Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Goodbye '12...Hello '13

Happy New Year!!!

With a new year brings a new beginning and I'm very much looking forward to mine.  Last night I spent New Years Eve drinking wine, eating chocolate, painting my nails and looking back on this past year.  2012 was an interesting year and as I was thinking back on it I realized that despite a lot of struggle, there were many great things that happened to me. Don't worry, I won't bore you with all the details (you probably know most of them anyway if you've been reading along with me.)  With that being said, I am really excited to have a fresh start. I am going to take all the good from last year and take it with me into 2013 but I'm also going to add a lot more to it...2013 is going to be my year!

I've decided I'm not going to make resolutions, but instead make goals for myself.  I started making a list of things I want to do and I'm going to work really hard at accomplishing them.  I'll share some of my goals I've made for myself.
  • Read at least one book a month...I did this last year and I ended up reading 14 in total.  I love to read and kind of put in on the back burner for a while.  
  • See at least 1 live performance a month whether is be a music gig, a play, a ballet etc.
  • January detox...I'm not going to drink for the whole month and I'm going to eat much healthier and cleaner.
  • Continue with ballet class...but I'm adding that I want to make some really great progress and if I can afford it I want to take another dance class on top of it.
  • Write in my daily journal...I started this journal last year and slacked off majorly, but its important to remind myself of the good things that happen every day and be thankful for them.
These are just a few things I'm going to work on.  There are a lot of other things I have that I want to work on, but I'm going to keep those a bit more private.  This year for me is about sorting myself out and making myself a better and more balanced person.  Bring it on 2013...I'm ready for you!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Plié … Relevé

I think I mentioned a few weeks back that I started taking ballet again after many, many years.  I cannot begin to tell you how happy it makes me to be doing this.  I started dancing when  I was five and danced until I was about fifteen. Its always been something I loved to do, but quit when I hit that awkward time in my adolescence. Lucky for me, having been involved in theatre for many years I was still able to take a class every now and again.  Flash forward 19 years to me a month ago, in my black leotard, black tights and pink ballet shoes, ready to take on the world of dance again.  Its wonderful and challenging all at the same time.  I'm so pleased that I'm doing it but I get frustrated with myself because I want to immediately be good again. I know I cant expect to be on top form after only a month of class but I want to be.  I'm taking it seriously and always hoping to improve. I love when my teacher tells me something positive, like I'm good at keeping my back flat or my shoulders down...its the little things.  I hope to continue on doing this as its not only good to keep busy, but its good to do something you enjoy.  Not to mention the one area of my body that Ive always hated has started to look good...my legs!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


This past Saturday, 13th of October, it was World Zombie Day. A few friends and I put on our best blood and took part in a massive Zombie Walk (read: pub crawl) through the streets of London.  We started over on the South Bank and while the walk ended somewhere in Central London, we veered of the route towards the end to see an incredible band (Death in Texas) play a gig in Angel. We had such a fun time, as you can see below. And I'm going to toot my own horn by saying that I did all the makeup you see.  I wish I could dress up every weekend with this crew (Alex, Keely and Nikki) and have this much fun!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Falling Off and Getting Back On

I seem to keep falling off the blogging wagon and always have some sort of excuse as to why my life has been so crazy or what I have been up to.  To be honest, things had been a bit busy at the beginning of last month, but other than that I just got lazy or sucked into Breaking Bad and have done not much else.  How did things get busy? Well...I moved.  I'm no longer living in Battersea with Tom, my home for the 1st two years in London. I've moved to North London...to Harringay and I really do love it.  It reminds me a lot of when I was living in Astoria, NY. Its a lot busier and happening. There's more around and it's not too far from the Tube which makes getting around London quite convenient.  I've gone from living with just Tom, to now living with 2 guys and 1 girl. We'll have a 5th member of the house come the new year as one of the guys moved to Qatar for work.  Its a good mix of people, we all get on well and I love, love, love my new bedroom. It still needs a little love, but in due time it will look amazing.

Now, the main reason I have decided to get back on the blogging wagon is because I need your help, support, guidance, ass kicking...you name it, I need it!  Leading up to the Olympics I was doing a load of exercise and also eating much healthier. Post Olympics I got really lazy, was unwell and then had my heart broken a little bit. Needless to say, I stopped all that good stuff for about 2 months, but now I need to get back into it.  I started ballet again...after 19 years. I'm still VERY rusty, but feel good about myself for doing it. Also, tonight I start my 1st jazz class as well...but I need to do more exercise. Not only will it help me improve in my dancing, it will also get me in better shape.  I feel good, better than I have in a while but I want to feel and look even better.  I'm in my mid-30's so its really important to me to take care of myself!  I need to start eating healthier again, but I'm mostly cooking for one and I get bored or uninspired...or there is also the fact that I don't cook very well.

So my dear readers, friends, loved ones...can you give me all your best inspiration, recipes, exercises, support?  I promise for you all I will be a better blogger and I will even be that girl who writes posts on food and inspiration if you want.  But for right now, this...

Saturday, August 25, 2012

I Am Inked

Most people are surprised when then find out I have tattoos. I currently have 8 (as of last week) and I love them.  I love my tattoos, I love other peoples tattoos, I just love tattoos.  I got my 1st one when I was 20.  It is a Chinese symbol for 'star' on my lower back (tramp stamp) I wont lie...I picked if off of a wall when we went up to New Hampshire for my sister's 25th birthday present.  I had always wanted a tattoo and was told I could get one as soon as I was 18. I don't regret picking it off the wall, it represents who I was as a 20 year old.

At 25 I got my 2nd tattoo.  I was in Florida visiting my mother and I remember besides seeing her, getting a tattoo was the only other thing I wanted to do while I was down there.  I also remember my sister pitching a fit b/c it was something that she didn't want to do and it was taking up an hour of her time.  But my mother happily drove me back to the place and I got a cross tattooed on my foot. 

From that point on, I got a new tattoo almost every year there after. 

After the tree, I took some time off. I think it was mostly due to the pain I sat through getting that beautiful piece of artwork done.  It was the most (physically) painful thing I had ever endured.  I knew though, that someday I would get another, just didn't know what or where.  Until a couple months ago, I talked about something but didn't know what to do until I saw a quote that really resonated with me.
"She is clothed in strength and dignity and she laughs without fear of the future"
I knew that was what I wanted. And I booked the appointment.  It was a big thing for me too since it would be the first tattoo I got in my new home.  Last week I sat in Tattoo 13 in Soho waiting for the tattooist to call me in.  About 40 minutes later I walked out with a smile on my face and this beautiful new piece of artwork on me.  

I know some people have pretty strong opinions on tattoos. Things like "yeah but how is that going to look when you are 60?" or "you realize that is permanent right?" But honestly, its my body and I will choose to do what I want with it, when I want with it and will deal with what comes later in life.  I'm aware that some people think its trashy and low class and they are entitled to think that, but did you know...

I just thought I would put this out there.  Its a little bit about me that you might not know unless you know me personally.  I'd like to think that people who like me now would still like me if I looked like this, as I don't think it would change my personality if my body was covered in art.  

Monday, August 13, 2012

London 2012 and Me

Y'all, I have been seriously MIA for the last 5 months or so.  My life has been crazy to say the least.  I'm sure you all know that I was one of the thousands of people chosen to take part in the Opening Ceremonies for the London 2012 Olympic Games.  That is where I have disappeared to, only to return mostly unscathed and with memories to last a lifetime.  I mean, its not every day you can say you lived in that city when the Olympics took place and not only am I lucky enough to say that, but I can say I was a part of it.

I spent from April to July rehearsing anywhere from 5 hours after work to 12 hours a day, it was mental.  We started this journey in a film studio over in Bromley-by-Bow where we danced, danced, danced our asses off.  From there we moved to the EVER-SO-GLAM car park in Dagenham.  Have you ever been to Daggers? Don't go, there is no reason ever to go out there.  I spent about 1.5 months in a car park in hot weather but mostly rain and wind.  In June we moved...I got off the Tube in Stratford, walked through Westfield Shopping Centre and came across this...

Holy shit!!! I'm going to be performing there?!?!  Indeed I was.  I spent a little over a month again mostly in the rain rehearsing at Olympic Stadium. It was unreal.  I worked with Danny Boyle (of Slumdog Millionaire, 127 Hours, Trainspotting, 28 Days Later...fame) as our director. You might be thinking Mr. Big-Wig Hollywood Winning Director, how often was he there?  I think he was there all but 2 of my 100+ rehearsals.  He is the most amazingly generous and kind man ever...and what an experience to be able to speak to him and hear his visions and all that jazz.  Holy Shit...me, a little girl from Norwell, Massachusetts was going to be a part of the biggest show on Earth (no, not the circus...but at times it felt like it.)

The 27th of July arrived and this is how I was feeling...

This was is, what we've all worked so hard for.  80,000 people would fill that big bowl behind me and some 2-4 billion people would be tuning in to watch.  Wait, what?!?!  

Meanwhile, 1.5 miles from the stadium we were all in our costumes waiting to be called for the show to start.  At 20:12pm (that's 8:20pm non military time) the pre-show would begin and we would start to make our way down to the main event.  

I wish I could describe everything, but this post would be WAY too long.  But what I can tell you is that waiting down in our voms before we went on was the most outrageous and exiting moment.  I'm an actress, I have been performing most of my life whether its been in dance recitals or in shows. Those moments when you are waiting in the wing before you head on stage for the first time there is so much going through you.  I had butterflies, I must have told my "bed buddies" I needed to pee at least 10 times, I was so nervous but mostly I was so full of excitement and energy.  I was going to be in the Olympics!  

God Save the Queen was being sung around the time of the above photo.  Right after that it was time to push that bed and showtime! One of the girls told me to leave one of my inner ears out as I enter the stadium to take in the crowd.  The sound of 80,000 people waiting to see whats going to happen next is unlike anything you will ever know unless you've been there.  I keep saying it, and I kept saying it that entire week, but Holy Shit Y'all!!!! 

We danced, we pushed beds, we zombied and we curtsied to the Queen! I was AMAZING!!!! I was sweaty and tired and on the biggest high of my life.  I was in the Motherf*cking Olympics!

On my walk back after passing all the athletes (I saw Usain Bolt!) I took this last photo.

It was a bittersweet moment.  This place had pretty much been my home for the last month and like that it was all over.  This was our final goodbye.  I posted it on my Facebook and immediately my mom commented on it saying congratulations and this would be a memory to keep forever.  My response...Mommy, I was in the Olympics!!!

There you have it, that's where I have been these last months.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Ah Paris...

Well my friends, I have been back from Paris for a few days now and I'm still dreaming about being there.  It was wonderful and I could not have had a better 3 days away.  I will go into detail later on, but for now, here are a few Instagram  photos (follow me...jmcnamara78) of what I did while I was there.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Countdown to Paris: Day 1

I know my counting might seem a little off, but I have to get through today and then I leave tonight for Paris.  So technically I have 1 more day.  OMG in going to Paris!!! I'm so excited....in case you couldn't tell.  Tonight, at 7:01pm I will be on a Eurostar train en route to one of the most beautiful cities in the world.  Its going to be amazing.  This guy right here, my wonderful flatmate Tom, who you all know and love...

...he is responsible for this trip.  He gave me the gift of a Eurostar voucher to help fund my long standing dream to visit Paris!  We're staying in this very cool hotel located between Gare de Lyon and Opéra Bastille.

We'll be doing lots of exciting things that I have written about in the last 17 days exploring a fun new city (new for me, not for him) and practising my very poor French speaking skills.  

But what I'm really looking forward to is spending the long weekend with my dear friend and having a wonderful time.  

Je vous verrai la semaine prochaine...that's like French innit!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Countdown to Paris: Day 2

One thing that I am very much looking forward to is getting out of London and recharging my batteries.  I've been feeling a bit low and anxious, so it will be good to be able to mentally check out for a few days and just enjoy life.  I haven't been out of London since New Year and I am way over due to.  So I hope to be doing a bit of this...

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Countdown to Paris: Day 3 (and my 100th post!)

Today marks my 100th post my friends, I feel like I should have a party, much like they do when a television series hits their 100th episode. I remember thinking wow 100 really isnt that high of a number, it seems like you hit it so fast. However I have been blogging for 2 years now and only just hit 100! To celebrate, I'm going to tell you about how I leave London in 3 days, for a long weekend in Paris...as if you didn't already know that! What am I looking forward to, you ask....

Cafés...Parisian cafés.  One thing I love to do when I travel is fit in and feel like I local.  So I very much look forward to sitting outside at a café with a cup of coffee and a baguette chatting about my day (or day ahead) and attempting to be all chic like the local Parisians.