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

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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.

POTUS

My first week at Sister Act has been a whirlwind due to the nature of both the outgoing CM’s impending maternity leave and the fact that I jumped onboard a speeding train that had just barreled through Opening Night, many early morning tv press appearances, and Tony season madness; however, nothing could have prepared me for the VIP guest that would be in the house on the one-week anniversary of my employment.

 



Sidebar: So, most of you who know me know that I have an extreme love of the brilliantly genius Aaron Sorkin series, The West Wing. Thanks to owning the DVDs and to Bravo for showing 2 hours of episodes every morning for years, I have probably seen the entire series at least five times through, and still. if I knew I could find it on tv right now, I would turn it on and watch it all over again. Game on!

 

I only quote The West Wing now, as it was the only experience I could draw from to welcome the President of the United States to Sister Act Thursday night.

No, not Martin Sheen. This President:

Um, how incredible is that? From a sheer logistics standpoint, it has been incredible the number of details that come into making appropriate arrangements, and though I am only on the cusp of the arranging, it is beyond exciting. And neve-wrecking. And a million conference calls, and lists, and id badges, and lists, and moving things, and draping things, and words such as “lockdown” and “sweep.” Excitement. The most mind-boggling thing is that they don’t really tend to share many details with you until the absolute last minute, for security reasons, so we found ourselves in several dressing rooms the night before the event saying, “ok, so, turns out, they will be commandeering this entire side of the dressing room towers after intermission, so please check in with our amazing wardrobe staff to see how they have completely re-choreographed all of your Act II quick-changes and where they will be setting up your makeshift dressing rooms for the evening” to several of the principal actors in our show.

All in all, thanks to the flexibility and brillance of our outstanding company, the event went off amazingly well. To be honest, I didn’t actually get to attend this epic performance of Sister Act, as it appears four days isn’t enough time to be vetted with the Secret Service, nor was there any need to have three company managers on hand with all of the extra people milling around backstage, but just knowing POTUS was there was an awesome feeling indeed. Also, the stage right dressing rooms now have signs on them that read “POTUS Holding Room.” Game On.

Cell Phone Meltdown

My beloved Blackberry Curve 8900 is barely squeaking by these days. I’m but a few short weeks from being able to upgrade it, and I am truly at a loss for what to do. Before you write it, no, I don’t want an iPhone. I’m happy with my T-Mobile (or, maybe soon-to-be ATT) service, and I’m not looking to change. Plus, I just can’t get onboard with the iPhone keyboard. Say what you will about adjusting to it, but I’ve had my iPod Touch for about five years now, and it hasn’t happened yet.

That being said, my problem is that T-Mobile has on it’s schedule for “this summer” the newest Blackberry 9900. This is ideally the phone I’d like to get; however, this morning, it took me 4 hours to finally get my phone to turn on and deliver my email without freaking out and resetting itself. Now, that I’m back in the workforce, this just won’t cut it.

So, do I play the waiting game – willing my poor Blackberry to hold on for dear life? Or do I settle for the most current BlackBerry they have in stock now (BlackBerry Bold 9780)?

Or, OR, do I go completely rouge, throw my incredible sense of brand loyalty out the window and purchase the newest Droid – HTC Sensation 4G. I mean, I already like the name of the phone in its total theatricality. But, the sense of guilt I will have leaving my beloved BlackBerry might be too much to overcome.

Sigh, I realize this is a first world problem, but considering that yesterday, my BlackBerry shut itself down at noon and didn’t manage to reboot itself until about 6pm, it is very much on my mind as I’m afraid it won’t last the first weekend I’m flying solo at the theatre, and I just can’t risk that!

Anyone have any suggestions or suffer serious guilt from breaking up with your favorite brand loyal item?