Sunday, November 28, 2010

This weekend my incredible husband decided to surprise me for our anniversary. Our actual anniversary was on Wednesday but with the holiday we decided to save anything big for Saturday. After much misdirection and a reeeeaaallly long car ride, we arrived at the first of a couple destinations.
Long (wonderful, romantic) story short, he took me to some local Maryland vineyards where we spent the day with wine, cheese and merriment.
But it was at the second vineyard where I saw "the parents I would like to be".
We stepped into the second vineyard and immediately knew we would be staying for a bit. Fireplace, extensive olive and cheese menu, beautiful artwork...the cheese menu. So when we were heading up to the tasting area and were told that the tour was just beginning we decided 'why not?'
The tour began right outside the front, let me preface this by saying that I was born and raised in Mn and lived for years in Chicago...but for Maryland, it was cold!I would say it was 35-40 degrees but the wind! Whoo!
So we started right outside the doors and continued up into the actual vineyard to see the dormant vines. Now if you haven't ever walked through a vineyard before let me say that it is not exactly easy terrain. First you're walking uphill. Second, you're walking through areas that have been hoed or whatever for the coming season. It's rocky, bumpy and not at all made for say, a stroller, no matter how off road it can go!
So there's this couple on the tour with us. First of all, the fact that they brought their mini me to a wine tasting at all earns my respect. Second, they just went with it. The owner of the winery kept checking on them as we trudged up the hill and they were just fine the whole way. They picked up that all terrain baby buggy and lugged it up the hill like nothing, baby wrapped up and all! And they kept going as we went down the hill across the property and into the barrel room. And when the babe got a little fussy, dad picked him up and was like "Hey little dude, look at all the cool wine shit"! It was awesome.
Yes, I realized that there were other factors involved. It was a pretty laid back tour, the baby was incredibly well behaved considering he was maybe 6 months and for all I know they could have tasted already and let the little buggar join them in one or two.
My point is though, I hope that I have the patience, relaxed nature and sense of humor that these parents have. Having a child did not keep them from doing the things they loved no matter how much of a hassle it seems to just bring the kid along. In a day and age where it seems to take an hour and a half just to get a kid strapped into a carseat it was nice to see that this did not deter them.
That is the parent I want to be.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Tis the season.

Starbucks Red Cups. Aaaahh... Now I know the holidays are here. I can put up my tree and I don't have to fight my year round pumpkin spice addiction.
My husband hates Starbucks, he hates everything it represents. I have tried to join him for many reasons. Money, the price keeps going up and I swear their cups get smaller. There are a lot of local coffee shops that I would prefer to support. you know how much a frickin latte is?
But the moment I spot the red cups I am taken in, to another time and place. Really, don't laugh.
For some reason I am standing outside a Chicago church waiting to get in for rehearsal, drinking a Gingerbread a red cup.
While I hate the corporate scheme-yness, I can't help but admit that I am suckered in every year. To me, those red cups are a celebration. It's a small pleasure that helps remind me that my favorite time of year is just around the corner.
While I will admit that I am bit disappointed in this year's red/white snowy scene (there's a little too much white for me) I still walk in on my once a week trips (I try and keep it to a minimum if I can help it) and spot those red cups and my head starts swimming. How many days til Thanksgiving? Christmas? 2011 is gonna rock.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

So I am gonna try something a little different with this blog. It dawned on me today that I blog a lot about the little things in life. In fact, that is typically what inspires a blog out of me, something little happens and I notice it and think "Shit, this could make a cool blog!".
So what I want to try and do is make that the theme of this blog. Now don't get me wrong, there will be days I need to bitch about the state of the world and the idiots that live in it and really at that point you need to just get out of my way and let me go. But in this crappy world where people can't be who they wanna be or love who they wanna love. Where the scariest movies are the ones that could actually happen and where people are torn apart by needless, judgemental bullshit. I need a little bit of the little things in my here goes...again.
Booze. Let's talk about booze. Now, I'm a drinker, not afraid to say it. My husband's a drinker. My dog has been known to lick a little champagne out of my glass. We don't get hammered and puke everywhere...we just like our cocktails.
It took me a long time to figure out what I like to drink. I am convinced most people who drink spend the majority of their 20's figuring out "their drink". Here's how my journey went..
I spent my underage years trying to impress boys by drinking the cheap beer they brought to parties. I didn't figure out that beer could actually taste good until I was about 27.
Once I could legally order a drink I was over beer and wanted something that "tasted good"...Amaretto Sours". Oh the years I spent drinking amaretto sours, the thought makes me shudder.
There was that summer where all I drank was Cafe Zinfandel...if you don't know, don't ask.
Then I started really honing.
I liked wine, I knew that. I liked champagne (you couldn't grow up in my family and not). I ordered a martini once to be cool. Martinis are a funny thing. I mean, come on, it's just vodka (or gin). I think people who can drink a straight up martini are badass. Most folks I know like to mess with them a little...add some cranberry here, a little chocolate there. Me? Put all the olive juice you can find in it. I like them dirty. Not because it sounds cool but really, I love salt!
As I age I really do pick and choose what I want to drink. I only drink dark beers for the most part. Dry red wine, crisp white. And the occasional cocktail which changes like my hair color.
For a long time it was Jack and coke and then Jack and diet coke, the dirty martini of course and last summer was the "skinny girl margarita" which is essentially tequila.
Lately though it's been bourbon. Maker's Mark (or the cheaper Early Times) Mint Julep bourbon. It's smooth, a little sweet and just plain fabulous.
So Sara, what about this blog screams "the little things in life"? Let me tell you.
Today, this rainy yucky day, after cleaning, working and cooking, I decided to do a little something for me. I ran a bath and poured a fucking bourbon.
That's right! I took a late afternoon bath with a big old bourbon. And I loved it.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Ok, so, Ty and I both work with kids....I mean really work with kids. Ty teaches 5 days a week at a Special Needs school and once a week spends his evenings with a speech therapy group.
My schedule on the other hand is a little more erratic as my classes go in sessions. I have weeks where I am only directing kids once or twice a week to tech weeks where I will have one class and go straight into a tech rehearsal with another class...everyday. Lately I have taken on a little more at work. I recently taught 2 preschool classes (both culminated in a very cute musical performance involving a giant hand rainbow) and am currently in the middle of directing 2 productions of Oliver and teaching a middle school audition class. On top of all of that sometimes I teach all day workshops. Usually they are centered around a particular show or movie musical and the kids learn songs, dances and participate in related theatre games and crafts(that's a 7 hour day with no break...and I usually do a couple of hours of before and after care). I do not complain about any of this! I love my job. Are you kidding me? I actually get to make a living in theatre and while it is not always me performing I get to work every aspect. That being said a life in any kind of theatre is hard and sometimes the mixture of class, workshops, emails and not enough coffee creates the perfect storm.
Just the other day. I was asked to do a workshop. Knowing that I also teach a night class I said, "What the heck? I can sleep in tomorrow". By 4:30 I was hurting knowing I still had 30 kids that I had to corral and finish blocking the show. I got in my car with a coworker to pick up dinner, I pull out of the parking lot, who knows what happened...did a car pull out in front of me? Did a soccer mom not know how to back up her minivan correctly yet? Did I just spontaneously become afflicted with tourettes? I'll never know...doesn't really matter.
"What the fuck?" The words came flying out of my mouth. "Goddammit"! It felt so good! "Shit", cock sucking motha fucka!"
As I have stated many times in this blog. It's the little things that make me happy. And nothing made me happier yesterday, after spending 9 hours with kids and knowing I would spend another 2 1/2 with them, than to swear. Curse! Take the lord's name in vain! Profanity! Blasphemy! Cussing! Ooooh, I love it all!
In the right atmosphere of course.
I have never been afraid to swear or taken much offense by it. But dammit when you work with kids you really gotta check yourself before you wreck yourself! Sometimes it takes a lot, every fiber of my being in fact, to NOT scream out a profanity when a child accidently whacks you in the face with a prop. Or forgets his line after you've fed it to him 12 times, or is just being downright disrespectful.
It is hard teaching kids. Really hard. But when you've bottled it up all day it feels really good to get out a good curse word!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

I have been trying to de-stress my life lately. Money probs, job probs, life in general probs...that can put a lot on a girl's shoulders! So, I am getting better at saying no, standing up for myself and making choices, while very adult and depressing, that will help me get what I want.
But sometimes none of that helps. I can get very overwhelmed, scatterbrained and emotionally drained. We work 4 jobs and never have enough money...who does right? We need to move closer to one of those jobs to save money, of course we need money to move...well, I guess it could be worse, right?
Which is my point today. Today I had a lovely moment of noticing the little things, my favorite!
I've never been terribly outdoorsy. I don't camp and I am not much of a beach person. What I am is a porch person. Porch/deck...whatever you wanna call it...something attached to my place of residence that I can sit out on and read, eat, drink, spy on my neighbors, etc. My husband is a porch person. My dog is a porch...well, dog. Thank goodness we have had really great porches in all of our apartments together. In fact, it is usually one of our deal breakers when looking for a place to live. We had a nice "back porch" at our Chicago apt. Right outside the kitchen door overlooking Grace Ave.
But here, in the glorious Epping Forest (yes, I live in a neighborhood that is referred to as a forest, I'll get back to that)we have what I can honestly say, with the exception of my parents deck, is the BEST porch...ever!
It runs the whole length of the apartment and there are two different ways to get to it...through one of two sliding glass doors in either the living room or the bedroom. It could probably easily hold 15 of our friends at once! I love it. We have a card table out there and my husband and I have been known to spend hours out there eating, reading, talking...AND sometimes the clubhouse in our neighborhood has parties and we can hear the music from our porch!
So, yes I live in a more "upscale" neighborhood in Annapolis. Now, WE are not so much upscale, I am sure we live in the ONLY apartment in the 'hood. The "Forest" has been around for about 30+ years and it is filled with the residents from the beginning of time (our landlords) and the Richie Richerton's that moved in and built up their multimillion dollar houses and blocked all the best views of the river (sometimes I have strong feelings). Along with the ginormous houses, these people also, obviously, have incredible porches. Multi-level, indoor, outdoor,indoor and outdoor, you name it! What's wrong with this? Nothing. Except that I never see anyone sitting on them.
Today on my walk I started thinking about that. Now I know these people work hard AND I KNOW some of them don't work at all. Why not sit out there? Is it cause they work too hard? They are on vacation too much? They don't appreciate the porches?
It got me thinking about all my stress surrounding my jobs, etc. I thought about how I never feel like I get to appreciate any of the money I make since I seem to be giving all of it to bills and such. Then I started thinking about that statement, something about "working hard enough to really have time to appreciate what you've got".
Well I work hard, I don't make a lot of money,I do have some extra time off these days (not that I really want it). I am not looking for pity or any sort of handout, honestly, I just started thinking about it.
I don't have enough money to sit back and really relax but I do have this porch that I really appreciate and just enough time to sit out there and read a book. And that made me smile today.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


Ahhhh...vacation. It's relaxing, rejuvenating and just plain good for the soul. Of course I couldn't tell you when my last real vacation was!
That being said today started 2 full days off for the first time since at least I am thrilled and taking full fact I feel like I am on vacation. Let me give you a little tour of my day thus far.
7am-I wake up as my love leaves for the day. I get out of bed to take care of some morning bathroom rituals and promptly head back to bed where I read one whole chapter in my book before going back to sleep.
10:30am-I wake up for the day. It is cold and rainy. I make coffee and check email.
11am-Discover that there is a Law and Order: SVU marathon on...I park my self on the couch for a good 2 hours.
1pm-I've seen this SVU 12 times so I head to Target and then to get my haircut.
3pm-Back in the arms of SVU and lunch.
4pm-Inspired by a friends facebook status, I decide to take a bath and read my book. Now she apparently had coffee (maybe with her bath or perhaps before). I decided to up the ante and make a frozen fruity vodka cocktail. There I sit, imagining I'm in a hot tub with my drink and my book...I immediately text a friend to make her jealous!
Now I plan to check the next episode of SVU before starting to plan dinner (tacos!) and Glee!
Don't get me wrong, I did in fact get some laundry and other little things done around the house. But I promised myself that I would take advantage and try and relax for 2 whole days! And that is exactly what I am gonna do!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Busy, Busy, Busy!

My goodness it has been awhile! And here's why.

In the past 5 months I have directed 3 shows (all High School Musical for elementary schools, I am in the middle of the third and FINAL!), worked two jobs (one in Annapolis and the other, in and around Columbia) and I have been in 3 shows myself (currently in the middle of a Pippi Longstocking run). Whew!
So, not only have I been feeling like a neglectful wife and doggie mom but I have also run myself into the ground a little...I mean, for God's sake, my castmates went out for sushi last night and I declined, thrilled by the fact that I might actually make it home before 9:30!
Why Sara? Why would you do all of this....especially the 3 shows that are voluntary...the ones that you DON'T get paid for?
I love it. I am finally in a place where I really, really like my job(s). Now I am nowhere close to having my life figured out BUT...I get to sing, teach kids about theatre, sing, get a bit of a workout on a daily basis and go to sing!
I am also learning to say no...sometimes. I declined the delicious sushi for a couple of late night hours with my husband and dog. Of course last weekend after an audition in Washington D.C. I was tempted by, and gave into, a night in Georgetown with one of my best boys!
So life is good.
Oh and if you are anywhere near the Columbia, Maryland area in the next few months come see me in Pippi Longstocking (this weekend only!) and as Rona Lisa Perretti in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (opening mid April!).

Sunday, February 7, 2010

The Blizzard of 2010...duh-duh-duuuuuuh!

OK, so I can hardly type because I'm pretty sure that I've developed rhumetoid arthritis from all of the shoveling. Here is what's happening.
It's the apocalypse....SNOW-pocalypse. Or as the President of the United States put it...SNOW-mageddon!
Dear lord. I will never make fun of Marylanders and their Chicken Little weather freak outs again I swear, just please stop with the snow!
I have already missed a day and a half of work and I will miss work tomorrow. The cabin fever is making me insane and broke...and an alcoholic! My whole body hurts from shoveling and I'm going to kill someone!
In case you live under a rock...or somewhere where life is warm and beautiful and you don't give a crap about the rest of the world, the D.C. metro area got some snow this weekend. In fact, we got almost 2 and 1/2 feet of fricking snow! The entire state of Maryland has shut down. It started on Friday morning, we had a blizzard warning all of Saturday and finally at about 5 ish Saturday evening, after 30 straight hours (!) the goddamn snow stopped.
It is now Sunday late afternoon and we are finally able to get out of our driveway after hours of shoveling. Except we can't go anywhere because there is a DRIVING BAN in Annapolis!
All that being said, we never lost power, I made some kick ass chicken rice soup and we were smart enough to stock up on essentials.....TP, wine, beer, coffee and snacks.
So we have read a lot, taken a lot of baths, had a fire and found drinking games for some of our favorite movies. Not the worst weekend ever, I guess.
And now we're prepared for Tuesday...when another foot of snow is expected. Awesome.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

My heart is breaking tonight. As I sit, cuddling with my little baby Tootsie I am all too aware that my father in law is at this very moment, having his German Shepard, Trixie, put to sleep after 10 years of devotion.
It is a very helpless feeling knowing that someone you love is going through something so hard. I have no idea how I will make it through the inevitable day, a long time from now, when I will have to make that horrible decision.
It has not been the easiest 6 months for my father in law, or any of us for that matter. If you weren't already aware, Ty's mother passed away last July after a 7 year battle with Ovarian cancer. I can't even fathom losing my mom at this point in my life. Having to watch my husband go through that was nothing less than devastating. I adored my mother in law. I always said I got really lucky in the "in law" department, I mean, come on, if anything she gave me the love of my life! So not only was I losing someone I loved, cared for and admired but I had to also deal with the helpless feelings of not knowing how to support Ty.
We made it through the summer, somehow, hand in hand. We changed our focus from a move to Chicago to supporting Ty's family here.
As the holidays approached we braced ourselves. It was difficult to say the least. Every tradition, song, ornament a memory. We did what we could. We went to church on Christmas Eve as Sue would have wanted, instead of party hopping on New Year's we decided on a quiet night on the bay with Ty's dad, a bottle of champagne and a movie. And on New Year's day, the day of the Cobb's annual open house, we all made it a point to be together as the open house was cancelled.
We didn't do these things because we had to, we did them because we needed to and it was right to do them.
I cannot imagine the pain of losing my partner. Nor can I imagine losing my dog. My heart breaks for my father in law who has had to endure both in the last 6 months. I can only hope that we can provide even a little support to help with these losses that have affected us all.
It has taken me awhile to be able to write about losing Sue. I never knew what to say or how to say it eloquently on a blog. It took another loss for me to be able to put my feelings out there. I am not comparing the loss of a dog to the loss of a person but as an old friend once said to me, "Don't compare pain. Pain is pain."
I can only hope we can continue to support each other as a family. The days go by and someday the pain of these losses will seem less although it is hard to imagine how that could ever be.
I, myself, when caught in a moment of grief, will remember Trixie trying with all her might to catch up with Tootsie in the backyard, invigorated by this 13 pound mutt playing chase with her.
I will also remember the smile and utter joy on my mother in law's face while watching Ty in what would become the last show she would see him in.
That is how I will make it through.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Off the top of my head I can think of at least 5 or 6 movies I could watch over and over again. Goodfellas, Love Actually, St. Elmo's Fire, Groundhog get the point. These do not include the movies that I come across on t.v. and can't pass up. The Godfather, Once Bitten, Stayin' Alive. My point here folks, is that I find it rather easy to pick out movies to watch again and again. Movies are pretty mindless for the most part and it can be relaxing and somewhat comforting to review an old fave. I mean, for God's sake, St. Elmo's is such an all time favorite of mine that I actually refer to it as "my friends"! Really!
Anyhoo....My question to you...oh blogger reader..."Is there a BOOK that you can read over and over again?"
I have found very few. I can count on one hand, albeit I fill that hand, how many books I can/have read more than once. You want the list? You know you do...
Here we go
Talking to Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede - I read this book waaaaay back in the day. Apparently it is part of a series (who knew?) and I have never read any other parts of it. All I remember was a very fun, adventure filled fantasy tale of a young man and a fire witch...god, I wanted to be a fire witch! I loved it, I acted it out(!), I read it twice.
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson - I am pretty sure that the only reason I read this in the first place was to look badass in the eyes of some guy...but i loved it! It was funny, strange and took me on a crazy ride. I read it twice.
The last three I will lump together. Two words, reader. Ruth. Reichl. She is the editor in chief of Gourmet magazine, was the chief food critic for the New York Times from '93-'99 and could be my new favorite author. I was introduced to the first of her memoirs on my honeymoon by Ty's aunt, Tender At The Bone. I flew through it and on my return to normal life I promptly purchased her next two.
Comfort Me With Apples
Garlic and Sapphires

I am currently reading Garlic and Sapphires for the second time and really that is only because I very recently reread Comfort Me With Apples and I feel that I should not overstay my welcome by reading it for a third time in less than 2 years. Comfort Me With Apples is my favorite out of the three but they are all excellent. She writes about food and traveling, love and loss and she does it all with care and wit. She is funny and self deprecating and I adore her. I want to go where she goes and eat what she eats. She has incredible ways of describing food. 'Translucent', 'The bird tasted wild and funky, with that high, almost electric note you find only in birds that have never been caged', and she has referred to wine more than once as 'the garnet liquid'.
AND(!) every one of her memoirs is peppered with recipes (not that I've tried any...yet). Oh, and you don't even have to read them in order.
I know she has written other cookbooks and introductions to other author's books. She has also written another memoir, Not Becoming My Mother and I have not heard great things. For now I will stick with the three I love. If you love food, as I do, and love really good writing, I encourage you to check them out. Enjoy.