Monthly Archives: May 2012

Good God!

Jesus found his way back. Thank God.

It’s not what you think. Actually, I have no idea what you think.

Jesus Saves

Jesus is really Israel. And praise the lord I have friends who spy on my house or I would never have known Israel was even there. Confused? I bet….Israel, you see, is the tile guy who was at my house in Sharon, Ma. today finishing the tile work on my bathroom that has been under a remodel for two months. Israel drives a truck that says in bold letters across the back, “My GPS Is Jesus Christ.” If you ask me, Israel was heaven-sent. Before delving into a discussion about why my house is still being remodeled, I need to turn the focus back to Israel, er Jesus. Israel, the Brazilian tile dude, is in seminary school studying to become a minister. So this explains his truck and the reason why he says a prayer for everyone. I didn’t make this up. I couldn’t have if I tried.

We kind of like having him around. It’s not his fault that he disappeared for a month. In fact, the bathroom was supposed to be finished three weeks ago. But, as Joel likes to say, these types of jobs are always one-and-a-half times the estimated cost and take twice as long to complete as they’re supposed to. It doesn’t matter how much praying you do. On time construction projects are damn-near miracles. So far he’s been right on both accounts. In defense of Israel (don’t worry – this blog is not going all political on you), he’s not the general contractor and he could not complete his part until the other parts were done and ready to go. If any of you have ever remodeled a kitchen or bathroom, you certainly know what this is like. You could be sitting around waiting for days or even weeks for an electrician, plumber, painter or another key player to show up. In the meantime, fast-food becomes your friend and cramming the whole family into one bathroom becomes the norm. Not that I am complaining about the bathroom situation, especially seeing as my toileting facility in New York is tinier than the smallest bathroom in my house. I share my NYC bathroom with Noah and sometimes my husband. I should clarify: Joel is always my husband, but he only sometimes stays with us in New York and shares the bathroom.

Okay, back to Jesus. The home remodel project went on hiatus, apparently. We didn’t ask for this “break.” In fact, I was really “praying” to use my own bathroom when I was home last weekend as now I won’t be able to use it until July. And god-willing, it’s finished by then! But no such luck on my recent trip home. In fact, I get a call every day from Joel: “Nope…no one was here today. Everything still looks the same as when you left.”

But TODAY, the Jesus Saves truck was parked in front of my house! Hallelujah.

How did I know this? Heidi, the new manager at Breathe Joy Yoga, drove by to teach her yoga class and saw the truck. Religious about keeping a vigilant eye on the comings and goings around my house, she snapped a picture, texted it to me with the message “Jesus Is Back”.

“Praise the Lord” I texted back. I called Joel and he confirmed the good news. Israel showed up bright and early.  It turns out that he needs to replace a bunch of tiles because the stone wasn’t installed correctly.

Oh lord.

Categories: Etcetera, humor, On the Road, That's Life!, Uncategorized, Writing | 2 Comments

What Is Real?

I’m on my way home. Wait, really?

Let’s start that again. I am sitting here on a train on my way back from Boston to NYC. Up until three weeks ago, I called Sharon, Ma. home. But this weekend things became a bit muddled. You see, I am currently living in NYC while Noah is in intensive rehearsals for “Billy Elliot.” We’re here (or maybe there?) for five weeks in total. We leave for good on June 10 when the road trip begins in Des Moines, Iowa. But for now, Noah and I are staying in a small but comfortable apartment near Times Square. It has quickly become home to us. The fridge is stocked, the closets and drawers are filled with our clothes. Even the bathroom medicine cabinet looks like people actually live here.

Last week, when I booked my bus ticket from NYC to Boston and train ticket from Boston back to NYC (yes, my husband Joel is calling me “bus” person), things got a bit confusing as I tried to review plans with Joel. Me: “I’m leaving on Thursday at 3:30 and coming home on Monday at 8:30.” Joel: “I thought you were coming home on Thursday?” Me: “No, I’m coming home on Monday. Wait – I’m coming home Thursday, you’re right. I’m returning to NYC on Monday.” Geez Louise, what’s going on here?

And so it went. What was my “real” life all about and where was it? As the Bolt bus pulled out of NYC, things started to look greener and seem clearer to me. Literally. I realized I haven’t seen much green since last summer in suburban Boston. In L.A. things tend to be on the brown side; in NYC, I’ve been living in a concrete jungle; and when I left Massachusetts in April, the trees were just beginning to bloom. Yet on Thursday, it was if I were seeing in Technicolor. All the colors of spring just popped. When I got home to Sharon, the colors got even brighter, sharper you could say. The vibrant green trees and grass, flowers of

Ah, the colors of springtime in Sharon!

all colors, and glistening blue of Lake Massapoag reminded me how much I missed nature (hawk, deer and fox sightings over the weekend didn’t hurt either).This weekend was all about Ethan, my oldest son who just turned 16. Some of you touring parents will understand the importance of shifting priorities to your other, equally special children. You will also appreciate the challenge this presents when you are not home (or back “there”) often. This weekend was certainly no vacation from the hectic nature of Noah’s rehearsal schedule in New York. It included a giant backyard birthday party for Ethan on Friday night. What am I crazy? You could say so…..Joel, Mark and I played chaperones/hosts to 60 teens who Ethan said “ate tons of food”. We ordered trays upon trays of Chinese food and by the tail end of the evening, it was quite evident that the 16-18 year-old girls had no intention of eating. I should have known but it’s been a long time since I was 16 and I have no problem chowing down in front of men.So we packaged up enough food to feed 50 and took it over to the local homeless shelter. All told, the night was a success for Ethan. The residents of the Mainspring House in Brockton were pretty happy with the food delivery too.

Saturday included two performances of Seussical The Musical (Ethan played Mr. Mayor) and the Jamnesty festival (a fundraiser for the high school’s Amnesty International chapter) at the lake to see Ethan perform 21 Guns and other cool tunes with his A Cappella group, Pitch, Please! (Click to see video) And on Sunday, we attended the annual fundraiser for the Un-Common Theatre Company, where Ethan performed with his comedy troupe, Improv Soup. I guess there was no escaping my life as an Accidental Stage Mom. Oh, and I managed to teach two yoga classes at Breathe Joy Yoga also. But even with all this activity, my real life felt like a dream state. And here I sit on the Amtrak train (I guess I’m a one-way bus person) preparing to launch back into my day-to-day New York city life. I already miss the greener pastures of Sharon, Ma.

So what is real? Not really sure. All I know is that I feel as if I am headed home.

Categories: Accidental Stage Mom, On the Road, That's Life!, Yoga | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments

Ahhh, That Hammock Has My Name On It

(Disclaimer: the names of the yoga teachers have been changed and the yoga studio remains anonymous to protect the parties from, well, not sure what.  Although this is a true story, it is in no way meant to disrespect AntiGravity yoga. There are many styles of yoga and what’s good for one, isn’t always good for all. This is written in tongue in cheek fashion so read with an open mind and a sense of humor. If not, get yourself to a hammock immediately!)

Noah may have been dancing all week but the only thing dancing in my head last Friday was a vision of me plopped down on a nice comfy hammock. Yup, after a long, hard week doing nothing (see “Pass the Epsom Salt Please), I could hardly wait to get myself to an AntiGravity restorative yoga class.

Here’s how the AntiGravity website describes it: “AntiGravity Yoga: Restorative is the gentle, healing side of AntiGravity Yoga.  This powerful method focuses the mind…as it floats the body through a series of gentle gyro kinetic motions, deeply opening the entire spine, hips, and connective tissues of the body… This therapeutic method offers accessibility to students with physical limitations, but is loved by all as a portal into deeper spinal flexibility, and mind/body connection.” Ok, I admit it: I didn’t read this until AFTER I took the class, but I do know that restorative yoga is the relaxing form of yoga, the yoga of “non-doing.” I mean, although I had never done AntiGravity before, it was restorative so how hard could it be?

This is what I had in mind

I walked the five blocks to the yoga studio and eagerly showed up for the class. I asked the woman at the front desk, “This is relaxing, right? It’s fine for someone who hasn’t done this before, right?” While I asked these questions, I thought of my husband Joel on our last vacation. He immediately staked out the hammock and there he stayed, for hours on end. Now, this is what I was looking forward to! The front desk yogini smiled, pointed in the direction of the studio door, and said, “You’ll love it.” Ok, that was the only confirmation I needed. I walked into the studio and stared at these parachute-esque bright orange hammocks hanging on large hooks from the ceiling. I was the first one there (talk about eager to relax!) and was told by the assistant teacher to select a hammock. So I did. Right near the window. Then, she came over to me (let’s call her Jane) and said, “Have you done this before?” I said no and then she asked me to move right in front of the teacher as this way the teacher could more effectively help me. So I did. As Jane was adjusting my hammock and releasing it from the large ominous-looking metal hook, she looked at my engagement and wedding rings and asked me to remove them. “Remove them?  Why?” I asked. “They will snag the hammock so you’ll have to take them off and put them on the floor in the corner,” she said matter-of-factly.

It took everything I had not to blurt out, “Are you kidding me? You might as well be asking me to stack a wad of hundred dollar bills  in the corner. Do you really think I can close my eyes and practice yoga while thinking about my wad of hundreds laying on a floor in the middle of New York City!” But I didn’t say this. Instead I politely said, “I would rather prefer to keep my rings on. I’m not comfortable taking them off. I can turn them around, plus they don’t have any prongs that will snag the hammock.” She looked at me arrogantly and bluntly said, “Well then, you will need to go ask the person at the front desk for a Band Aide to put over your rings.”

At first I could not believe she was serious. But she was. In disbelief, I walked out and got a bandage and literally bandaged up my rings. My serene evening was off to a great start. Completely agitated and stressed out, I walked back into my so-called relaxing yoga class. By this time, the hammocks had started to fill up and class was about to begin. The teacher, let’s call her Donna, was smack in front of me and I had a feeling she didn’t like me very much (I’m thinking Jane told her I was difficult while I was out bandaging up my rings). She asked if I was a beginner. I told her I practice yoga regularly but have never done hammock yoga before. “What a great way to start. This class will be wonderful for you,” said Donna, enthusiastically. Ok, that’s two confirmations. Let’s go. The ring thing is now in the past.

The one by the window was calling my name

First up: we wrap ourselves up into little alien pods and stay there for a while. I don’t know, maybe it was only a couple of minutes but it felt like forever. It was pretty claustrophobic in here and certainly not relaxing. As we emerged from these pods, Donna explained how to go upside-down but I think I was the only one who needed explanation as everyone was already hanging out there. I clumsily made it into this inverted position by looking at the position of my next-door alien’s feet, but apparently I was doing something wrong as Donna asked me to come up from upside-down. So I did. And there I sat right side up, swinging on my hammock while everyone else was still upside-down. I thought Donna or Jane would come over to me and explain how to get back into that crazy-looking position. I mean, it didn’t look relaxing but it sure looked like fun. But I just sat and sat some more, wondering why they were not helping me out (I mean I was two feet in front of Donna. I did give up my prime window seat for a little bit of help, or so I was told.). Frustrated, I jumped out of the hammock, left the room and went to the ladies’ room just to kill some time. I re-entered the land of so-called relaxation just in the nick of time for the next pose. Donna came over to me, a little too late, to ask if I was ok and I honestly responded that I left out of boredom and because I had no clue what I was supposed to be doing next. Donna apologized for not explaining that apparently my hammock was positioned wrong. She said she thought I might prefer to come out of the pose. Hmmm, not sure where she got that idea but, whatever.

I considered bolting but I knew I should stick it out. We did a few other forward folding and back-bending positions in the hammock which I would call awkward instead of calming. All I could think about now was, “Do we at least get a savasana (final relaxation pose)?” This class was stressing me out, big time. Finally, it was time for savasana. In the hammock. Except that we were huddled in fetal positions while Donna talked about visualizing being born and how it felt to be alive on your first day on earth. Now, I’m sorry but do any of YOU remember your first day on earth? And is this what you would want to be thinking about while trying to relax? All I wanted was a little time to think about nothing and de-clutter my mind. But no such luck.

Finally it was over. Hallelujah! I practically jumped out of my hammock, collected my stuff and high-tailed it outta there. Back to my apartment to de-compress. I laughed to myself the whole walk home. It may not have offered the relaxation I was looking for but it sure proved to be comic relief.

Categories: Etcetera, humor, On the Road, Yoga | Tags: , , , | 11 Comments

Pass the Epsom Salt Please………

Long time, no write…..As you can guess, we’ve been busy. Well, Noah’s been busy and I’ve just, well, had no time……Our whirlwind started last week in Los Angeles when Noah began his dance training, wardrobe fittings, physical therapy, core cardio classes, and tutoring with the Billys.  For me, this meant trips back and forth to IDA (International Dance Academy) and The Pantages Theater (where Billy Elliot is playing) in Hollywood, and the makeshift school set up in Oakwood Apartments, building E, in Burbank.

And now we’re in New York City, Hell’s Kitchen to be exact. Funny how I had been here for four days before I realized exactly what neighborhood our small one-bedroom apartment was in. I guess that’s what happens when you don’t have much time. But little by little, I am getting to know this pretty cool neighborhood. Noah, on the other hand, has basically seen the inside of our apartment and the studio where he is rehearsing in Chelsea (17 blocks downtown). That’s because he’s in rehearsals and tutoring from 9-9 six days a week. He went in Noah on Monday, May 7 and will emerge Billy Elliot on Saturday, June 10.

Ok, so now you’re probably thinking: what the heck am I am doing for 12 hours a day and why haven’t I had any time to write? I know, I know, it doesn’t seem to add up, does it? Well, here’s the low-down: think of it like the first year of a newborn baby’s life. For first-time moms (or dads), taking a year off from work after your baby is born seems like a luxury until you leave the hospital. Right? Suddenly you are home for entire days at a time and have no idea where the days went. You wake up after little to no sleep, feed the baby, change diapers, put the baby down for a nap and repeat. In between, you may have an hour or quite possibly 2-3 hours to do a load of laundry or make food for yourself. And then you are onto the same thing the next day. Essentially, you have windows of time all day long but not enough of a block of time to get anything substantial done. This is the best analogy for my life right now.

With the way “Billy” training works, I need to get Noah there in the morning and pick him up at 9 (or trade-off with the other Billy-in-training’s parents). Then, I have to be back to meet him for lunch and dinner breaks. Don’t ask…something about labor laws. All these trips require time to get there and back. You guessed it: leaving only small windows in-between. I decided that today I would grab one of these small windows and crank out this blog post.

Among the other essential things I’ve managed to do in my small windows: order food online as I realized I cannot shop the way I do at home. I figured this out quickly on Sunday night when I tried to carry four bags of food several blocks. I also bought a subway pass, met a New Yorker friend to check out a condo uptown, bought toiletries as the apartment was barebones when we arrived, visited a dermatologist as I needed a prescription, did a load of laundry, and took a yoga class (restorative yoga is in the cards for my window tonight — woo hoo!) I considered getting my nails done at the nail salon right next door but I didn’t think my window was long enough. So, the nails will have to be a mess until I get a bigger window. Oh, and I bought some epsom salt and frozen peas for Noah.

Except that all this doing nothing is exhausting and I think I’ll leave the peas to Noah tonight and reserve the warm epsom salt bath for me. It’ll be an evening of salted peas for us…..

Categories: Accidental Stage Mom, On the Road, That's Life!, Uncategorized, Writing | Tags: , , , , | 8 Comments

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