Saturday, March 29, 2008

Right to the very heart of it!

I have been chastised by at LEAST three people for not updating my blog more than once since I arrived back the the US of A. So, to you three people...seriously, get a life. No just kidding, you know nothing gives me more pleasure than to have people paying attention to me!

I'm back in New York for a blissful three weeks before conquering the United Kingdom again. Life at the office has been nice. I love my desk, and I love my coworkers, so that has been a welcome relief! We even escapd our NYS Department of Labor audit virtually unscathed. Not too bad! Next week is just more time cleaning up the books, and then, just maybe, I will have a week off!! I can't even imagine what I will do with that, but I'm sure it will include spending time pouring through the Theatrical Index for employment opportunites for when I return in July.

Also this week for the first time, I hired an accountant and now feel officially old. It's not that I think I can't do them myself still, but for the love, there's like 13 states in there, and I just can't be bothered with all that work myself. I keep telling myself it will be an excellent investment for NEXT year, when my taxes will be a total mess.

For now, I'm off to the outlet mall. With the UK not taking any taxes out of my paycheck, I feel like I have money to burn! I know, I know, the will surely take their tax money when I file next year, but as for right now...I need new shoes! Hope everyone is enjoying their Saturday morning.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Home Sweet Home

Oh for the love of all that is holy, it is wonderful to be back in Texas! I can't say it enough. Every morning I've woken up here at some horrifically early hour has brought a smile to my face just to remember that my comfy hotel bed is right here in Houston. It seriously makes me a happy person.

On Tuesday during the load in, I got up with the crew at 5:30, helped Jenna lug over the 7 wardrobe suitcases, made my last airport pickup of the week, then headed back to the theatre. It rained here all day on Monday, and was overcast Tuesday, so when I was finally ready to go outside after arriving here and getting all set up, I paused at the stage door, and asked Bryan, "Do you think the sun is shining outside?" Then we opened the door, and it was like I was in heaven! The sun was shining BRILLIANTLY and there was an amazing blue sky. It was the perfect Texas spring day. I can't tell you the last time I saw the sun like that, but it's been about forever!.

Life on the Pack continues to throw it's challenges at me. We had some sort of crazy sound thing on opening night that led to WAY too many hours of talking about EQ levels and compressors and the like. I mean, what? I was a marketing major for the love, remember that, pretty pictures, catchy slogans? I'm pretty sure the science of sound has something to do with physics, which I only passed because one of the guys in my class had a crush on my lab partner. He was brilliant, and we were hopeless, and I ended up with a B. I can tell you, it wasn't from my vast knowledge of sound design, that's for sure. In any case, last night's performance was about 14,000 times better, so here's hoping that my sound technician days are over.

I tried unsuccessfully to do my payroll up on the roof of the hotel this morning. It seems to be such a shame that I have all this sun and no time to spend in it. Unfortunately, it was windy as heck, so that last about 15 seconds before I was afraid my checks would go blowing off the edge of the 23 floor building!

Someone noticed my Aggie ring today. Whoop!

I started this entry a week ago, so I'm finally posting it and will start a new one momentarily.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Where does he get those wonderful toys?

Also, I'd like to mention that the other day one of my friends mentioned THIS contraption, and now I am completely obsessed with owning one. Is there anyone out there that is more tech-dorky than I am (um, it is possible). The thought of sitting in my hotel room while being able to watch a million episodes of 30 Rock and Psych makes me happier than anyone in the world. I mean, it was just fine when the writers' strike was going, and I was like, "Peace Out America! There will be NO tv made while I'm here in the UK!" But of course, just to spite me, the strike totes ended and Tina Fey is back at work making tv that makes me hate being overseas. And you know how you can go online to or and catch up on everything you missed for free! Yeah, you can't do that here. Stupid copyright law. I mean, thanks to Em and Nick's super awesome iTunes gift, I'll be able to keep up on my 30 Rock and Office episode, but if I had this Slingbox thing, my life would be totally complete. Those of you who understand my relationship with TiVo know that it's a very special thing. Now, Emily has been taking care of TiVo assuring him that I didn't leave him for someone younger or HDTV-compatible, but if I could sling all my TiVo shows to my pc here in Random City, England. I think he might forgive me for the neglect. Anyway, I just needed that to be said. Back to your lives, and I'm going back to Scrubs. See, I love that I can watch that down here in the lobby, but with this fancy new addition to my life, I can watch it instead of doing petty cash receipts. Amazing!

America isn't easy. America is advanced citizenship.

This morning saw my day begin at the ungodly hour of 5:15am. Now, for normal people, that is a horrid time of day. (Well, except for Emily, because she keeps it really at that time of day to get up to the Bronx), but for theatre people, it's hard to believe that that time of day even exists. But alas, it does. I headed up to London this morning to ensure that my final three girls got their visas for our trip to Houston (IN 4 DAYS!). I got into town about 7:45am, but they had totes already entered our hallowed halls of the the US Embassy. So I headed to the OTHER US staple of Starbucks to wait for them to be finished with my latte and my 100 pages I have left of The Other Boleyn Girl. I mean, I obviously know how the books ends, but since it's been a while since 9th grade World History, I'm looking forward to the end of it. After making sure the girls passed their interviews with passing colors, I headed to Regents Street for some shopping, but alas, my bag carrying all my accouterments for work surely weighed in around 20 pounds totally impeded my progress. Also my determination not to buy a shirt from the Gap for like $75. What is wrong with this country?! It's just the Gap for the love. I stopped by the world famous Topshop. Is that only famous because I love Bridget Jones so much? Perhaps. Anyway. They had really cute pjs, which we all know I love to buy, but for real, $70?! Are you kidding me? Yikes. So, needless to say, I headed out of London not having bought anything and settled back in Tonbridge for a petite nap and frantic two hours of emailing.

I'd like to mention two things that are v. important.

*I walked almost 6 miles today! That's impressive! How do I know that? My new pink cell phone counts my miles walked! What! It's amazing. I love it! It makes me feel very athletic.

*I saw "Sam" from Love Actually at the Embassy this morning. This is mainly for my cousin Susan, who might die at this revelation. For those of you who don't spend your lifetimes pining away for British romantic comedies, here's a photo:Seriously, it might be one of my favorite celebrity sightings ever. Everyone needs an American visa to work! I wanted to go up to him and ask him to recreated the "All I Need For Christmas is You" bit from the film, but being the totally cool New Yorker that I am, I just walked by and barely acknowledged his existence. London is fancy!

Royal Tunbridge Wells is a very lovely town, and if it wasn't the fact that everything here costs about 3 times as much as it does back home, I would have spent a lot of money. The exchange rate is serving as my daily budget reminder. What fun is that? All I can say is that I will be spending copious amounts of money in Houston to make up for it. Of course, my luggage already weighs about 900 pounds, so maybe I just should wait until I'm home. For all you New Yorkers reading this (are there any of you out there?), I'll be home from March 24 to April 13. That's a lot of time for you to hang out with me. I'm just saying, adjust your calendars now. Why am I always in the mood to buy new things? I think it's my friends who influence that behavior. I'm just saying...

For those of you wondering, my bday passed without much todo (todo? ado?). I'm waiting until Houston to celebrate properly (read American style). Are you noticing a trend? I've obviously made Houston out to be the end all of touring dates. It will be. I totally know it. Thanks for all your facebook messages and emails. They made me quite happy out here in Tonbridge. I finally booked my flight today, so I can't wait to see my Northwest WorldPerks miles grow. Those of you who understand this obsession (ahem, Bryan) know that moving up to the next level in hotel or air points is about the best thing ever!

There's not much more to type I suppose. Bryan and I are hanging out in the hotel pub which is wonderfully open ever so late. We like to alternate between Family Guy and random British sitcoms. It's a brilliant existence. As long as I have trashy American tv and beer, it looks like I can adjust to British life. Oh wait, as long as I have those things, and the hope of leaving for America in four days, it looks like I can adjust to anything.

Peace out from Tonbridge, Kent, UK. I hope you are all enjoying this first week of March.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Ease on down, ease on down the road

A friend of mine is dealing with the difficult illness of a parent as I type this. If she’s reading this, I’m pretty sure she’d want me to be my normal hysterical self, and to that I say, no worries, because I’m nothing but irreverent when necessary, but oh, my friend, you do have a rough road ahead of you. I know you will resurface on the other side stronger and having discovered things about yourself and your spirit that you didn’t know lived within you. And if nothing else, a collection of shot glasses, should you heed my mother’s advice. I love you a lot, and I sincerely wish I could be there to help you through, but until then, this blog shout out will have to suffice.

I suppose that has me thinking about when I lost my dad. It’s still a pretty surreal experience, losing a parent. I know there are a lot of things in my life I probably wouldn’t have tried if I hadn’t adopted a sort of “Rent”-esque “No day but today” attitude following that event in my life. So, though, I don’t define myself by the fact that I lost my dad at age 20, it surely shaped the person I’ve become. It’s in those sort of moments that you have to believe there’s a greater power than yourself making sure you’re guided to your place in the world. I mean, seriously, without the journey I’ve taken, who’d be sitting here with the Rat Pack? Surely not someone as fantastic(k) as me.

Thus ends the serious, thought provoking part of my entry. I now return to my aimless ramblings that you all know and love. Do you like how I address my “audience” in my blog? I like to think that as you read that last line, you’re all sitting there nodding your head thinking, “Ah, yes. I do know and love that about Susan.” And I gather a lot of comfort thinking of you, dear reader, sitting in Arlington or Astoria or San Diego or Chicago (look at my nationwide appeal!) drinking your Starbucks (which also happens to remind you of me) and being thoroughly entertained. It’s a brilliant thought to me here on this chilly Coventry night, when I should be packing, but am instead writing a truly self-serving blog. Good thing I wrote all that serious stuff above, so that you all don’t think my blog reading audience of about 7 has made my head too big. But then again, it’s 3:28am on the morning of my 29th birthday, so I think I can write just about whatever I want. Also, because you know I still have about 40 pounds of luggage to pack and then figure out how logistically possible it will be to get on two trains, two taxis, one subway, and I’m sure at least 8 flights of narrow stairs to my next destination in Tonbridge without throwing out my back or being deported for cursing the British too loudly. This life is ridic.

I like the fact that BBC thinks after
The Wiz, which I did enjoy, they can just show screenshots of “Next Week’s Highlights” to disco music. I mean, and I really supposed to sit here and read through all of this stuff on tv? If I wanted to read, I would pick up one of the 47 books on my bedside table (see the 40 pounds of luggage comment above). I mean, that is some lazy programming Brits! I mean, would it kill you to put on a marathon of The Office? Or maybe The Wedding Planner or that movie with Matthew Perry and Selma Hayek that’s always playing on TBS? Seriously.

The countdown to Houston has commenced in full swing. I posted everyone’s flight details (well, everyone but me since I’m still totes undecided about my return date to the UK). And I keep reminding people about the weather there. And the rodeo. Ye-haw! I remember the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo from back in the 80s, when for some reason, Dad would drag us all there to look at cows and whatever. Then we would head over to the Astrodome to watch whatever act was playing. I remember seeing Patti LaBelle and Alabama. Both of which my dad hated for being too loud. I’m not sure what would have made him happy, but I imagine the canon blasts at the end of the
1812 Overture would have been just about right, volume wise that is.

This entry doesn’t really have a lot to do with my trip, so I suppose I should write something down about it. Coventry was a city destroyed during WWII, and I don’t think it’s ever quite recovered. I did mange to get out on Tuesday and see Warwick Castle, which escaped the bombing, and the dragons, apparently, and is one of the best kept castles in the UK. As well it should be by the like $35 I paid to get in. Yikes. It was very pretty though. I took some lovely photos,
which naturally you can find here... Besides that, I didn’t get out much, as I spent the better part of my week chasing down 2 weeks worth of petty cash. Oh platinum Amex card how I miss you and your magical problem-solving ways. We had a sold-out show tonight, which was nice, and then an uneventful load-out, which ended in the normal way of me racing to finish all my reports, and my crew leaving me behind to be nearly locked in the theatre for the third week in a row. Ugh. Whatever. It’s almost time to go to Houston. I love it.

Okay, I suppose I should quit writing this and go to bed/finish packing. Hope this finds all of you ready to celebrate my birthday. I’m sure it does.