. This is the space for MY bag.” Just so funny. Finally, two off-duty attendants had to step in a direct traffic. Who are these people on this 6am flight to Chicago?? The best part was that in some amazing scheme to throw off everyone, this plane’s rows were numbered 1 – 11, then 20 – whatever. There was this random woman just roaming the aisles looking for row 12. Insanity. Nick helped her out by telling her it was probably in the back of the plane. He’s helpful. I imagine my grandmother telling misbehaving kids on a flight to “go play outside.” HA.

In any case, after the most insane boarding process ever, we taxied out to the runway, only to sit for an hour, then returned to the gate, sat for another hour, and finally had to deplane because of a malfunctioning weather radar. I was fully already on the phone with United by this point, but as Nick and I returned to the gate area, we couldn’t help but think og what were all those other people going to do? They are going to think this is what flying is like all the time!! Amazing.

We finally were put on another plane, which naturally had to taxi for hours before taking off. I imagine it taxied just long enough so that when we touched down in Chicago and SPRINTED through the terminal, knocking kids over and pushing our way onto the bus, we arrived at the gate just at 10:03, which is when our flight to Green Bay was departing, and the gate agent was all, “you were supposed to be here 10 minutes ago.” I was like, “no, we were supposed to be her like 4 hours ago, but obviously that didn’t happen either.” Ugh, we had no choice but to take the 1:30 flight, which put us into Wisconsin a full 6 hours later than scheduled. Boo!

But, as you read earlier, Nick and I wasted no time getting into vacation mode at the Chili’s in the terminal, enjoying our Sam Adams at 11am. Love.

Next up, the actual vacation!

Delayed in O’Hare

image

Brutal plane delays / cancellations at LGA led us to missing our first connection. Then our second. It’s now 11:30 am in Chicago, and this is the only way for Nick and I to deal with the disappointment, after waking up at 4am to catch out flight that will now not arrive in Green Bay until 2pm.  At least we’re in Chili’s! Campfire Queso all around.

PS This is our second round. Holla!

Well, this happened this morning

Proof of Insanity – Philly Half Marathon – Signed Up!

Nothing quite like the Fourth of July to get you amped up to run 13.1 miles. It makes a little bit of sense though seeing as how many patriotic events happened in Philly! This will be my first trip to the City of Brotherly Love so expect many shots of me standing on the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art with my finishers medal when it’s all said and done! Thankfully, I have managed to talk three of my friends to do this race with me. Should be a great time if my legs don’t fall off halfway through the race!

Having a few people over tonight to celebrate the 4th. We keep hopping up to the roof to see if any of the Hudson River fireworks shoot up high enough in the sky to see them here in Queens.

Astoria Fireworks

Thankfully, just in case we don’t see any of the Manhattan fireworks, Astoria already gave us a great display on Thursday night, complete with a performance by the Astoria Symphony. The whole gang met up to hang out and watch the show. I know I’m super biased to my home neighborhood, but the fireworks display was pretty amazing!

The next day, after a blissfully short few hours in the office, I headed home and met Em, Nick, and company for a short bike ride into our next door neighborhood / up and coming hotspot Long Island City for dinner at The Creek and Cove. This is quickly becoming one of our favorite pasttimes, and this restaurant didn’t disappoint! So cute! We made all sorts of plans for the summer and shared some delicious pitchers of margaritas. It was a perfect summer evening!

Creek and Cove - Yay for outdoor patios!

Creek and Cove - How pretty of a night was it??

 

Saturday, I headed out to the theatre for the matinee. Then I did some SERIOUS damage at Lord and Taylor. Thanks Broadway paycheck! Then, met everyone back at the Broadway Theatre were the fam and friends were making a visit to Sister Act. Hooray! They all had a great time (of course!) and I was glad to be able to share my new job with the crew!

Sunday, I worked the matinee and did some work in the office, then was planning on heading to another house in the neighborhood for some pre-4th grilling. The weather didn’t quite cooperate, so we moved the party down a little closer to the heart of Astoria and our fearless friends grilled out on the balcony! We won’t let a little rain get us down.

In short, it has been the perfect holiday weekend with great friends, amazing food, and a little work thrown in to keep me honest. 🙂 Looking forward to getting ready for the 4th tonight! And on that note, I’m going to run a few miles to my friend’s apartment to feed his cat, then off to the store to start the shopping / cleaning festival before the party begins. Hope you all have a lovely holiday!

 

 

Local Night on the Town

So, after the excitement of our VIP Guest at Sister Act Thursday night, it was time to play catch up in the office on Friday as well as bid a fond farewell to our CM, who will be welcoming her baby boy sometime in the next month. She knows how to roll a send-off party – as she bought John’s Pizza for the entire office, as well as these amazing chocolate chip cookies from Ca Va. Definitely got my weekend started on the right foot.

After finishing up at the office, I headed to LIC for dinner with my Queens pal. We ate at LIC Market, which was so amazingly delicious, I could eat there every day. Does not hurt that I can jump on the E train right outside my office and be sipping my glass of wine at their relaxing bar in less than 15 minutes. My kind of restaurant. The waitstaff was friendly and helpful. The food was to die for. I even splurged on dessert, which I never do, but I could not turn down apples battered like donuts and sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar served with a vanilla dipping sauce. Incredible. The waitress told us they have an amazing brunch as well, so I am definitely counting the hours until my return there.

After dinner, we headed to meet up with Nick and Em at Waltz Astoria to see my friend Anne Mironchik play with her jazz trio (check her out streaming live from RSU’s Radio Program on Sunday, July 10th at 10am!) . She was brilliant as always, and even played one of my very favorite old-school musical theatre songs, “My Romance” by Rodgers and Hart from Jumbo. [EDITED: Just after this blog posted, I got a text from none other than my Queens pal whose father was actually IN the production of Jumbo. How about that for full-circle blogging?] Ah yes, I don’t know anything about that musical either, but it is one of my very favorite songs. Sadly, I don’t have video of Anne singing this song, but as a close runner up, here’s my favorite Broadway star singing it as a medley with another beautiful song called “Danglin'” by the contemporary musical theatre composer Maury Yeston:

Sigh, so pretty! Maury Yeston, it should be known, wrote one of my very favorite musical theatre songs ever, and when I found myself in a room with him during a reading of a new musical he was working on earlier this spring, it took just about everything in me to keep from making a total fool of myself over how much I love it. Randomly, I probably never would have known about the song had it not been for my high school boyfriend’s mom telling me that she had just seen a different production of the telling of the Phantom of the Opera story that she enjoyed so much more than THE Phantom of the Opera. My Andrew Lloyd Webber worshipping was at an all time high during my sophomore to junior years of high school, so I simply could not believe her whatsoever and immediately put the thought out of my mind.

But of course, after moving to New York, I stumbled upon a cute little cd entitled The Maury Yeston Songbook during one of my trips through the Broadway wing of the Virgin Megastore in Times Square (seriously, doesn’t everyone have a story about seeing that giant musical theatre cd collection all in one space for the first time? It was so incredible, that you almost forgot you were about to pay $18.99 for a cd – oh days before iTunes) and I was hooked. Also, Do you like how I assume everyone has a story about that Broadway section at the Virgin Megastore? Like, no one ever went in there to buy any other kind of music? My worldview is warped.

In any case here are Kristin Chenoweth and Ron Baker singing “Home” from Phantom (sadly, I couldn’t find find my favorite recording of Laura Benanti and Robert Cuccioli singing from the cd, and I’m not fancy enough to be able to upload mp3s for the blog yet, so we will allI  I will just have to make do).

When I hear this song, it pains me that I cannot sing above an Eb. It doesn’t stop me from pretending I can though. In any case, the lyrics to this song make me want to cry they are so beautiful – and really express what I feel about theatre and music and LIFE (dramatic):

All my life I’ve been waiting
In my mind, in a rocking
For my fancy to take the air
I would know the time

Tick and tock went my childhood
Father said I would know the place
Skin would tingle and pulse would race
As they do…It’s here! I’m…

Home, where music fills the air, and I’m
Home, where a thousand lovers cry
Swoon and sigh, and I’m
Home, Where ev’ry violin
Plays a treat as sweet as a honeycomb
Wherever music plays I know I’m home.

Here, where fables come alive, year by year
We forget our troubled nights, under lights
And each tear becomes a gentle tune or duet
Kept straight by a metronome…
And if I’m singing, then I know, I’m home.

Where ev’ry English horn
Makes me feel glad I’m born
And any woodwind trill
Excites a thrill that’s new!

The giant contrabass…
The great soprano’s face
Combine to make a perfect world
Far better than what’s outside.

Dreams–I’ve lived within my dreams
Now it sems I’ve awakened and they’re real
Pinch and feel! If one day
I walk upon this stage from these wings
And play underneath this dome
And if I sing with all my heart…
I’ll be home.

Phantom:

All my life to be waiting
For an angel to one day speak
Mouth goes dry, and my knees grow weak
At each word–each sound–
That voice–that music in the air
Ev’ry choice, ev’ry syllable, each note
How they float–and her tone!
A miracle of silk, spun to gold, unfolded in polychrome…
And when I hear it how I know I’m home

Who is this prodigy, who sings to only me?
She is as innocent and natural as a rose.
I’ll do her so much good, we two, I know we could
Combine to make a perfect world
Far better than what’s outside

Together:

Dreams (My dreams)
I’ve lived within my dreams now it seems
I’ve awakened and they’re real, if they’re real
If one day I (she) walk (walks) upon this stage
And play (plays) underneath this dome
And if I (she) sings with all my (her) heart
I’ll be…home.

“Home” from Phantom music and lyrics by Maury Yeston

So hokey, right? I don’t care. I love, love, love it and I’m fairly certain this blog has already ascertained that I am a giant mushy dork when it comes to music, so I feel no need to apologize. Seriously though, how did this entry turned into such a lovefest for this song? Oops. Digressions are fun! Special thanks to Mrs. Treat for enlightening me back in 1995.

In any case, back to 2011, it was a lovely evening indeed. I love that all of these things exist right here in my little borough. You rock Queens. After sending G back to Woodside, Em, Nick, and I ended the night at another one of my friend’s apartment watching the end of Aliens. Shockingly, I do not share my love affair feelings of music with creepy gross aliens and their super creepy egg babies. I spent the last half hour with my eyes closed. Ugh, just thinking about those guys makes my skin crawl. Listen, I know it was 1986, but those were Academy Award winning visual effects. Terrifying.

So there you have it, a night in my life combined with a musical history lesson into my soul. You’re welcome, America.