October 2009 Archives

Halloween Mom

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Look at my sweet mom as a little girl dressed up for Halloween!

Young Halloween Tricia

Happy Halloween

Here is my yearly post of our zombie movie. It's spooky!

Sunday in the Park with Abby

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On Sunday, I trekked to a different part of Brooklyn to go see my old friend and former improv coach Abby Sher. Abby lives on a beautiful street that is quintescential NY...lots of brownstones, lots of trees with autumn leaves--lovely. I hadn't seen Abby in a few years--not since we did Don't Spit at UCB over 3 years ago, and it was really lovely to spend a few hours with her and her adorable daughter Sonya.

The sweet and very wise Sonya.

Sonya and Abby
Two beautiful ladies.

We walked around the neighborhood catching up about life and love and the past few years.

sonya hat
Koala Hat!

Me and Abby
Here Abby is wearing her special "KOKO misses me TONS" shirt that my improv group KOKO made her after she moved back to NY from Chicago.

Abby just recently had her memoirs published, Amen, Amen, Amen, Memoir of a Girl Who Couldn't Stop Praying (Among Other Things). I just started it last night and it is wonderful, vibrant, and utterly heartbreaking. I can't put it down, yet I want to, cause it is hard to read about the pain and struggle that one of your loved ones has shouldered in her life. I highly recommend picking up a copy at your local bookstore.


The Touchdown Maker


When Erica and I get together, Magical Things happen. They always have. That's just how we are. You might even say that it is What Dreams Are Made Of. There is a lack of fear or restraint when we are together, and wonderful things just happen.

So Saturday morning comes, and we are out of coffee. And I really want eggs and bacon. So we throw on decent clothes and step out to run a few errands and get some groceries. After we buy a couple of pounds of Stumptown Coffee (ground for her, whole beans for me to take home,) we get back in the car to go to our next destination. "Wait," Erica says, "you need to come with me. We are about to do something really Brooklyn." I get out of the car. Erica: "We're going to buy bread from this store." Which store, you ask? Why, a store that sells gravestones. Yes, Gravestones. We walk in, and there are three men of varying ages, having a chat, and one jumps up and starts gushing over the two of us. "The modeling agency is across the street." Erica: "We'll have a baguette, please." Man: "That'll be 200 pennies--I'd be happy to count them with you if you want." When we left: "Try not to stop any traffic." All this in a gravestone storefront. Monuments. We bought bread from a monument store. You can read about it here and here. It was amazing. Truly truly amazing. And you know what? The bread was delicious.

We ran a few more errands, and then had to make a quick stop at the BP. It was jam-packed, and there were tents in the parking lot and music playing. We noticed a giant mascot being led by the hand by a gas station attendant. The mascot turned a corner, and we see it was an Eli Manning mascot in a NY Giants jersey. We found parking and decided that we needed to have our photo taken with him. Sadly, the Manning Mascot was going on break, and wouldn't come out (trust me, we asked.) We went back out to the parking lot to see what else was going on. There was a guy with a camera, and a guy in a Giants jersey signing autographs. We of course got in line.

Me: "Who is that?"
Photographer: "Stephen Baker, the Touchdown Maker."
Me and Erica then got really excited about him and decided who was going to stand on which side of him, etc.
Photographer: "Ok, you are next."
Me: "Yes! What's his name again?"
Photographer, matter of factly: "Stephen Baker, The Touchdown Maker."
(this cracked me up that we were so excited to get our picture taken with someone who we didn't know who he was, and I had to keep asking his name. I think I actually asked 3 times.)

We ran in on each side. He asked who wanted to hold the Vince Lombardi Trophy--we both did, of course. We took the photo, got some autographs (Erica complimented his handwriting) and then went on our merry way. Two days later, the photo was available online, and I think it is one of the best photos ever--we look like this might be one of the happiest moments in our lives. Check out that huge Superbowl Ring!


I realized afterwards that I was wearing my Saints tshirt that Fuzzy had just brought me back from New Orleans, after the week before's game when the Saints beat the Giants. Irony.

We ate our breakfast and Erica and Ariel introduced me to The Real Housewives of Atlanta, which I can't decide if this is a blessing or a curse. All I know is that you don't want to be Tardy for the Party.

That morning, Erica got a phone call from her friend Bill, who told us that he was bartending a hoedown on the 4th floor of a parking garage above an IHOP in downtown Brooklyn and that we needed to go. Heck yeah, we did! Funny that I had to go to NYC to get a little taste of the South.

The Hoedown is on the 4th floor of the parking garage

There was so much great music.

Pulled Pork out of the back of a truck!
And great food! Pulled pork sandwiches were being made out of the back of a truck.

Danny and Erica at Hoedown
Danny and Erica

Who doesn't love a hoedown?

Erica introduced me to some of her awesome friends, and as we were chatting with one of them, Erica pointed out a guy that she thought we used to hang out with in Jackson from when we all lived there 10-11 years ago. Normally, we would be too shy to approach a stranger to ask if we knew him, but since we were together, there was no fear. It was a happy reunion. We all caught up and had a great chat. Crazy how small the world really is.

jay and erica
Blurry Jay and Erica

See what I mean? Magical.

Happy Foodtimes

On Friday, Erica and I caught up on some sleep, and more importantly caught up on some major life talking. It was great. Totally soul nourishing-- completely.

And hunger nourishing, too. We ate a late lunch, which was also breakfast, yet I wouldn't call it brunch. We went all out, too, it being a special occasion and all.

Erica took me to the Roebling Tea Room, an awesome restaurant in Williamsburg that is the same building that this graffiti is on.

I now present you, our lunch.

mayonaise chicken
This is "Mayonnaise Chicken with Ketchup Rice." It is exactly what you think it is. Fried chicken with Japanese mayonnaise and rice cooked in ketchup. Erica said "We're from the South, we need to order that." And we did. And it was good.

erica and mac and cheese
Baked Mac and Cheese, which had a flavor unlike any I've ever had. It was so distinct, that the next day, when eating leftovers, Ariel said, "This tastes like the mac and cheese from the Roebling Tea Room."

Potato Salad
Potato Salad. Our whole meal was beige. And Delicious.

yummy food
We were very, very happy. Add to that a soy chai for me, a soy latte for Erica, a glass of wine for each of us, and lots of Erica time, and it was a dream come true.

Here are some pics from the weekend and stories to go along with it.

I made it in to NY at 10am into LaGuardia, and took a bus down to Grand Central Station (may I help you?). I killed some time walking down Madison and Park Avenues, and enjoyed a pretzel from a cart:


Here is the guy with the Kitty Cart I mentioned earlier:
kitty cart
If you look at the large size, you might be able to see them. There were 3 sleeping in the cart, and one on a leash on the sidewalk.

Smoked Mozz
I met up with my friend Alex that I grew up with, and he took me to a Mozzarella Bar for lunch. It was so super yummy and light!

Alex considers the Mozz.

A Sampling of Mozzerellas
Balls of Mozz

A Sampling of Meats
The Finest Meats and Cheeses

Me and Alex

I had some time to kill in the city, since Erica was out shooting a commercial and no one was at her house. Alex told me I was close to MoMA, so off I went! It was amazing. So many famous works of art that I never expected to see with my own two eyes. I was overwhelmed. My pics are kinda blurry here, but I want to share them anyways.


Persistance of Memory
Seriously? And who knew it was so small?

Yep, this one, too.

And who knew this one was so huge?

I got verKLIMT (ok, sorry about that)


My Fave! Magritte!

Picasso-Three Musicians

The Goat! I was classy here and refrained from photographing the goat's giant testicles.

Look out!

After MoMA, I hit up the amazing Oyster Bar in Grand Central Station and sat at the bar. I loved this. Fuzzy has been telling me about it for years, and it did not disappoint. I loved watching them make the chowder to order. I made friends with my server and enjoyed a sampling of 4 raw oysters (2 each) and an awesome Chelsea Sunset Red beer. DELISH. I can't say that enough. Great atmosphere. Great food. Loved it.

Eventually we all ended up in Brooklyn, me, Erica, Ariel and Erica's friend Danny. We stayed up super late hearing about Erica's shoot, drinking wine, and catching up.

Erica after her commercial

Ariel and Erica
Look how sassy and adorable Ariel is! It was awesome seeing her.

Thus ends Day 1 of my trip. More stories ahead.

I'm Not Even Kidding


Two last names that were just called for final boarding for the flight before me at my gate: Beaver and Bush. Not even kidding.

Too Much Marketing

Really, America? You are advertising to us on the bottom of the bins we put our jackets in to go through security at the airport? Really?

No sleep til Brooklyn

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What a day!

Alex and had lunch at a mozzerella bar- that's right- a mozzerella bar. It was delicious! (links to come later)

Then I spent a couple of hours at MOMA. It was amazing. So many famous works of art! I saw Starry Night! Persistance of Memory! That Matisse with all the ladies holding hands!

I then rested at a big ole Catholic church at 5th and 50th for a while, people watching.

After that I treated myself to a raw oyster sampler and a delicious Chelsea Sunset Red beer at Fuzzy's gave oyster bar in Grand Central Station.

Now I'm at a hip and funky coffee shop in Brooklyn enjoying an oatmeal cookie and soy latte, waiting for Erica to get done with her commercial shoot.

What a day!

New York!

It's a gorgeous and sunny day in NY! I've been wandering the streets and it is a perfect day for it. So far I've had a pretzel, seen real Park Ave nannies with the hats and capes (I didn't realize that was a real thing) and saw a man on the street with a cart that had 3 beautiful sleeping kitties in it and one walking around on a leash on the sidewalk. Cute! Now I'm resting my dogs before having lunch with Alex. Yay!

It's weird, though. You think America is super poor with the economic crisis, then you walk down Madison Ave and realize that some folks probably don't even know there is an economic crisis.

But man, people are fashionable here!


I just pulled this out of my shoe.


How could it have gotten there?
One answer: Voodoo.

First the fish head on my back porch, then the dead pigeon in a box in my office, now this.

UPDATE: My friend Andrew DeWitt says it means I am ready to begin a shamanistic journey. I like that! And, he is right--I am ready!


So I think the stone has passed. I had a LOT of pain yesterday afternoon and early evening, and I tried to sleep through it when I got home from work. I was woken up with pain once, but it never got so bad that I had to go to the hospital. This morning, I am not dizzy at all, and I've not had any pain. Not bad! You know, three of my kidney stones have happened in October. I thought sure it was going to happen last year in October, cause my pattern was every 2 years, but maybe since it was a leap year last year or something we just skipped a year. So October. Hm. October is a traditionally rough month in our family, cause we have a lot of deaths in October. And hospital visits. When I called Erica on her birthday the other day, I had a flash of where we were 2 years ago. Dad was at St Dominics in Jackson, and things were looking grim. We were on the same floor as the babies, and Mom and I made frequent trips to the nursery to see them. Sadly, they were hardly ever on display, but we kept looking anyways--it was a good distraction. I remember calling Erica and sitting on the floor under a plant in the hallway by the nursery, and telling her about what was going on. Amazing how these little things can come back to you in a flash out of nowhere. Little memories. And amazing to think of how much has changed in just 2 little years.

It is also really interesting to see how my brain and body reacts to certain things now. I certainly can't help who I am and where I am in my life and how I feel. It is tough navigating this brain on a daily basis, but I must remember to take it easy on myself and not be so judgemental; this is just how it is, and that's fine. Recently a friend of ours' father went into remission, which is incredibly wonderful news and I am so happy for all of them deep down. However, my first response to getting the email was that I felt like I'd been punched in the gut. I was jealous, insanely jealous, and then just angry. And, although we got that news over a week ago, every time I talk about it or think about it, I start to tear up. I get incredibly sad. I would have given anything to hear the word 'remission' for Dad, but that just wasn't a part of the plan, I guess.

Other examples of uncontrollable reactions to things: recently when I've been out, I've found myself just freezing up and needing to leave wherever I am as quickly as I can. It's happened more than once in the last couple of weeks, and I find that whenever I am around more than just a couple of people at any one time, I just go on the fritz and can't have a conversation with anyone. It is hard being in such a social world of theatre, when you just want to hide from everyone and have them not know you are there, but can't do that. Pre and Post show Apes is always hard, cause I don't want to be a jerk and not talk to people, but really, I don't know how to interact.

Last night, I thought about going to Vicksburg for a visit, and I had a panic attack. I thought I was ready to go home, but I'm not. I had a good chat with Melissa today, and realized that I can start to release the expectations of the past and start to rebuild what the South and Home means to me. Time to make new experiences and move forward, instead of clinging onto the past and obsessing over how things are different. I can take the trip that I want to take, and do things for myself and no one else. I can go and see my friends and eat the food I want to eat and laugh, and it is possible to do that without being put into the caregiver box, or the daughter/granddaughter box, or any other previous expectations that have been put on me. I can let those go.

And everyone's experiences are different. Mom recently blogged about the fact that she has started seeing someone, and she is super happy. I, too, am happy for her and glad that she is having something that brings her joy, but I'll admit, it is hard. Then I realized that I don't need to be a part of that joy with her. That is hers and hers alone. For me, I am free to take however much time I need to deal with this transition and new concept in our lives. Or her life, rather. I can deal with things on my own time and schedule, and no one can take tell me how to feel. And that is ok!

So I have a challenge in front of me. How do I let everything go and focus on the here and now? How do I put more importance on my feelings and needs and stop being so bogged down by the constant transition in my family? I need to really work on myself and stop being affected by outside things, cause I am sick of always having drama and being upset. I want to enjoy my life, dammit!

I am starting taking a step towards this by taking a weekend in NY with Erica. I leave early tomorrow morning and come back Monday evening. I'll try to blog a little when I can, but expect some photos next week!

Have a great weekend, everyone!

More Fun Shows

It's no secret that I have the world's most talented friends, and last week, I got to hang out with one of them! My friend Andrew plays/tours with Mike Doughty, and they were in town for 3 shows in Chicago last week. I saw them Friday night at the brand spanking new Lincoln Hall, the new music venue where the Three Penny Cinema used to be, owned and operated by the Schubas brothers.

The show was great. Here are some pics.
Stage before the show
The stage before the show.

Andrew and Mike
Andrew and Mike rocking out.

After the show, we went to the Golden Nugget for some milkshakes and giggles.

Me and Andrew doing our picture faces
Me and Andrew doing our "picture faces."

Me and Andrew doing Erica Red's picture face
Me and Andrew doing the other Erica's "picture face."

Chuch, Miriam, and Shannon
Chuck, Miriam, and Shannon



Anyone have any connections to the Metropolis Performing Arts Center in Arlington Heights? I want to go see Pump Boys and Dinettes, but tickets are kinda spendy... Any help would be appreciated!

And it Stoned Me to My Soul

I shouldn't ever be surprised, really. You'd think I'd change my diet. And when I wake up in the morning completely dizzy for no reason and can't shake it, you'd think I'd recognize the patterns. Yes, friends, another delightful kidney stone is scraping its way through my ureter on a grand journey to my bladder. Fortunately, it is small, so the pain isn't too severe. But this is my second one I've had in just a small number of months, so it's looking like I might need to start looking after the ole bod a little bit better. I've been sent to the emergency room a few times in the past because of them, and hospitalized once, but these little ones are a lot more tolerable--just annoying cause it hurts and I get so dizzy I fall right over sometimes (I'm no fun.)

Just another typical day...

God is Great, God is Good

Lately, I've been feeling really pulled in every direction. Feeling too depended upon, like people have been asking too much of me. I've been asked to help plan events. Asked to donate my time. I'm not good with kids and have found myself growing less and less comfortable around them, yet everyone needs and asks for childcare. And I've started to get resentful of it all. I mean, I am glad to help someone if I am able, but lately I've been feeling less and less able. I even recently said that I need to put out into the universe that I am really unreliable and untrustworthy, so people will stop leaning on me and so I can break my habit of agreeing to do things.

So yesterday I went to church.

I've been feeling more and more compelled to go to church, and this weekend especially, I knew I had to go. The church that I visit has a children's sermon near the start of the service. This week, the pastor started by talking about wanting to play catch with his older brother, and his brother usually did, even though he rarely wanted to. He then talked about being in elementary school and being asked to help tutor one of his classmates, and he did it, even though he didn't want to. He then went on to say that God wants us to help others by giving of our talents, and being there for people when then need help. Ah...now I know why I needed to be there this week. The message might have been intended for the children, but it was received by me.

So I am going to try to have a better attitude about helping others, all while being careful to listen to myself and my needs. God doesn't want us to overextend ourselves to the point of being worthless, so I need to keep it all in moderation. But I certainly will try to be more humble, cause it's not just about me and my needs and wants.

There's a Walrus in my Closet

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The Bachelorette

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I'm a bachelorette this weekend. Fuzzy's gone til Monday night at the New Orleans Improv Fest. I must say I'm not a fan of him being gone. The bed seems all big and empty, and I talk to the cats a lot more than I usually do. But I was happy with my shopping I did for my bachelorette weekend: cheddar broccoli soup, bananas, granola bars, fruit twists, grapefruit juice, butter lettuce (note that this is a type of lettuce, not butter and lettuce), blue cheese vinaigrette and potato salad. No wine or cake or chocolate! When I'm gone out of town, Fuzzy eats popcorn as a meal replacement, for me it is potato salad. I can eat that shit every meal, but my favorite is eating it for breakfast. Yum. I'm also plowing through carton after carton of Florida Natural's grapefruit juice. When Dad used to get colds, he would buy 4 cartons of it and drink them until they were gone--I was not allowed to drink it when he was sick (but I would anyway). It is so good, and I've recently decided that it is going to be my prophylactic (that's for you, Crescent) sickness remedy. If I have a glass of juice a day, it will help keep my vitamin C and immune system up. Not a bad way to do it.

This should be a good weekend, though. Tonight I am seeing Doughty and Andrew and doing some old school eating club, tomorrow, I hope to conquer the massive pile of clean laundry in my house that is becoming our new roommate, work on some choreography, lunch with a friend, and see a show in the evening. Sunday I am working on a project, and I hope to go to church. I am also cat sitting for a number of little boogers this weekend, so there's that, too.

Then next weekend, Fuzzy is a bachelor Thursday-Monday, as I will be living in Brooklyn for a few days with my girl Red. Can't wait.

October is always such a busy month! I have a number of projects going, 3 more weeks of Apes, and some travels. I hope to also do some fall cleaning, keep going to class, and do lots of couch snuggling with the Fuz and drink lots of hot cocoa.

In other news, check out today's special.



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Do I go to the awesome dance class that I love and want to go to that will take up most of my night and make me tired and sore, or do I take advantage of a free night that I can use to work on these 2 dances that are due soon and the fact this is my last free night at home til Oct 27th?

UPDATE! I ended up going to the grocery store, going home and doing laundry and the dishes, working out with The Shred, then going to a friends house in the neighborhood to drink wine and watch tv. It was an awesome relaxing night.

The Sincerest Pumpkin Patch

This past Sunday, our friends Johnny, Anne and Violet invited us out to Didier Farms, a pumpkin patch in a nearby suburb. Fuzzy and I have been trying to get to a pumpkin patch for years, but October is historically a hard month for us to do anything, so we've never been. We looked at our calendars, we had a free morning, so we got up super early and headed on over. It was so fun! Here are some pics from the day, almost all of which are by Fuzzy Gerdes.


Anne's a sheep! I'm a horse!
Anne and Erica

Uh Oh, Fuzzy's in trouble.

Lots of pretty pumpkins!



There was a petting zoo, and you could feed the animals. I made some new friends!
The Ninja Llama (I didn't see him in there for a long time)
Erica and llama

Sweet Donkey! Donkey Shoot!
Erica and donkey

I should take this moment to point out to all my non mid-western friends that yes, I am wearing my full winter down coat. This was this past Sunday. Yes, it's been in the low 40s here. Yes, I miss Southern Autumns.

HAYRIDE TIME! I'd never been on a hayride before--I think I rode in the back of a tractor pull one time at Warren Central, but otherwise, hayrides have been a thing of fantasy for me. I finally was able to live the dream!
Erica, how do you feel about hayrides?
How does Erica feel about hayrides?

Anne, how bout you?
Oh! Sorry I asked.

Johnny and Violet? How about you?
Johnny and Violet

We drove down "Scarecrow Alley" on the hayride, and there were some popular Halloween favorites: Darth Vader, Michael Jackson, The Joker, Waldo, and...Edward Cullen?
Edward Cullen scarecrow

After a tiring morning, we all had to take a big ole nap.

(But seriously, look at those precious piggy butts! So cute!)

Jamba Juice is for Assholes


Jamba Juice knows that for today's busy lifestyle, you need a meal that you can grab and go. Who has time to sit down and enjoy a relaxing meal with family and friends? Between work, kids, technology, and all all the stress of modern society, we have to keep going and going in order to get everything done in a day that needs to get done.

Jamba Juice is here to help you out.

Jamba is for assholes

Jamba Juice--because you don't know what love is.
Jamba Juice--because you don't know how to have human interactions.
Jamba Juice--because you like to text the person you would rather be with while this schmo tries to give you a hug.
Jamba Juice--because you don't know how to live in the moment.
Jamba Juice--because nothing is ever good enough.
Jamba Juice--because you are empty and hopeless on the inside.
Jamba Juice--because you have nothing to live for.
Jamba Juice--because you are an asshole.

It Gets Better

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Remember James the Walgreens pharmacy technician?

We were there today, and Shannon says he started speaking French to the woman in line behind her.

Seriously? Seriously.


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Last week, Claire, Courtney, Fuzzy and I went to go see the tour of Season 5 of So You Think You Can Dance at the United Center. It was a fun night, and it was great to see the dances live, even if there was a lot of cheesy banter in the show. It was technically work for Claire, but secretly I bet she would have wanted to go see it with us no matter what. It was a fun night of good food, wine, and lots of screaming girls in a stadium.

Can you tell we were excited?
Claire and Erica, how do you feel about the show?

Speaking of Smizing (I know, I shouldn't give Tyra any clout by actually using it as a word. It is just so dumb, I have to use it,) check out these fierce faces:
Courtney and Claire

We got the girl in front of us to take our photo. Check out these dorks! We love SYTYCD! WOOOOO! But really, I have to say we are some sassy ladies.
Courtney, Claire, and Me

Here is Claire's review of the live show, and here is her awesome interview with choreographer Mia Michaels.

Fun times!


I had to take down this blog post before, so I am sure a lot of you didn't get to see it, but I have clearance to repost, so here it is again with less product names and links, but with lots of photos! Enjoy!

Photo Time!


Fuzzy and I have been seeing a lot of really great shows lately. Last week, we trekked to Indianapolis to see Andrew Bird at the Murat Theatre. Some of you might know that I am a HUGE Andrew Bird fan--he's my favorite musician of all time ever, and I've seen him live at least 30 times in the 9 1/2 years I've lived in Chicago. Fuzzy surprised me with tickets, so off we went.

We had some delays on the way down there, but we were hungry so we had to stop and get something to eat. What was I craving? Chicken Wings. What was around? Hooters. Now, I must say that I enjoy Hooters--the food is good and the girls are cute. I was a little too excited to be there, apparently, cause I kept hurting myself and I was really happy whenever our adorable waitress came over. When we were leaving, she asked if we wanted our iced teas to go, we said no, and then she got all coy and flirty and said "Innn a styyyrofoaam cuuuuppp???" and it was hilarious. Ah, Hooters.

When we got back on the road, we remembered the time change--we were going to lose an hour, and we hadn't planned for that--we were cutting it close as it was. I panicked and Fuzzy checked the website to see if anyone was opening for him--it didn't look like it. So we sped our way in, and made to the theatre only 5 minutes late.

We walked through the lobby and to the entrance, and see that there was in fact an opening band. A few steps into theatre, a few notes in my ear, and I realized that it was St. Vincent! I gasped and tears welled up in my eyes. We got to our seats--up close and center, and settled in for the show. I love St. Vincent--the lead singer/guitarist is Annie Clark, formerly of the Polyphonic Spree, and she is a masterful guitar player and has a hauntingly beautiful voice. I was happy that I was familiar with about half of the songs she played. I also love how she plays with beautiful wistful melodies and distorted hard tones and jarring lyrics at the same time. It was awesome.

This photo is blurry, but I think it is appropriate to the show.
St. Vincent at Murat Theatre

When they finished, we went out to the lobby, where Annie was signing autographs. Now, I can talk to my fair share of celebrities, and I have, but lately I don't have much confidence, so I got all nervous and shaky, but I talked to her and told how thrilled I was that I got to see them. Here she is signing my ticket stub. She wrote "Dear Erica, Teared up?! Yay! xo, Annie Clark."
Annie Clark at Murat Theatre

Back in the theatre we went. Oh, Andrew Bird, how I love his music. I was telling Fuzzy that I've seen him so many times in concert, that I don't even need the visuals anymore, it is just amazing to be surrounded with the music--I can really lose myself in it and I kept zoning out at this show. One day, I will make a list of all the venues I've seen him in. Maybe next week.

Andrew Bird at Murat Theatre

Andrew Bird at Murat Theatre

Andrew Bird at the Murat Theatre

More to come soon!

Prayers, Please

For my awesome wonderful dear and hilarious friend Crescent.

Go Crescent Go! You can do this! We'll kick this cancer's ass!

We Are Who We Are


So this week, I've been thinking a lot about dancing, what it means to me, and also how I can make it work for me as a career. I always thought that I would be a professional dancer when I grew up, but as I got older, I realized that I wasn't all that good and I also started developing bad knee and back problems, meanwhile getting the comedy bug. I "retired" when I went to college, but still found ways to dance in spite of it [my friends Johnna, Genna and I turned our laughable "modern dance and modeling" class at Hinds into a hip and sexy experience, in spite of the fact that our teacher was a million years old.] I took classes with other dancer friends of mine in Jackson, and when I moved to Chicago, I really started taking my choreography seriously. Now, I am less involved in the comedy world, at least on the performance side of it, and it is nice to be getting so much dance work.

So as I was thinking about how cool it would be to have a little studio that I could use whenever I wanted it, I also thought that the other supplemental career that I would like to have along side it is being around kitties. Cats, kittens, anything--I love them all. I honestly thought, oh, if I could pet kitties or find them homes as my day job and choreograph as my other job, I would be so happy. Yes, petting cats and dancing. The same dream I've had since I was, oh, three years old. Growing up, I always had 2 calendars in my room--one a dance calendar, the other a kitten calendar. My walls were filled with dance photos, pointe shoes, and kitty pictures. When I was in 4th or 5th grade, I wrote and illustrated a book for ROTOC/ GATES [all my ROTOC ladies in the house say "OH YEAH!!" Jill, Sarah, GET YO HANDS UP!] called "The Cat Who Wanted to Dance" which was about a fat cat named Lily who wanted to dance, but was too chunky, but through diet and perserverance, she was able to slim down and perform in the Nutcracker. Neurotic, yes, but that's the life of a dancer, whether or not you are a human, right? And yes, I drew a cat in a tutu.

So this realization hit me this week. In spite of the fact that things can turn on a dime and we are dealing with major life changes good and bad every day, some things remain exactly the same. Although I've changed a lot over the years, deep down I'm still me. I'll always be me, a shrimpy shy girl who likes kitty cats and ballerinas.

Fuck Cancer

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Seriously, Fuck it.
It shouldn't happen to us. It shouldn't happen to our family. It shouldn't happen to our friends.

Fuck you, cancer.

While We're on the Subject of Burlesque

Here's another dance I choreographed for BBR a few years ago. The last minute is not suitable for work.

Some Pics from Peek-A-Boo

Here are some choice photos from Peek-a-boo, taken by the awesome and talented Elizabeth McQuern.

Mr. Bones, our host
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Rockabilly Frankenstein and Dr. Acula sing "The Ghost of Steven Foster"
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Naughty Natanya temps us

Zombie Dancers
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Siren Jinx as the Boogie Man

Natasha Minsk puts a spell on us
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And some sexy pics from Red Right Hand



(reuse with credit only, Elizabeth McQuern)

It's Open! A Lovefest to Burlesque.

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Well, the opening was a huge success. Peek-a-boo, An Ooky Spooky Halloween Burlesque Revue opened to a sold out crowd (standing room only!) on Saturday night. I think the best feeling for me as a choreographer is on an opening night, when I can release the dance from my brain and out into the world. It now belongs to the dancers, and they can do with it what they will. My process involves me listening to the songs on repeat for a few days/weeks/ whatever my time is to brainstorm and know the music and beats without hearing it, come up with steps, feelings, stories, etc, then when I get down to work, I sit myself down with a notebook and start to put thought into action and finalize things. I can change things after it's written down, but once I start, I keep going and dedicate however many days it takes to the construction of the dance. I work well this way, but the problem with it is, I can never stop thinking about it. If I am stuck on something, it will often keep me awake or I'll have a hard time focusing on anything else until it is settled. I rarely dance the dance out before a first rehearsal--I like to test it out on my dancers, but sometimes I'll walk through it just to make sure that it isn't physically impossible. Once the show is open, though, I can finally get the song out of my head and I can close my eyes without seeing the movement behind my eyes. What a thrill it is, too, to see that the thing you envisioned in your brain perfectly translates to the stage. I wasn't sure how it was going to work, but I am happy to say that it works really well.

For this show, we concentrated the teaching in only 2 weeks. Looking at the show on Saturday, I am really impressed with the professionalism and hard work of the cast and crew of the show. Not that there weren't some snags--there most certainly were--but they all got rectified just in time. Chris O. Biddle is the host and producer of the show, and he was very supportive throughout the process and even went above and beyond to give recognition and credit for the choreography I did for the show, which was a nice surprise. The show itself is a class act--sexy ladies, funny ghouls and characters, great songs, and don't forget a blacklight paint dance and zombie cha cha.

Another bonus on the show is that I got to work with some amazing and talented dancers that I'd never worked with before. It blows my mind to think that I've been working with the Belmont Burlesque Revue as long as I have, so I was a little out of my comfort zone when I was given a crew of 3/4 new dancers. It helped having a familiar face in the show, Naughty Natanya, and when I met Natasha Minsk, Lula Houp-Garou, and Siren Jinx, I instantly fell in love with all of them. The 4 of them are so amazing and talented and sweet, they made teaching the dance really easy and fun. And damn, they knock it out of the park.

I also had a lot of fun with the Zombie Cha Cha--J. Ben and Ryan just kill it with their faces and spirit, and they were great to work with, too. The whole cast and crew is amazing. The Greenhouse and Piccolo Theatre folks are a bunch of sweethearts who do a great job at what they do. It's an honor to get to work with them.

I have to thank the Belmont Burlesque Revue for getting me involved in the burlesque world--they put a lot of faith in me to work with them, and it has been a blessing. Thanks, Paris!

I also am especially grateful to all my supportive and wonderful friends, the group that came out for opening night (thank you!), the ones who couldn't but were there in spirit, and of course, my amazing Fuzzy who is my biggest cheerleader.

Last night I daydreamed about having a small storefront or studio space that I could use for burlesque dancers to work out their routines, teach workshops, and have fitness classes. I know that isn't very realistic in this economy, or if it is, it is a long way away, but it sure is a nice thought and something to shoot for. Until then, I have a few more projects on the horizon, and I think it's time for me to focus up and get myself to classes regularly. Things are looking good.

Is it Wrong...

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...that I'm relieved that Rio got the bid?


This week there've been so many ups and downs that I feel like I'm on a roller coaster. Am I right?

But seriously, folks--in a perfect world, I would love to spend a day in a spa or something to decompress and reset my motor. Of course, that would take money that we don't have, so instead I am going to sleep as long as I can tomorrow without the aid of an electronic timepiece to wake me up.

Apes is going awesome awesome awesome this season. If you live in Chicago and have a free Wednesday night, you should totally come and see it. Not cause I am asking you to, but because it's a really fun show that everyone should see. We've got 3 weeks under our belt now...its always so amazing to me how once it starts, it just keeps on going and going and trucking along and then suddenly, its done. But the contestants are awesome this year, the challenges are better than ever, and the hosts and judges are on fire. If you don't live in Chicago and are curious to see what this is all about, we live stream the show Wednesdays at 8pm Central on www.impresstheseapes.com.

Peekaboo, the Halloween burlesque show I am working on, opens tomorrow! I'm excited to get it up and running--I've put a lot of time, energy, love, sweat, and tears (and a little of Natanya's blood due to an unfortunate tack incident) into these pieces that I've done for the show. The zombie number is a lot of fun, and the group number I did for the ladies of the show is amazing. A show stopper. I think it is some of my best work, and I am excited for people to see it. Shoot, I'M excited to see it!

I am still sick, dammit. Can't quite shake it. I am hoping the sleep thing will take care of that, too. Too much mucus for this lady, dontchaknow.

I leave you today with an old backstage pic from Don't Spit the Water on 7/2/05. Ah...look how young and innocent:



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Everything is Better with Sea Lions on It

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This is what we decided this week. All it takes, is a little sea lion on top of it!

Little handheld ones like this.