Monday, February 28, 2011

A side note: on The Biggest Loser

I've mentioned this briefly before, but I just want to make sure you all understand the scope of my obsession.

I. Love. The Biggest Loser.

Since my plans for the day were ruined (SNOOOOOW) you can bet your bottom dollar that I will be watching more than one episode on Hulu of the Biggest Loser. Thanks to my Hulu Plus subscription, I have every episode of every season, ever, at my disposal. I watch it while I work out, while I do the dishes, while I stretch, and while I clean the bathroom. It's basically the best show ever.

The problem here is not that I love the show. The problem isn't even that I really want to be on the show but I unfortunately (or fortunately if you're going to be all reasonable) do not qualify. (Apparently they don't want dancers who exercise regularly. Whatever.) The problem is that now that I've accepted that my dream of being a contestant on The Biggest Loser will never be a reality, I've turned my focus on the people I know who would qualify. I find myself sizing up friends and acquaintances and trying desperately to hold my tongue when I realize with excitement that they are totally big enough to be on the show! I have really have to hold myself back from running up to them and asking them to go apply right now!

I know, I know. I'm a terrible person. These friends would probably be embarrassed if I suggested such a thing. So I haven't. I've been good. I've held it together.

 But seriously, that show looks like so much fun.

Weekend of Mayhem

On Friday Ricky and I packed up our bags, cleaned the apartment, and jumped on a train to Portland for a weekend away in celebration of our five year anniversary.

When we got there, we did the first thing any normal, adult couple would do upon arriving in a new hotel. We jumped on the beds.

We also took part in a Walk for Choice, the national campaign dedicated to supporting Planned Parenthood and a women's right to choose. My friend Katya helped organize the Seattle walk (which had a huge turnout! Go Katya!) and I was really disappointed that we would be out of town for the big day. Luckily, we exited our hotel Saturday afternoon and ran smack into a chorus of rabble-rousing pro-choicers. So, naturally, we walked with them a little ways.

There was also an extravagant amount of eating and drinking. The hotel we stayed at (the super hipster Ace Hotel) was attached at one end of the lobby to a Stumptown Coffee shop. The other end was attached to Clyde Common, a very snazzy bar and restaurant. For those of you who don't know, Ricky's dream is to one day own his own bar and the bartender at Clyde Common just happens to be Jeffery Morgenthaler, a well-known bar tending blogger and one of Ricky's heroes. He was very nervous and kind of star-struck, but I forced him to ask for a picture. Jeffery was very gracious, as I knew he would be. 

All in all, it was a much needed weekend away. We screeched back into town just in time to watch the Oscars at my parents house (where there was more extravagant eating) and now I'm ready to get back to the daily grind of schlepping drinks and doing dances.

Oh. And some disappointing news. Tomorrows post was supposed to be really exciting and now it's not. At the end of Red Ranger's run (the show I did with Book-It at the Seattle Children't Theater) the producer informed us that they believed our little original musical had legs, and that its future might include stages outside of just Seattle. We were of course very excited. What this meant for us, however, was that our voices were needed to make a recording of the shows songs. Today was supposed to be the day that we traveled to Arlington to a fancy recording studio and laid down the tracks. Unfortunately, because of STUPID SNOW, we had to cancel at the last minute and hope for a time to reschedule. I'm super bummed. Bummed because not only was a going to be able to see the whole cast and band together in the same place again (a rarity in the world of theater), but because I was going to get to cross off one thing on my big list of life goals: to be on an Original Cast Recording. sigh.  Hopefully we'll get things rescheduled soon, but for today all my big plans are out the window and I'm a little sad. 

Monday, February 21, 2011

And then my feet withered away and died.

Oh wow.

I ended my last post with the promise to write a longer update the following day and here I sit, nearly a week later, breathless from the whirl of long nights and late mornings that just occurred. This new job reminds me of a certain Fourth of July celebration of my youth. I was standing on the dock at Lake Meridian with my best friend Jennifer and her dog. One second I was looking up at the sky, marveling at the colors and smoke, and the next second, with one tiny shift of weight in the wrong direction and a quiet splash, I found myself submerged in the murky waters flailing around and searching for the surface. And like that surprise swim on a night filled with barbecue hot dogs, Capture the Flag, and sparklers, this job is leaving me gasping for air and giggling at the absurdity of it all at the same time.

Cocktail waitressing (or to use our very PC official title, beverage serving) is a trip. The shifts are long, but the hours fly by. Walk though your section calling for drinks, run back to the service well to gather non-alcoholic orders. Make the coffee, get the water bottles, fill the glasses with cokes - one straw for regular, and two for diet. And don't mix them up! We don't have dish washers either, so do a load of dishes while you're back there. Run to the bar and punch in your order. Garnish the drinks (properly). Get everything on your tray and balance on one hand while weaving through crowds of gamblers celebrating victories or reacting to big losses. Remember who had what and where they were seated amidst the vast ocean of slot machines. Take payment and make change in your head. Don't drop that tray. Collect empty glasses. Repeat.

And all that in heels.

Each day has gotten easier, and there are some pretty cool perks to working in such a huge place. There's a 24-hour staff cafeteria that serves all it's food for free. There's a super sweet uniforms headquarters (which I keep referring to as the costume department) that is very high-tech. You swipe your badge and there is huge machine that finds your uniform bag among the thousands of uniforms and and sends it zooming down a shoot, right into your hands. I'm very entertained by this.

There are some sucky things too. My feet are killing me. They look like swollen little sausages by the end of every night and ibuprofen only helps a little. I've been assured that I will get used to this. Also, I don't get home until almost 3:30 am, meaning I only get to see Ricky while he's asleep. But those things are minor annoyances in the larger scheme of things. I just keep reminding myself that it's temporary. I just keep thinking of the bigger goal.

Today was my first day off in five days and it was perfect. Ricky was home from school since it was Presidents Day, so we spent it lazily roaming about the neighborhood. Ate baked eggs, coffee and fruit at Oddfellows. Browsed Elliot Bay Books and made two purchases each. Read our new finds on the couch together. Slurped pho down the street for lunch and went sale shopping at Urban Outfitters. Had a good nap. Ricky worked on  homework. I'm blogging. I can hear the rain outside my window and Ricky just picked up his guitar. I'm happy.

I agreed to choreograph a musical in Kent, I'm starting rehearsals for David's Northwest New Works piece, continuing voice lessons, and I still have weekly rehearsals for Redd Legg, so things are getting busy around here. However, I expect to get back on a regular blogging basis now that I've acclimated to the new sleep schedule. So don't fret.

Now to eat some cereal for dinner and cuddle.

Happy Monday.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Bits and Pieces

I have ten tiny minutes to jot this down, but I feel like I've been MIA lately so I wanted to get something out into the blogosphere, if only to put my mind at ease. I meant to write a post last night, but somehow time got away from me (read: Ricky made me a margarita.). Hopefully tomorrow I will have time to write a longer post, but for now I will leave you with some snippets.

The Weekend: was quiet. Rehearsal, dinner with a friend, the usual. On Sunday morning Ricky and I decided to have a little adventure out in Fremont. We went to Roxie's diner for brunch and then out to the Fremont market for knick-knack hunting. Ricky started to feel nauseous, so we cut our adventure short. He kept assuring me he was okay, but we got home and he promptly threw up. I mentioned earlier that I hate vomit. I have an honest-to-God, have seen a therapist for two extended periods of time in my life, phobia. So this was not fun. We both needed a nap to recover.

V-Day: Was also quiet. For the third year in a row we went to Zeeks Pizza, and then saw the King's Speech. We like to keep our Valentine's day simple because our anniversary is February 25th. So we do the big fancy stuff when the restaurants are a little less crowded. It was fun and relaxing, and when we arrived home, we found this little note taped to our door:

I stuck it on our kitchen bulletin board for all to see, because it makes me so happy. It's from Jo, the friend who got me the new job, and her boyfriend Chris. Drunk stalking is the best. 

Okay. This has been more than ten minutes. I HAVE TO GO. 

More on the new job tomorrow!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Nostalgic for tomorrow

Quitting Panera was surprisingly easy. I was prepared to work as much as my new schedule allowed, but they seemed quite indifferent to the whole matter to be honest. I'm working my scheduled shift tomorrow and then I'm free as a bird.

I watched An Education with Carey Mulligan this afternoon while folding laundry, and now I'm longing to do so much more than housework.

I want to travel to Paris.

And wear chic, glamorous clothes. 

I want cobblestone, spring rain, blossoms, literature, demure necklaces and leather satchels, afternoon tea, a real camera, schoolgirl pleats, romance and intrigue. 

I'm off to Oddfellows cafe to drink some tea, listen to Edith Paif, and read my Vogue before I meet Katya for dinner. It's the closest thing to Spring in Paris that Seattle has to offer. 

Thursday, February 10, 2011


As everyone now knows, I've been waiting on pins and needles to hear back from this new job. I filed paperwork during my interview to get a background check done and they told me it would be 4-6 days before I heard anything. Yesterday was the sixth day, and as I hadn't heard anything yet, I decided to give them a call to check on the status of things. No one answered so I left a message and that was that. Today was day seven, and every hour that has passed so far has left me feeling a teensy bit more discouraged. Until about twenty minutes ago, when they finally, FINALLY called and officially offered me the job. I'm so excited. I start orientation on Monday. Squee. 

I'm a tad worried about Panera, as I'm also supposed to work there on Monday as well. I've been wanting to put in my two weeks for, well about two weeks now, but I figured it would be really stupid to do that before I was officially offered the new job. I'm going to head over there right now and see if I can figure something out with them.

In all honesty, this has come at a perfect time in terms of quitting Panera. Big drama is brewing there and though it doesn't involve me directly, there have been attempts to drag me into it, specifically by people in management, and it makes me feel uncomfortable. I feel like I'm narrowly escaping some cray cray. 

I realize that this new job will have it's drama too, but obviously casino drama will be way more entertaining than bakery drama. 

So excited!

Also, check this out. Ricky pointed out this amusing stack of literature on my nightstand this morning. Specifically the first two books. 

I think it's funny anyways. ;)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Little teeny tiny updates

I feel like I should post because it's been a day or two, but I have nothing new in my brain to say at this moment.

Here is what is in my brain right now:

1. Still playing the waiting game on the new job. They said it would be 4-6 business days before I heard, and today is day six so I called them today just to check on the status of things and no one answered. A message was left.

2. I am getting my hurr did today and am very excited. It has been at least a year and a half since I've touched my hair with scissors and it desperately needs it. I've never seen it this bad. My ends are so fried that my normally curly hair has almost two inches of straight-ness at the bottom. I'm not sure if that paints a good visual picture, but that's the best I can come up with.  It looks really weird.

3. Speaking of things that look weird, check out this picture Jo sent me of Ricky and I. It was taken the other night at Shayda's birthday. I look pretty.

4. I attempted homemade gnocchi for the second time in my life, and while it was not inedible, it was not the best gnocchi ever. My Hungarian goulash also left a lot to be desired. My goal was to replicate, to the best of my abilities, my favorite meal ever; which is the lamb stew with gnocchi at Cantanetta in Wallingford. Obviously lamb stew and Hungarian goulash are not the same, but with how tough the meat ended up being, it wasn't even close. And while Cantanetta's gnocchi is like heaven melting in your mouth , my gnocchi was much more dumpling-like. Which wasn't bad - I think we all had seconds - but it wasn't what I was going for. Most of the time I think I'm pretty awesome at cooking, but then there are times like this that remind me I have a lot to learn still. My theory on this gnocchi thing is that there is more to it than can be gleaned from just reading a recipe. I think I need to borrow someone's direct-from-the-old-country Italian grandmother to teach me how to do it right. 

5. Speaking of recipes, would anyone be interested in reading about what I cook? I know my official cooking blog was a failure, but I think I could handle posting about it once in awhile. Let me know! I might just do it anyways, in spite of what the verdict is. 

So that's that. 

Sunday, February 6, 2011

I'll drink to that

This weekend has been a whirl of work, rehearsals, and lots of friends. On Friday night my friend Katya and I made plans to see a show at our alma mater, the University of Washington. Unfortunately, due to our perpetual lateness, we screeched in five minutes after curtain and were thus denied entrance. Undeterred, we decided to use one of Katya's many groupons to drown our sorrows in lemon drops and crab and artichoke dip. It was divine.

The night quickly descended into utter chaos, however, when Katya's clunker of a car (with a broken gas gauge) ran out of gas (obviously without warning) as we were driving to meet another friend. After a slow and graceful careen into a ditch, we abandoned the car with it's hazard lights on and went running around like maniacs in the Seattle drizzle looking for help. Luckily Ricky had just gotten off work so he played the part of the dashing hero and picked us up, drove us to a gas station to fill Katya's five-gallon canister, and then back to her abandoned car to fill it up. Katya and I parted ways after that, with me going home with Ricky so I could get get some sleep before work the next day, and her going to meet the practically-forgotten friend. I did find out later that she went to the gas station to fill the rest of her tank and promptly locked her keys in her car. Then the AAA guy who showed up to help her out broke her auto lock in his attempt to open the door.

What. A. Night.

Last night was far more successful. Shayda, an old friend from high school was celebrating her 23rd birthday and Jo (the friend who got me the new job) organized a super birthday extravaganza. Ricky and I were picked up from our apartment in a stretch limo containing a gaggle of friends and we spent an hour driving around Seattle, drinking champagne and generally being ridiculous. We were then dropped off downtown at the uber fancy Purple Cafe for a delicious dinner. It was glorious. The food and wine were to die for and I got to see a quite a few people I hadn't seen in literally years.

The birthday girl with her cake.

Party hats and champagne out of bendy straws.

Surrounded by friends, enjoying delicious food and taking in the sites of the city through the huge, two story windows was a perfect way to spend an evening. As I sat back, basking in the glow of the night, my eyes happened to fall on the window display of the Luly Yang store across the street. I pointed out the million dollar wedding dress on display and was happily ogling it when someone from our party exclaimed "It's Ashlie!".

Sure enough, the model accompanying my dream wedding dress was another high school classmate. I knew that she was modeling now, but it was an unexpected jolt to discover her gorgeous self hanging in the window of a designer boutique. And euphoric happiness from the moment before found itself sliding down a notch or two. 

Looking out at the beautiful girl lounging next to the beautiful dress, I began to feel tinge of sad jealousy. I didn't know Ashlie in high school, really. The only contact with her I ever had was during my senior year when I had the lead in our production of Guys and Dolls and she happened to be dating my leading man. I remember sitting in the cast room overhearing cast-mates idly gossiping that they heard Ashlie was unhappy with our copious amounts of on-stage smooching. No one ever mentioned it to me personally, so it didn't seem a big deal at the time, but as I gazed out at her larger-than-life poster I realized that at one point in my life the model in the window was jealous of me. Of little ol' me.


I have a wonderful family, loving boyfriend, and lots of fantastic friends. I have accomplished lots of things in my short life so far, and and I have many more goals and aspirations and exciting things planned for the future. I have many talents, I like my personality, and I'm happy with my body 95% of the time. But, gosh, it sure would be nice to be beautiful enough to travel the world, meet interesting people, and get paid by internationally famous designers to be photographed in their clothes. Color me envious. 

But! The weekend is not over yet and it's time for me to lock away my green-eyed friend. The apartment is a mess (again. Like always. Dishwasher, why don't we own you?!) and I have lots to do before I head over to my parents house for some quality football.

Oh did I say football? I meant commercial watching and snack eating. Silly me. Happy weekend!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

You and me, walk on, walk on, walk on.

It's another day off for me and today I'm mostly spending it trying really hard not to be pathetic. Forgive me for stating once again how boring it is to be broke and project-less, but it's really starting to drive me up the wall. I'm waiting eagerly for my background check to clear so I can officially start Mission Move to NYC, but until then (it takes 4-6 days) I've got to get off my ass and get things going. Get something going. Get ANYTHING going. I'm starting to feel like a broken record.

I stole this little survey from Amanda over at The Forever Endeavor. I just love me a good survey. Please to enjoy my answers while I wait for something more exciting to report.

I Am...feeling like my life is on pause right now. 
I do something exciting professionally. I am capable of so much more than I'm doing right now.  
I Have...a very painful zit in my ear. 
I Wish...that it was spring already. 
I Hate...boredom. 
I Fear...failure.
I Hear...The Postal Service. Reminds me of high school. :)
I Search... for the perfect find at my favorite thrift store. 
I Wonder...what the next few months will bring for me.
I Regret...eating that two-month-old fudge just now. 
I, food, good music, cooking - the list could go on and on.
I Ache...when I allow myself to acknowledge how much I miss my sister, Ansley. 
I Always...wear make-up
I the one who does the dishes. Ricky, you are such a sneaky chore-avoider. 
I Am Not...easily embarrassed.
I Dance...sometimes professionally.  
I Sing... a lot. Mostly show-tunes. 
I Never...go more than two days without doing some sort of exercise. 
I Rarely... listen to country music. 
I Cry...not often, but at surprising times. One second I'll be fine, and then something or someone will remind me of a memory or feeling and suddenly I can't stop. 
I Am Not Always... aware of my surroundings. Which explains why I crash into things almost constantly. 
I Lose...everything I put into my huge purse. It would eat my soul if I were silly enough to store it there. 
I'm Confused... about math. Any math. If it's numbers, I'm confused.
I Need... to make a hard copy of my list of goals and aspirations. 
I Should...clean that bathroom. It's been far too long. 

So tell me, who are you?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The winds of change are blowin'...

I don't want to jinx things, because am really superstitious about things like that, but I think I have a new job!

It's a weird one. Well... weird isn't the right word. It's a change.

A few months ago, my friend Jo told me about this new job she had. Ricky and I went over to see her new place and she was literally bursting with enthusiasm about how much money she was making as a cocktail waitress at Snoqualmie Casino. She began telling me lucrative tales about earning rent money with only two days worth of tips, (On her best night ever, she made $800 on just tips alone. Um, yes please?) and trying her darnedest to get my to apply.

Of course, at the time, all I could see where the negatives. It's so far away (about 45 minutes outside of Seattle), and I don't have a car. It's a casino. It's primarily night shifts and I like to keep those open in order to be able to do shows. Also, at the time I was freshly hired at Gordon Biersch, which was a minutes walk from our apartment, and I had high hopes that I would soon move up to server and start making the big bucks. So, naturally, I blew off her suggestions and continued to suffer as a poor starving artist.

Flash forward to last Thursday. I'm laying on my bed, dinking around on the computer, when Jo calls again telling me that the casino is hiring and urging me to apply. My first instinct is to politely decline - but then I start thinking of the positive outcomes of this situation. And let me tell you, there are plenty:

I could pay rent and buy groceries in the same month.
I could afford to take dance classes.
I could gain experience to get serving jobs closer to home.
I could afford to get a haircut(!).
I could stop feeling guilty for making Ricky foot most of our bills.
I could be financially independent. (Wouldn't that feel good?)
I could save money for our move to New York.
I could save money for our move to New York.
I could save money for our move to New York.

I could move to New York.

Plus, Jo lives really close to us so carpooling would be a natural option and the days we can't carpool I can use Ricky's car. And, if the tales she tells me about big tips are true, I would soon be able to buy a secondhand car of my own. Which would really come in handy this summer when I start working as an assistant and dance teacher at Stage Struck (a summer camp with performances and camps all around Seattle). Speaking of Stage Struck, I've been stressing about whether I'll be able to keep my job at Panera during the summer while I work that job, but if I worked at the casino I could do the camp during the days and continue to work nights.

Not to mention all the clothes and trinkets I've put off buying for the last two years. *sigh*

Jo drove me to my interview this morning, and as long as I pass my background test, I'm hired. I'm really excited. And nervous. And scared. I'm afraid working nights would make me less inclined to go out and audition, but as this season is coming to a close, it's unlikely that I would be cast in anything until next year anyways. I'll of course do all the seasonal auditions when they start rolling around in March, but from now until at least August my schedule is pretty clear. And I might as well be saving for New York instead of wasting my days working a crap shift for no money and napping on my days off. I might as well be doing something with my life. 

Just last week as I was walking home from work with only a nap to look forward to, I was thinking of how desperately I needed a change. Panera worked great for me while I was in Red Ranger, but now that it's closed I'm just feeling depleted and purposeless. Something needed to happen, and then literally hours later this job fell in my lap.

Funny how that happens. ;)

Also, the feminist in me is currently furrowing her eyebrows being grumpy, but the rest of me is really excited about the cute (albeit skimpy) uniforms we have to wear. It reminds me of growing up watching old musicals and dreaming about the day that I too would lead the glamorous life of a showgirl suffering through that slightly demeaning job while waiting to make it big. And meet my true love. Who is preferably Gene Kelley.

Like Kathy Selden.

Or the lovely Miss Turnstyles, Ivy Smith.

Although, I could settle for Frank Sinatra, a la Adelaide. 

As long as I don't go the way of one Miss Roxy Hart....

... I think I'll be okay. :)