Friday, November 30, 2007

Moonlight and Magnolias

Keri, Joe, Robert and my BFF standing in front of the poster. (Nice purse)

Debra made a surprise guest appearance after her show at the other Barksdale (Hanover Tavern) ended for the night. She is starring in Swingtime Canteen and I can't wait to see it!
Scotty - either deep in thought or sleeping with his eyes open.
Chanukah at the Barksdale. Who knew?
Dave Bridgewater stands between the lovely Frank and Carol Creasey.
Artist and set designer Terrie Powers and her very hip children spoke about bands, myspace and facebook. I learned a few things.
Andy and our hostess Jennings.
Phil, Tom and Bruce looking dapper.

I can't believe this opened a week ago and I have yet to blog about it. I must have had a busy week but for the life of me I can't tell you what I did.

Anyway, tonight I am going to the opening of A Christmas Story at Theatre IV. It will be fun and interesting to see how they have adapted this popular movie to the Empire stage. One thing I love about the movie is that it is narrated by the author of the story and it is autobiographical so Jean Shepard is talking about himself and on top of all that he has a great speaking voice. When I was young I gobbled up all the Jean Shepherd books I could get my hands on. Wanda Hinkleys Night of Golden Memories and In God We Trust, all Others Pay Cash come directly to mind but I am sure there were others. But I digress, I will have to tell you about that next week - after I actually see it.

Last Friday Moonlight and Magnolias opened at the Barksdale Willow Lawn location. This show is fascinating, fast paced, knee slapping funny and surprisingly touching. Flawlessly Directed by my BFF. Starring 4 of my favorite actors to watch on stage - Scotty Wichmann, Joe Pabst, David Bridgewater, and Joy Williams. It is the (sort of) true story of what (might have) happened when they shut down production of Gone With The Wind to re-write the screen play in 5 days. I don't want to ruin the ending but I hear they do eventually get the movie made. What more could you ask for? Go see it people!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

We Officially Welcome Charles Griggs Steinberg

Thing 2 with her brand new brother (Thing 6!!) . He looks a little tuckered out.

Mom with little Chip.
Pop during the baby naming.
Welcome Chip. We have been waiting for you for so long. I am so glad you are finally here. One day soon we will hang out. There are so many cool things that Aunt Muffin Face will teach you.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Urban Family Thanksgiving

Robert brought this beautiful dessert.
Dysfunctional Urban Family Robert's sausage stuffing.
Homemade mashed potatoes.

Fancy bowl, huh?
The famous "toast bones".
Green bean casserole
Squash casserole
Big Bird
My impromptu gravy

The "toast bones" are a famous Alexander family recipe. When HNS's mother made her wonderful cucumber sandwiches she took the crusts and seasoned them and baked them at a very low heat until they were crispy. I use them for snaking and croutons. It always makes me feel good making the cucumber sandwiches and the bones. I am so grateful that I knew her. I tried to take a picture of the sandwiches but it was all too white but they tasted great!

Since I go to my Step-Sister's house for turkey day I have not had the opportunity to cook my own Turkey in the last few years. This year I decided it was time and I haven't had the chance to cook that much lately so I spent the entire day Saturday cooking. It was so much fun and so relaxing. I made green bean casserole and squash casserole, A big turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, salad, cucumber sandwiches and toast bones. Oh yeah, and jell-o shooters. Nothing says Thanksgiving to me more than Jell-o shooters. Just like mom used to make.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Be Thankful

Clearly this is a Turkey.
Some of our Holiday Spread.
Kitty Mom, Mom and Pop.

Thing One and Thing Three.
Apple Pie made by thing One.
Muffin face surrounded by some of her favorite people!

My Mother and I made what is now becoming an annual trip to my step-sisters for Thanksgiving. I love doing this for a few reasons. My mom and I have have a fun time traveling together (really!), I get to be with one of my Nieces and one of my Nephews, I get to see my Step-Sister and her hubby and I get to be with all my parents at once. It really is a win/win situation.

My Mother makes a killer sweet potato Souffle. I don't have any pictures of it here because it was eaten too fast. I will get her recipe to share and post it soon.
When my mother and I arrived in Va Beach my mom gave me a package and said "This is from HNS but he wanted me to give this to you when we got here." It was my very own digital camera! I have been borrowing his for a while now and am so excited to have my own. Thank you HNS - I will take pics of your new home soon and share all that exciting news with my readers. (all 3 of them!)
I am thankful for my awesome and supportive family.
I am thankful for my amazing friends.
I am so thankful I live in America.
I am thankful I have a job I love.
I am thankful for the ability to learn and grow.
I am thankful for my health and the health of my loved ones.
I am thankful to have such a kind and generous ex-boyfriend.
I am thankful I live in a beautiful place.
The list goes on and on............................

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

A Commercial Shoot

Yesterday I shot a regional spot for The Virginia Pre-Paid Education Program. It was great to spend the day with some theatre people that I don't often get to see. And who doesn't love shooting commercials for extra money? Six hours after our call time we were finally filming our part. There are always hours of down time on shoots so I like to spend that time catching up with everyone and watching the other scenes. This one starts off with a bunch of children singing a song to their parents about how they (their parents) will never retire because college is going to be so expensive.
I apologize in advance for this song getting stuck in your head when you see the commercial. I didn't write it.
The commercial was shot at a school in my neighborhood that was built at the spot where Maggie Walker was born. I had some time to read about this during all that down time.
When I walked in at the beginning of the day I sat with my peeps and the producer came over and started telling us who we were being paired up with for the shoot - Who were going to be our pretend commercial husbands and wives - well, guess what folks? She came up to me and said - "...and Muffin Face- you are going to be our single mother."
Damn - I can't even get a "pretend" husband.
It was then that I came to the sad conclusion that even in make-believe-Commercial land - I was oh so all alone.

Friday, November 16, 2007

My Mother's High School Reunion

You can open your eyes now Ma.
My Mothers friends at the reunion dinner.

My Mother grew up in the Midwest glory of Ft. Wayne, Ind. She went to IU and then on to Michigan. She eventually escaped the Midwest for the fashionable East Coast but she occasionally goes back to visit and when that happens I always hear hilarious stories of "remember when?"
I am not a stranger to the Midwest myself, having spent all the summers of my youth at camp GUCI (Goldman Union Camp Institute). A reform Jewish camp smack in the middle of KKK country outside of Indianapolis. But camp stories will have to wait.

My mother recently went to her 50th High School reunion. She has a small group of girlfriends that have mini-reunions so they all went together to this big one.

One of my favorite "Mom" stories happened to her on her way home from school one day. She had a best friend that would walk home with her everyday. One day this so called best friend yelled at her the entire way home. She yelled "You killed Jesus! You Killed Jesus!!"
By the time my mom finally got home she was nearly inconsolable. When she finally calmed down enough to tell my Grandmother Ebby what was wrong all she could get out was "Susie said I killed Jesus, but I don't even know a Jesus!"

Clearly, truer words had never been spoken. ( and I made up that her name is Susie - not that I am trying to protect her but I can't remember her name.)

So we were all wondering what happened to this girl who yelled at my Mom? What had become of her? She has been talked about in my family for years and Mom was about to come face to face with her accuser. I am guessing my Mom was not looking forward to seeing her again But it made me giddy with anticipation.

At some point during the reunion dinner "Susie" approaches my Mother and just when my mom is rolling her eyes to her friends and one of them is laughing like crazy "Susie" gives my mom a big hug and someone takes their picture for the archives. I am waiting to see that picture. I wish I had it to post for you all now but I promise I will track it down soon.
Now don't get me wrong, my Mom had a great time at the reunion and I am only speaking of this particular moment because the story has always intrigued me. Every time I spoke to my Mom while she was at the reunion she sounded blissfully happy. That includes the two times she called me as she was passing the childhood home of James Dean. (the actor, not the sausage guy).

I think little old "Susie" forgot about that fateful day my Mom killed Jesus because she was very nice to her this time. Apparently she is a minister now so I would have liked it if she apologized but you know - it's only been 50 steps.

Dinner with Artists

A wee little statue in Va Beach.
There really is an explanation for this.
Muffin sandwich.

Last Saturday I had the pleasure of dining at the home of Kelly Kennedy and Paul DiPasquale.

Kelly is an amazing actress and singer/musician and Paul is a famous sculptor. His work includes The Arthur Ashe statue on Monument avenue, the Indian overlooking our baseball diamond, the huge statue of Neptune in Va Beach, and, perhaps most notably, my ear.

I first met Kelly when she played my mother in Peter Pan. (a few years back)
I was reunited with her last year during Barksdale's production of The Constant Wife. She is one of the best actresses I have seen around these parts and she can sing like an angel sings. I am sure she has many recordings I could plug if I actual knew about them. I will find out about those and get back with you.

They don't live far from me and they probably thought I would hear about it anyway so they were kind enough to invite me to their home on Saturday where a scattering (flock, gaggle) of artists gathered for dinner.

One great thing about a night at Paul and Kelly's is that you know you are going to meet some interesting folks you don't know. I was seated next to a woman who is an artist and we became fast friends. I will visit her studio sometime and write a post just about her.

Dinner itself was amazing. A fish stew and roasted beets and homemade rolls and a beautiful salad. I am probably forgetting something but I ate light since I am still in a fierce competition. (Robyn O.)
However I wanted to share this stew recipe with you. It was just wonderful and I do miss talking about food. I love food. I miss french fries and cheese - oh the cheese. But I digress....
I have asked Kelly for her recipe and have not received it yet. I will post it as soon as I can!!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Unbelievably Huge Art Bargain

My Birthday present a couple years ago from my peeps.

One of the paintings on ebay right now!

Greig Leach is one of my favorite artists - and I am not alone. You can't drive down Main Street without seeing his work proudly displayed in salons and restaurants. He happens to be in a few museums too. I have been lucky enough in the past to be in a show with his amazingly talented wife, Bridget Gethens, or when Greig himself has designed the set and he gives sketches as opening night gifts. These I have treasured and proudly displayed. A few birthdays ago my fabulous friends commissioned Greig to paint me as Lizzy in The Syringa Tree. You can imagine my joy when opening this present. Greig even painted a picture of the night I got that present. I can't afford that yet but it is certainly on my wish list and I do have a limited edition print of it.

So - during the last play I was in I used some of that money to purchase 3 of his original paintings. How could I afford this?I hear you ask. Art is a great investment but Greig has make it easy by doing the Painting a day series on EBay. go to ebay and google his name under the art category and you are half way to owning a Greig Leach original. Or try

or go to his website

The three I bought are lying on my bedroom floor waiting for the day I can afford to frame them but I get delighted every time I look at them lying there. So go bid on some art bargains. It is good for the soul.

Happy Birthday Robyn O. Eat something for Christsake!

A couple Cougars.

I met a couple girlfriends for a Happy Hour and boy was it Happy - we laughed and carried on and I think we got a few funny looks from near by folks overhearing bits of saucy girl-talk. Janine dragged Robyn O. and I out to toast Robyn's 60th Birthday - which won't happen for another 20 years or so.
In case you have missed previous posts - Robyn and I are in a weight loss competition that has very high stakes for the loser. Or the one who loses the least. Or - You know what I mean. So I like to tease her once in a while on the blog. It is all in good humor and I am sure she just loves it.

It is Robyn O's real Birthday today. I am hoping she goes out to eat a lot of food tonight. But whatever she ends up doing I hope it is fun and she has a great time.

After all - you only turn 60 once!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Thanks Sissy

Why did this remind her of me?

My Prayer

I hope to Jesus that Sushi is not fattening and is actually good for you. Amen.

It seems I can't get enough of it. For so much of my life I didn't eat it and thought I didn't like it. I must be making up for lost time. I have been to the new Carytown Sushi place two nights in a row. Thankfully the staff was different than the night before.

As I sat at work today pondering how long I could go without returning it occurred to me that , duh, there are lots of Sushi places where I live so I will just try a different one and go to them all on a rotating schedule. Your mind really can wander while you are filing. And while I am doing that why not go ahead and review them all for you here. I am definitely a novice and most likely should never be taken seriously but that being said - I will tell you what I think of each Sushi place I visit.

Hopefully the first review will appear soon.

Anyone with any sushi restaurant or dish recommendations please comment.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Open Mic Night

Poe's Pub - Located conveniently 2 blocks from me has an open mic night every Tuesday hosted by Jim Daab (of Mystery Dinner Theatre fame)
Sign up starts at 8:30
Music Starts at 9:00
Everyone welcome (I was there last Tuesday night and believe me, that is true)
Bring your friends to Cheer you on and you will feel like a star!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Special Delivery

Charles "Chip" Griggs Steinberg
Born at 12:47 pm today
6 lbs even, 19 in long


Pictures to come.....................

My Little Brother is having a baby - right now!!

OK - his wife is having a baby - but you know what I mean. I am so excited and awaiting an update. The above picture was taken a few years back. Now he looks like this:

That's him on the right - pictured with his beautiful wife.

But My favorite pic of him is below. Pictured with his daughter.

More to come.......

Friday, November 2, 2007

Lets try this again. Mozel Tov Dr. and Mrs. Rusyniak!

These pictures prove that they really are happy and not angry. Mmmm. Almost a snarl but I love this pic. Something about the different focal points. From the rehearsal dinner.
From the reception
Best Man, Barry, giving his toast.

So you see, they actually can take a good picture and not look angry at the camera. It actually is possible. Of course, It might have helped that I was no where around when these were taken.