Thursday, July 31, 2008

shamless self promotion

Well - it is my blog after all.........

PS - Anonymous can suck on this!!! - (don't worry if you don't know what that means.)

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Crab Louie's

Bean and onion salad

sauerkraut mix
she-crab soup
Martha's salad

zucchini bread and apple-cheddar bread

Firecracker shrimp

crab cake and seafood Latkie

Fried Seafood

I had been wanting to try this restaurant for ever and a day. Last week was Greig Leach's birthday and on baseball night he told me that his family went out to Crab Louie's. It reminded me to go while I still lived on the South Side. I drilled him about what he ate - I love food details. I went with an open mind and empty stomach and my cell phone for easy pictures. (that is why they all look a little fuzzy.)
Crab Louie's is located in a small shopping area in the village of Midlothian - just a stones throw from the house. It is comfortable with the tables spaced very far from each other and very rustic and tavern looking without seeming old and dingy. We only waited about 10 minutes at the bar for a table. At the bar I had one of the best dirty vodka martini's I have ever had. I took that as a good sign.
Eventually we sat at a romantic corner table. On the table were the bean salad and the sauerkraut mix. I was hesitant, especially of the sauerkraut and wasn't quite sure why it was there. The waitress explained it was there for us to put on out bread plates and nibble on. (I guess I could have figured that out eventually) The beans were really good. The sauerkraut (which I had sworn off years ago after I sm'd a production of The Foreigner where I had to go under the stage and hand up sauerkraut through a small hole in the floor- there is more to this story but that is not for now) It actually tasted good but after a couple bites we moved it out of our way because the smell was so strong. We were so hungry we were bound to over order. And we did. But no matter - left overs are great, right?

I ordered the she-crab soup and Steve O. had clam chowder. He liked his but since I am not a fan of Clams I did not taste it myself. The she-crab soup was excellent with big chunks of crab meat though out.
I upgraded my salad to a Martha's Vineyard style salad which consisted of blue cheese crumbles and a maple vinaigrette dressing. It was excellent.

We ordered an appetizer of Firecracker shrimp. These were big shrimp, lightly fried (but still really crispy) covered in a sauce that burns the hell out of your mouth. It was tasty though and I am not one to complain about spicy. (unless curry is involved - yuck)

When the main course arrived I was not at all hungry anymore, as is often the case with me. I ordered what Greig told me he had. It was a broiled crab cake and one of their famous seafood Latkies. The name alone cracked me up. Are they trying to be Ironic? (or is that irony - I have issues with what irony is exactly) Anyway - The "latkie" was made up of crab, shrimp and lobster. It must be a reform latkie. Tee-Hee. It was excellent as was the crab cake - full of great crab and little else - maybe nothing else. OK - a few shells but I can handle that.
Steve O. got a big plate of fried seafood. It looked good to me but I couldn't taste anything else after sampling my dinner. I was full. I was glad we finally tried Crab Louie's and I would definitely go back but I will make myself order much less food.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Braves Lose on Restaurant Night

My row of friends who came to cheer for The White Dog!!

Not sure what was happening - just figured I should take a pic of the field.

Lee, newly back from his trip to Philly came to cause some havoc - at least he was dressed better than the rest of us!
More White Dog folks.

I never heard anyone scream as loud or as often as Lee!

you can barely read the sign but it says White Dog at the bottom.

The Diamond Duck gets a squeeze from a waitress.

Bruno and Sioux

Well, I was expecting it to be 100 degrees so I was surprised to discover it was a near perfect night. Not a cloud in the sky and the temperature was probably in the low 80's with no humidity. I am not a huge baseball fan - maybe in the major leagues or watching some real important game but when I go to the diamond (which is about once every 5-10 years) I go for the hot dogs, beer and company. Last night was no exception. The game was boring - the hot dogs were good and the company was great. I also wanted to get a game in before the Braves leave us for good.

And it was restaurant night - Barry and Roslyn invited about 40 people and we all tried to out yell Cary St Cafe when they splashed the name of the White Dog across the scoreboard (or whatever that thing is called)

I am curious about what will happen to the very large American Indian sculpture that graces the stadium. My friend, Paul made it years ago and it is a very interesting story how it ended up being at the stadium. He will have to write that story for you someday because it is long and involved and I don't want to get it wrong!

Anyway...they lost the game. I was so tired I went home afterwards while everyone else went out. I got situated on the sofa and I turned on the TV and Meet me in St. Louis was just starting! Oh Joy! I was so happy. I think I smiled for the entire 2 hours it was on. - Except for the parts I cried through!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Thanks Guest Blogger Lee!

As you know I am busy with a little one person show so I have been neglecting my blog - I asked my friend Lee to write something for us about his last business trip. I still am not sure what it is he actually does - but I am sparing you a couple of the pics he sent that might have been offensive and just weren't very pretty. Above are the pics he sent that didn't turn my stomach. I think they even might make my Sissy a bit homesick. (Not the first pic but the ones of Philly!)

Tales from the Road 7/26/08
Philadelphia Freedom

Shalom, Y'all! (And Good Reasoning to you, Ken!)

After multiple trips to & from New York, I finally got to come back to the City of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia! Unlike most of my trips out of town, I was traveling as a passenger in the truck for the AAFP Maternity meeting at The Loews Philadelphia Hotel. The last time I was here, the sole detached from my right steel-toed shoe. This time, it was my LEFT sole that detached. Even though I looked like a schmuck as the sole slapped against my foot, it had the rather unintended benefit of keeping the homeless guys from hitting me up for spare change! As I was walking down to South Street from the hotel, the question was posed to me as to why someone would be homeless in a city with such brutal winters as Philadelphia. I'll let others answer the questions about the underlying causes of homelessness...because quite frankly it's not all that funny! I just don't think it's fair for the home-grown homeless in places like Orlando (ha!), Tampa, or Miami to compete with ringers from places like New York, Detroit, or Philly! Let's face it: the folks in Fla. wouldn't stand a chance against the stronger aggressive species! It'd be like introducing a predatory species in a pond that would overwhelm the native species! One thing I would have liked to capture on video (or audio) were some of the loud rants that the homeless were having with themselves. WAY more entertaining than the Bumfight videos that were being sold a few years ago! Just the audio alone would be worth it to sell as ringtones! (Not that I would EVER exploit the homeless...)

The drive up here was...interesting. I had the "blessing" to ride up here with a new driver. An individual who apparently is utterly clueless in reading body language! Now if someone put their earbuds for their iPod in their ears, crossed their arms, and bowed their head...would you try to engage that person in idle mindless chit chat? I know I wouldn't! I'm not going to give his name to protect his identity, but a couple of you know who he is! He will not stop talking! If he had something to say that was interesting, or even used different inflections to his voice! SOMETHING! Dear God, the drive up here was painful! In addition to the drone-like quality of his voice, he also drove like an old woman...and I don't mean like The Little Old Lady from Pasadena, either! Cars & trucks were passing us from the left & right. I told him to get in the right lane, but he wouldn't, for whatever reason. It was just a matter of time before he was in the left-hand lane with the turn signal on, and he didn't fail to disappoint! Just the Philly skyline came into view, there he was in the left lane! We actually drove into downtown so that he would know how to get there, as well as how to get to the truck parking lot, which was quite a few blocks away from the hotel. As we were driving to the loading dock, he commented that he thought that Philadelphia was one of the cleanest cities he'd ever seen! When he made the long walk from the truck parking lot and got back from the hotel, I asked him if he still felt the same way! Naturally, he did not. Not that there's anything wrong with Philly, but anytime you get a bunch of human beings all together in one spot, things tend to get a bit messy!

One of the places I've always wanted to visit every time I've come to Philly was the Italian Market. This time, I was able to achieve that goal! I even made it to Ralph's Restaurant (, the oldest Italian Restaurant in the country owned by the same family. The ravioli & meat sauce was quite tasty, & my Project Manager enjoyed the Lasagna as well! We also made it back to South Street, where I was able to purchase my "I Love Being Black" t-shirt! Most of you all know that shirts like that are cat nip for clones to me! I just can't resist! After getting back from South Street, I turned on the Boob Tube (in honor of the breast-feeding session I sat in on) & saw that CBS was doing the MMA (mixed martial UFC) show again. The large amounts of dried blood on the mat was a nice touch after eating Italian for dinner! Almost as nice as seeing a C-section on video immediately after scarfing my lunch down earlier in the week! (Thank goodness for the Catholic training, or I'd never be able to block that image out of my head!) ABC's idea of counter-programing? The animated classic "Peter Pan"! Ah...the wisdom of network programming!

I can't get back to Richmond soon enough! As long as I don't kill the kid on the way back...Lord give me strength...enjoy the images!--

For your daily dose of Sarcastic Sanctification...or whenever I feel like it! No, I'm NOT looking for Underage dates, nor do I want to be featured on Dateline's "To Catch a Predator"!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Wow - I am honored again.....

I parked behind this car last night on Stafford. When did these come out? I am so touched. I would love to find one but I bet they sold out fast!

Happy Belated Birthday Ma!

Muffin, Ma and Sissy taking a walk on the beach. (Miami?)
Sometime during my crazy weekend -
so crazy that I wish I could share the crappy details with you...but it just wouldn't be prudent.
Anyhoo sometime during all the madness my sweet Ma turned 69 years old.
And guess who forgot to call her?
Mom you are funny and beautiful and don't look your age at all. I mean you look younger than your age - not older.
Can't wait to see you in a few weeks.
Thanks for being such a great Mommy.
Hope your Birthday was fun despite the fact that you didn't get a call from your favorite child.

We will celebrate when we are together.

A Shirley Review!

Well, someone liked it!

Funny that with this show - the glowing review I get is from a man.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Cory's Farm Stand Gazpacho

My friend Joy posted a pic of this recipe her son Cory made on Facebook and I asked if I could please share it here. I have also asked for a pic of Cory so you can see how cute he is!
Joy writes:

This is a photo of the gazpacho that Cory made for us and 2 guests last night.
It was DELISH!!
He also made the spaghetti sauce.
I've got quite a little budding chef!!

Here's the recipe that he made. I'll say now that we didn't have an onion, so we didn't put that in, but we put garlic in instead.

Farmstand Gazpacho:
About 1 whole clove, finely chopped.
2 cups peeled and diced cucumber
2 cups diced red bell pepper
2 cups diced ripe tomato
1/2 cup diced red onion
2 cups tomato juice
1/2 cup red-wine vinegar
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 dashes Tabasco sauce

1. Place all of the diced veggies in a large bowl.

Add the tomato juice, vinegar, oil, and Tabasco. Season with salt and pepper and toss.

Put in refrigerator for 4 to 6 hours before serving.

(You can put 1/2 mixture in a blender or food processor to coarsely puree the contents and then mix with other remaining half. We chose not to do that.)

It was delish!!! And it was great to talk and work together in the kitchen. I'll take my bonding time wherever I can get it.
(Below is a picture Joy sent me of some beautiful flowers from her garden.)
Catch Joy at Swift Creek Mill in their hilarious production of There Goes the Bride!!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

A Busy Weekend

My Act I wig that Susan H, from the Times Dispatch called "silly". Yes - I am alone in the dressing room so I have lots of time to take pictures of myself. Now that is silly! Anyway - it made me laugh - clearly it looks better in these shots than it probably does on stage but -come on- there must have been a better word than silly. Now the "poop hat" was silly - don't make me post that picture again!
Well, little MuffinFace has been hard at work y'all.
Due to bad weather delaying the building of the Shirley Valentine set - the opening was postponed until Sunday. I was still at the theatre rehearsing nightly and we continued to add technical elements all weekend long. It was fun and hard and (every time I pictured the house full) very, very scary. The set designers, Terrie and David Powers, worked tirelessly and their final product is beautiful. Andrew, my stage manager, was thrown so many new things and he juggled everything (plus managing me) very well. Amy Berlin, my director, was calm and cool under pressure and always managed to say just the right thing to help calm my nerves.

Friday night I asked my friend, Scott to come watch just to have someone new in the audience and get his reaction. It was great to hear someone laughing and responding to Shirley.

Later that night Cheenon played at Poe's Pub!! That was so much fun - after a crazy day - it sure was nice to relax and watch Steve O and the other talented boys play.

Saturday I was lucky enough to have Robert and Lisa and Paul come to watch. They were a great house too but I fear they saw a nervous Shirley.

Of course I woke up Sunday and just felt sick to my stomach. The day had finally arrived. I had to do this play in front of lots and lots of people. They will be watching me, judging me or maybe just taking a nap - as long as they are quiet about it I don't mind. Would I remember all the technical things that were thrown at me in the last couple days? Would I remember anything I had learned and studied over the past few weeks.

The show started and I was about a minute into the first scene by the time I realized I was OK -the energy in the room was so great I felt this rush of calmness come over me and from then on I was just OK. I thought the show went well, The audience was scream laughing so much I had to stand there a bunch of times just while they calmed down - I have never had so much fun on stage. I could tell by the audience reactions that they were gladly coming along with me on this journey. They were even screaming things out at me once in a while - and we aren't talking about kids - this audience had a medium age of 60. It was great fun. I even got a standing ovation.

Then yesterday the review in the Times Dispatch came out. Was it positive? Sure - could she have maybe picked more exciting, interesting ways to describe the play? perhaps. I met Susan when I moderated a Critics talk back and she was lovely - I am not just saying that either - she was interesting to meet and talk with - so, of course, just like a review - this comment is not "personal" and in the review she said nice things about me which I appreciate but she called the play dated which I do not agree with. Calling something dated is something I hear from Reviewers and maybe Dave can answer this for me -what is the criteria for calling something dated? - it was written in the 80's but the themes are absolutely still relevant today - that is evident by the reaction I got from the audience. Would you call Shakespeare dated? Or any other period piece?
OK - this ain't Shakespeare but it also isn't Doonesbury the that is dated - I have no problem seeing that. It is a musical full of 80/ Reagan political humor.
When I see a comment like that it just makes me wonder what makes it dated to them and not a period piece. Is there a 20 year rule - like classic cars?

My BFF recently returned from a wonderful directing experience with Company of Fools in Idaho. Do you know they have NO reviewers there? Hmmm - Picture it - a community that shows up at everything - very supportive, a company of actors that work for the love of the craft. There is lots of other publicity for the shows...just no reviewers. Now - before you all get your panties in a bunch, I am not saying that reviewers have no purpose or that I would even like them to go away. I love me some reviewers. After all, I have been very lucky (if that is the right word for it) with reviewers. They have helped out greatly as I have produced shows. I have seen audience numbers rise and good word of mouth buzz increase with a positive review. I just found it interesting to hear that in this particular place - they have none - And I wonder how that effects the process of a production- if at all.

Anyhow, My BFF had a great time there and maybe I can twist his arm and get him to write a blog post about the whole experience. The pictures I have seen of the city are breathtaking and I am thrilled he had the opportunity and I am sure they feel lucky to have had him there- but I am damn glad he is back.

So- busy week - busy weekend and the show is up and running. Please come see it if you get the chance - if for no other reason - come see the silly wig.
And if you haven't ranked the Golden Girls yet - what are you waiting for??

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Who's your favorite Golden Girl? (don't say me)

So a couple nights ago after rehearsal - Steve and I are watching a show we both love and often watch together - when we find ourselves still awake at 1 am. The show is Golden Girls.
It was great to just relax and watch this great TV show. Steve asked me to rank the girls in order of funny. (I am sure there is a less awkward way to put that question but whatever.)

I didn't have to think about it for long. Betty White, Bea Arthur, Estelle Getty and Rue McClanahan. When he asked me to explain -I said it was a tough call between Betty and Bea and the reason Betty wins out for me is because Bea, as Dorothy gets most of the best one liners - she and Estelle, and Betty is forced to tell some of the dumbest stories and she has me in stitches doing it.

then it occurred to me that it has been a while since I have done a "list" post.

Lets rank the Golden Girls - and tell me why.

what other shows do you think should be ranked and I will re-post with a list of shows for everyone to rank.

Have fun. Happy ranking.

Welcome to the world little Sofia Elizabeth Foley!!

Born 7/5/08- 5:53 am
5 lbs 9 oz.

I feel as though I know you already.

Congrats to Erin and Tony.
I sure missed being at your house as I usually am on the 4th - but I guess you had a good reason.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

All Hail The Spring Fling!

In my little city there is a lunch dive that has been around for maybe 100 years. The food is simple and real, real tasty. You can't live here without eating there at least once. And even if it turns out you are one of those rare Richmonder's who has not been yet - you have certainly heard of it. It is called Pearly's. They have everything from deli sandwiches to hearty daily specials to homemade desserts.

Yesterday some ladies at the office were talking about going there for lunch and invited me along. I was quite excited because I had been craving hot dogs all day. I heard on the radio while coming to work - that it was National Hot Dog Month - so I was thinking about eating one from that point on. Seriously, I would have had one for breakfast if any place had them. Pearly's has great hot dogs with homemade chili. I know that may sound like a lot but considering that, due to my schedule, lunch is the last meal I eat daily - I figured I could splurge.

When we arrived and ordered I was the odd man out for sure. The rest of the ladies at my table ordered something that wasn't even on the menu. It is a seasonal item and you just have to know to ask for it. They all ordered something called a Spring Fling. It is simple and brilliant! A ripe cantaloupe with their homemade chicken salad on top. It is served with a delicious pecan muffin. I swear, that muffin is made of awesome. I sat there at lunch and ate my hot dogs but secretly I was wishing I had a Spring Fling instead. So today I swung down to Pearly's for lunch again and picked myself up one. It is much healthier than my lunch was yesterday and so tasty. It was also fun to order something that wasn't on the menu - like I unlocked a secret code or something. It got me thinking what else I have been missing out on in other restaurants? I didn't dwell on that too long since I had a delicious Spring Fling in front of me.