Thursday, August 26, 2010

Tassels, Feather and Balloons...Oh My!

bur·lesque  (br-lskn. A variety show characterized by broad ribald comedy, dancing, and striptease.

Tom has a friend who is a burlesque dancer, they went to university together where she studied law. Flash forward a few years to today where she is now the producer and headliner of her own show.  Her name is Agent Lynch and her game "burlesque bombshell and pinup and all around 60's aficionado" and she is pretty fucking cool if you ask me!  It got me thinking, could I become a burlesque dancer?  I mean essentially it's just like acting, but I would be dancing and taking my clothes off...but I wouldn't have to get naked.  I mean, I've done scenes in acting class where I have been wearing a lot less than what these women were wearing.  It's not stripping and I wouldn't have men trying to shove money into a g-string (although at this point that doesn't sound so bad...anything for money right? I kid!  As I said my mom reads this!) But really, this burlesque thing is art and it looks pretty fun too.  

Ok, maybe I am getting a little ahead of myself b/c I can't just jump up on a stage and make money (see above) I would need some training and a gimick...but I'm creative and know how to move. And I'm sure I can be sexy... noone would know about the cackling laugh and tendency to make an ass of myself when I'm performing.  I would get to be someone else and have fun while doing it...and maybe make some money! I definitely can't hurt to look into it.  Agent Lynch does teach a class, I'm good at taking classes.  

Now at this point, I have all of my family and friends back in the states ready to buy me a plane ticket and ship all my stuff back home b/c I am thinking about "shaking my tassels" but don't worry, it may only be a fleeting thought. However I highly recommend you check out some burlesque, its kind of awesome!  Look at Dita von Teese, she is unconventionally gorgeous, makes lots of money and basically only wears pasties and frilly knickers :) 

Have I mentioned how badly I need to get a job, this is what happens when you go and see an amazingly fun show and then sit at home being rejected by companies looking for someone to fill a position that I am over qualified for...I'm thinking about investing in fishnet thigh highs, nipple tassles and frilly knickers.  It could be worse right...I could be thinking about escorting. Hi Mom!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Nothing Is Impossible

Yesterday I went to see the play Fuente Ovejuna at the Southwark Playhouse Theatre.   Caroline (my old roommate from New York, who is now living here to study) was sent an invitation to see this show via Facebook and she asked me if I wanted to come along.  I said yes as I don't like to give up any opportunity to see theatre.  I believe I was supposed to have read this play sometime when I was in college but had no recollection of it at all, well I am happy to say that although I had no recollection of it, after yesterday I wont forget it.  This play was written my Lope de Vega in the early 1600's and it was based on actual events and to quote my friend Harry "definitely not a comedy." It's got some heavy subject matter, however, this company took the script and did wonders to it to make it appeal to todays audience.  There were changes with the text, songs added in, a dance party at intermission and some audience participation, it was wonderful! I honestly cannot say enough good things about this show but I think what you really need to do it GO SEE IT!  Its in it's last week of it's run, so if you are in London I highly highly recommend getting tickets.  You can get there by clicking here!

After the show Caroline and I were lucky enough to sit down with Roberto, one of the actors (he is a friend of one of Caroline's friends from New York) and Daniel, the director. They were able to offer me some suggestions on how to get into the acting world in London. I was told about some websites to look at, some groups to look into, it was so great.  I was beginning to feel a little defeated when it came to learning where to find the theatre community here, I didn't know any actors here before yesterday and so I didn't know where to begin looking or who to ask.  The 2 of them were able to provide me with not only information about where to look, but all hope is not lost.  Last night after leaving the show I said to Caroline, seeing this show made me realize that it is possible to act here.  I mean there is nothing wrong with having pipe dreams of being on stage at The Globe, but right now I would be so happy to be able to do a show anywhere. Life is definitely not all about being on Broadway or in the West End...for me it's about doing what I love.  I came away from that conversation no longer feeling like acting here in London was impossible for me unless I was studying in a program somewhere.  

Now, with this newfound knowledge I have, I am going to see what I can find and where it takes me!  Hey, and maybe it will take me less time to get on stage here in London than it did in New's hoping!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Happy Anniversary

It may not seem all that exciting to you, but today marks my 1 month Londoniversary! I can't believe it's been a month already, where did the time go?  To commemorate this day I did something that makes me feel like I really live here...I got rid of my pay as you go cellphone and now I have a real contract phone.  My iPhone is now fully functioning just like it was in the US.  I can use all my apps and check my email and not get that annoying "your balance is..." message every time I send a text.  I'm a big girl again :)

Last night may very well have been my favorite night here in London.  I cooked dinner...yep, thats right, I cooked again.  This time I decided I wanted to whip up an arugula and goat cheese salad so I looked online for recipe ideas and added to it. I'm totally going to admit to the fact that I had to call my mom up and ask her how to cook chicken, I'm not ashamed!  I marinated the chicken breast in a honey dijon dressing and baked it. Then while the chicken (which turned out perfect by the way) was cooling off I washed the arugula leaves and added cherry tomatoes, dried cranberries, toasted pine nuts (that I toasted myself too) and goat cheese. Then I used the honey dijon dressing to top the salad off.  I have to say I was really impressed with it. I know it's only a salad but to come up with the stuff to put in it, I was impressed.  Tom was equally impressed too with the flavors that I included.  1 point for Jean in the kitchen!  For dessert I introduced Tom to s'mores.  My friend Laura send us over a package with the makings for s'mores since Tom had never had them before and we made ghetto style s'mores over the gas stove in the kitchen.  They were amazing.  I used to do the same thing for my old roommate Caroline and I when we had the makings but didn't want to light up the firepit in the back yard.  Gas stoves can come in real handy I tell you!

The note from Laura

Preparing the masterpiece

Look at that perfect marshmallow

About to try his 1st ever s'more

The young padawan learns well

Due to the sugar rush from eating the s'mores at 10pm last night I ended up getting a concert performance from Tom.  It began with a serenading of Phil Collin' "Take a Look at Me Now" and went into "A Whole New World" from Aladdin (which I happily sang Jasmine's part) and ended with the Moulin Rouge version of "Your Song"  I have not seen Tom let loose like that since I have been here. I mean we have certainly had our fair share of stupidity in the flat but it's usually my doing, but to have the tables turned and it be Tom making an ass of was brilliant!  I have not laughed like that in a while. It was hands down one of my favorite nights, if not my favorite night so far, here in London.

Friday, August 13, 2010

I Want to Ride My Bicycle

 Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, who gives Donald Trump a run for his money in the hair-do department, just launched this new bicycle hire scheme. It's really quite cool actually!  Currently it's not yet available to the general public but should be by the end of the month, but here is what it can rent a bike in London for as little as £1 for the day.  All you do is (if you are a member, I'm not) go to one of the multiple docking stations all over Central London, put in your "key" and one of the bicycles will be unlocked for your usage.  Then when you are finished you return the bike back to any docking's that easy!
Docking Station
So why am I not a part of this Barclays Cycle Hire Scheme you may ask? Because I am afraid to ride a bike!  I have known how to ride a bike since I was probably 5 or 6. I learned on a bike with 1 good tire and 1 almost flat tire and once I got good at it my parents bought me a gorgeous blue and white bicycle with a banana seat, basket and a bell.  I would ride that bike up and down the street and all over my grandparents driveway, I loved it.  Its what we did as kids.  One time I was riding my brother's bike that had no brakes and I lost control of the bike and wiped out on the street scraping my cheek on the pavement, but I still continued to ride.  Then there was the time I rode my beautiful new bike into a car parked at the end of my grandparents driveway and I broke my wrist (for the 3rd time) and that was when I wanted to hang up my handle bars and not ride again. But being a kid, you are fearless and I got back on my bike and continued to ride it.  Although once I became a teenager bike riding was out of the question, I had more important things to do, like hang out at the mall.  

Now, here I am at 32 and I couldn't tell you the last time I was on a bicycle (that isn't one of the stationary ones at the gym) but I want so badly to be able to rent one of those Barclays bikes and ride it around London.  Well, ok, I probably wont be taking to the streets on one, but I could ride in any of the numerous parks here in London.  But I am scared!  I was living in New York for just over a month when I ended up in the emergency room with a severely sprained ankle, Lord knows what would happen to me here!  Granted the incident in New York was due to excessive amounts of alcohol and a bathroom that had stairs coming out of it, who puts stairs in a a club?!?! Anyway, I digress, here I am brave enough to pack up my life and move 3500 miles away from all I know and love, but I'm too afraid to ride a bike?!  I think I need to change this! Just pray I don't end up in St. Mary's Hospital or something...eek!

Maybe someday soon this will be me!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Drag Queens and Dancing

I can certainly say that life here in London is definitely not boring. Last week my friend Lisa asked me if I wanted to go to a drag show on Sunday, to which I replied, count me in! I mean, how can you say no to a drag show?  Her friend was performing and we were going as moral support.  So, on Sunday night, I walked into Ku Bar in Leicester Square and was greeted by one of the most beautiful Queens standing a towering foot and a half above me, with a body to kill for!   That would be Vicki Vivacious...our hostess for the evening.  I knew by the look of things that this was going to be a fun night! The acts for the evening were Josie Quant (I will leave out the nickname they gave Josie as my mom reads this blog) and Misty Lee.  Vicki and Misty sang a few little ditties (yes I just called them ditties) and Josie did a bit of comedy.  I have to admit, I think one of my favorite things about drag queens is the lack of filtering that occurs, those bitches will say anything...and I LOVE IT!  I mean, honestly, why hold back?

One thing that make the night interesting was in attendence was a "Stag/Stagette" party do and it was a mix of gay men, straight men and women.  The straight men were deathly afraid of the drag queens, the girl's were obnoxious and the engaged couple were total diva's.  They made for some comedy over the evening and the made me want to either get into a fight or tear my hair out at other parts of the evening.  I happy to have the show end only to be done dealing with this party, but sad that the show was over as it was so much fun!

Lisa and I were going to take off after the show but were persuaded to stay by a couple of the guys that Lisa knows. We danced with some really adorable and handsome men all night long.  I had a good laugh after we left when I told Lisa that all my friends are telling me how I am going to meet some gorgeous men while I am here...and I have, but they are all gay!  I have to admit though, I've really missed having gay men in my life.  I have my darling Jack in New York, of course but I am really loving it here in London :)

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Happy Belated Birthday to Me!

Since Tom was away on my birthday he insisted on doing something the Friday after he got back from New York. To me it really didn't matter if I sat on the couch in sweats or if I went out to a bar or not.  I only just moved to London, (3 weeks today!) I don't have a whole lot of friends yet and the ones I do have were away or busy with their significant others.  Not to mention I am 32...aren't I getting to old too have birthday parties?  Ok so maybe that last part is just an excuse because I don't know a lot of people here and I'm just trying to justify not doing anything.  So, as I was saying, Tom insisted on doing something. I got all dressed up and met him after work in Trafalgar Square and we walked to a place called Sketch which is just off Regent Street.  We walked into this really uniquely designed foyer and Tom tells the woman at the door that he has a reservation and the woman replies "Party of 3? The other gentleman is already at your table" As you can imagine I am a little confused...we get brought to our table and sitting there is my friend Michael! Tom apparently contacted Michael through facebook and arranged this dinner.

Dinner was excellent and the place was insane.  There was this french fantasy-like theme going on as well as a bubble theme.  I wish you could have seen the bathroom loo! There was this all white, double staircase that went upstair into and open area but in the area were all these pods.  The pods were single toilets!  Everything was so pristine and futuristic up there.  Here I am at the really nice restaurant and all I can talk about is the bathroom!  I highly recommend doing a Google Image search to see what this place looked like as I cannot do it justice.

After dinner we went to one of the bars in the restaurant for a cocktail and then ventured off into London for another, cheaper drink at a local pub.  It turned out to be a great night.  Not that I didn't expect it to be, but it was just a completely unexpected night altogether.  And Michael and Tom got on really well which makes me so happy!  I love when my friends get along :)

Here are a few photos from the night...
Fast Friends

Me with the birthday planner

My surprise guest

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The One Where I Look For A Job

Job hunting sucks, plain and simple! Today while I was perusing the internet for job listings I had the television on for the first time since I've been here and the pilot episode of Friends was one. If you are not familiar with the show or have not seen it enough times, not only have you been living under a rock but you also don't know that in this episode Rachel leaves her fiance Barry at the alter and that is how she ends up living with Monica. Rachel comes from a wealthy family and has depended on her parents for money all her life and now she is forced to be an adult and tries to go out and get a job. She comes back from job hunting and says "well, I am not qualified to do anything..." and that my friends is exactly how I feel right about now!!!

I majored in acting. I have a Bachelors of Art in Drama...tell me how that is going to get me a job in anything other than acting?  Even then I am unsure of how much acting work I'll get with it. But right now I need to find a job and I'll pretty much do anything at this point, I just need to make some money.  I've had the most frustrating couple of days looking for jobs online because on paper I may not look like I am qualified to do the tasks at hand but really I pick things up so quickly and I am super reliable at work. Whats more frustrating is that I am 32 and there are kids graduating from school who will start off making a lot more money than I will and I have been in the job world 10 years longer!  If only "they" (meaning the employers posting these jobs) would "take a chance on me" (thank you ABBA) they wouldn't be disappointed...but I need them to actually take that chance and not just look at my resume cv.

I guess tomorrow is another day, I can see what is posted and if I am qualified.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

And Then I Cooked Dinner...

Tom arrived back from his New York trip yesterday morning and had to go straight to work so I asked (being the wonderful flatmate that I am) if he wanted me to do anything for when he got home.  He suggested that I whip up my lasagna, which just so happens to be 1 of 3 things that I can actually cook.  I had no qualms about cooking dinner however I couldn't just run to the local Stop & Shop and pick up the regular ingredients that I am used to cooking with.  I posted to my Facebook something about needing to find the UK equivalents to what I normally cook with and my friend Lisa suggested I try Whole Foods.  How bad could it be, I mean Whole Foods should be the same across the board right? No it's not.  I don't know if I was missing something when I went into the Whole Foods in Clapham Junction or what but they had about 3 aisles and I didn't see a meat or cheese area.  I quickly walked out of there as fast as I walked in and made my way to the Sainsbury just up the road.  There I found almost everything I needed.  I am quite partial to Prego pasta sauce but they don't carry Prego so I had to find something basic.  I also had to go to the Tesco just up from me because I couldn't find any ricotta cheese at Sainsbury.  I gathered up all my ingredients and began making dinner but that was not before I texted Lisa again to find out how to use the oven.  Over here they use centigrade rather than fahrenheit and there are 2 knobs on the oven, one with a fan and the other with a squiggly line.  Once I got that all squared away I was good to go.  Dinner actually came out great!  Tom seemed to like it, or at least he told me he did.  Bear in mind he is bordering on gourmet chef and whips up things like eggs benedict or chunky tomato soup with fresh tomatoes while I cook out of cans and jars. But hey, I cooked and I liked it!

I kept giving Tom shit about how he left me alone on my birthday and then he comes back and I cook dinner for him...however he surprised me with adorable birthday gifts!

Tom with at the mirror he decorated in the front hall

This birthday card really made me laugh!

Antique advertisements for yams...long story!

Tom also got a new bed delivered while he was away and we put it together after dinner. I never thought building a bed could be as comical as it was...but that's a story for a different day!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

When Living In Your Favorite City Sucks

Early this morning I got a text from my uncle wishing me a happy birthday, since I was awake I decided to check my email (for selfish reasons of course to see who might be sending me birthday wishes) and I had a facebook post from my sister.  In it she wrote that my nephew Cameron, he's 3, burnt his hand on the chiminea last night and had to go to the ER.  While in the ER he was crying "I want Auntie! I want Auntie!" and I wasn't there.  Just thinking about that now makes my eyes tear up.  Cameron is 100% boy in everything he does and has visited the ER more than my sister wishes.  The 1st couple times we're actually due to him spiking high fevers as a baby but the last time was last summer and he was running across the back yard and flipping into the kiddie pool.  Well this one time he slipped on the wet grass and hit his cheek on a slab of stone.  Would you believe that when we got him in the car, in fear of him needing stitches, I put a small bandaid on it and he didn't cry the entire ride to the hospital.  He is a trooper!  I haven't spoken to my sister yet since it's still "dark o-thirty" in Massachusetts but she told me that he has 2nd degree burns and his hand is wrapped up but he's trucking along.  What makes me so sad is that I couldn't be there for him.  I have actually been there for every trip to the hospital.  That my friends is when living in your favorite city sucks the worst...when it's 3500 miles away from home!

Me and the Cam-Man last Christmas playing with Photobooth

Learning My Way

Last night I went to see a show with my new friend Has and his friend Dr. Sean (as Has kept referring to him) over near Tottenham Court Road.  I hopped on the Tube at Vauxhall Station, got off at Warren Street and walked down the the theatre the show was at.  It was all fine and good since I left around 6pm.  Now the big difference between living in New York and living in London is that in New York everything runs 24 hours where as in London the Tube stops running around midnight and I have to rely either on cab's (which are super expensive) or busses.  I have been getting really familiar with the busses that run in my area however, when I take the Tube somewhere and I head back home after they close I have to research what route to take before I leave the house.  Last night, things got a little tricky...I left in time to get back on the Victoria line which would take me to get a bus home, but for some reason unbeknownst to me the Tube was shut down and I was left to my own devices.  And I am proud to say I found my way to Oxford Circus so I could catch my bus home.  Let me tell you, thank you Jesus for the London A to Z that I downloaded onto my phone!

Tonight I went to see Inception (which I give 2 thumbs up to and think you should see it!) with my friend Lisa, who treated me since my birthday is tomorrow...well here in London it's already my birthday.  Lisa lives South East of Central London so we had to find a place that was equidistant between us and that was Streatham.  Thanks to Lisa's husband they found and emailed me the route to take to get to the movies cinema. I took a new bus route that I had never been on before.  I love that I am learning all these new ways to get to places I have never been!  I feel so accomplished :)

Lastly, I learned how to us the washing machine AND the stove today.  Now you may be thinking that I am completely incompetent and haven't even cooked or done my own laundry before, but I'll have you know I've probably been doing my own laundry since I was 12.  Things are a little different here, the cook top or hob as they call it, looks like it would be simple however I was unaware that when you turn the knob on and the gas comes out you have to push a little button that then lights the flame.  It's a little scary, I'm not going to lie.  I mean I feel like I was about to fill the flat with gas and then hit this little button and I'd have a Fight Club moment where the whole place explodes!  I certainly wouldn't want Tom coming home to a charred flat.  And the washing machine, I got a tutorial on the phone last night from Tom. Its a front loader and I've used one of those at my sisters but I know that you have to pour the soap into a little dispenser up top. Not in this case though. Its super simple, I throw the clothes in, toss in a washing tablet, it start and voila!

Really it's the little things in life that excite me.  Now I think I am going to head off to bed and think about what other exciting things I can do for my birthday.  I have more laundry in mind...ooohhh!!!!