Peaches Prattlings











And it was all fabulous!!!

After my last class of the day I decided I was going to treat myself. I took myself to the movies.

I sat down with some popcorn, a bottle of water, reclined my seat and settled in to watch WTF…Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, staring Tina Fey. It was based on Kim Baker’s book, “The Taliban Shuffle”.

I really enjoyed this movie,  I thought I would when I saw the preview. I’ve seen a few Tina Fey movies and they have been hit or miss. I think I told you sky seeing Sisters, total hit, childish, but funny. 

This was great. Kim Baker’s is a writer for a TV news station. In 2003 they were looking for reporters to go to Afghanistan and the group they are looking for volunteers in “you are all single,  no families”. So…why not!

She goes to Afghanistan and it transforms her and her life. She discovers that she is made of stronger stuff than she realizes. It’s funny, sad, exciting and a really good story. I recommend it.

Later in the evening,  I went to see Beautiful,  The Carole King musical based on her life.

The story started when she was sixteen, in college for teaching,  but all she wants is to write music. She’s great with the melody, not as great with the lyrics, or so she thought.

She met Jerry, an older guy at the same college, a playwright who is having some trouble and begin to work together and end up writing songs for so many singers and groups in the sixties. I knew she wrote for others,  I just didn’t realize to what extent!

We got to hear her sing,  they the group it was written for.  They had quite a number of number one hits.

Eventually,  she moves to LA to record her own stuff and that year,  Tapestry, won best album, female vocalist, just to name two of the accolades this woman received.

The cast was amazing, the score,  the lyrics, the choreography and the actress who played Carole King,  wow!

All in all,  what an amazing and enjoyable evening.

If you can,  go see both!

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{March 10, 2016}   Almost 30 years?! What!!

Tonight,  wow,  what a trip! I saw someone I have known for almost thirty years!

I met SD freshman orientation at SUNY Fredonia August 1989!! We spent the weekend together with a few other people, closely, while we met so many others in our freshman class, but we became fast friends and fell for each other,  it was love at first site!

It was a very brief romance,  but the friendship remained. Tonight when he introduced me,  I was his first and only girlfriend, exactly how he described me to his husband, to perfect!

Tonight, I got to meet his husband and their son, JD, what a doll baby!!

SD posted on Facebook the other day he would be singing some torch songs at Merge, a vegetarian/vegan restaurant. I didn’t realize it,  but I’d been there before last year with the team.

I knew I would have to go, of course! I got done with work,  changed and headed out to the restaurant and when we saw each other,  it was at no time had passed.  When I looked at him, I  saw the 18 year old boy in 1989.

We caught up for a bit,  then it was time to sing. He introduced me to a few people,  I ended up talking with a coworker for a while, very nice guy.

What a wonderful performance,  he really does have a fabulous voice and he’s so good with the crowd,  it was so terrific to see him up there,  it brought back memories.

I got a chance to chat with his husband for a few minutes after the performance and then their son,  very inquisitive  and precious.

Then it was time to go,  with the promise to get together next week,  fingers crossed.

Almost thirty years, nah,  it was just yesterday.  Sigh

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{March 9, 2016}   Curtains Up

An interesting experience tonight.

Shea’s Theater in Buffalo held what they call their annual Curtains Up event. This is when they reveal their next season of shows.

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There were a few shows posted and then they revealed the shows one by one.  There is an award called The Kenny Awards, http://kennyawards.weebly.com/, an award that honors talent in high school students in western New York.

A few students from each school who are in the theater program presented the next show coming. The president and musical director presented as well.

There were some presentations from shows on Broadway that were coming to Shae’s next season,  Finding Neverland, Cabaret and Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder.

Aside from the sound being horrible, it was an enjoyable evening.  People in the crowd were season ticket holders and seemed to enjoy this event greatly.

Hmmm…maybe some other theaters and cities well do the same.

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{September 20, 2015}   Start with a 5k, end with a musical

That sounds like a pretty good day, doesn’t it?

Well, that’s what happened. Until earlier in the week I had forgotten that I had signed up for a 5k, go figure! So…the alarm goes off at 7am, we leave about 7:30 for what I didn’t know was a five minute drive to the start of the race! It was the Cambridge Fall Classic 5k, http://classic5k.com/fall-classic. I registered too late for the pint glass, darn it! We waited a bit and a few minutes before 8 I picked up my race bib and t-shirt. Hey what do I always say is why I do races…for the t-shirt! Why should this be any different!

We had quite a bit of time to kill, so we went to Dunkin Donuts so PSM could get some breakfast, I can’t eat more than a granola bar or banana before I run. Then we took Mollie back to the house and headed back to the race start, it was due to start at 9. I’m glad we showed up when we did to get my packet, the place filled up quickly. A trip to the port-o-potty. which, first thing in the morning is just fine. I think I was the first person to use it, it still smelled clean and the toilet paper hadn’t been opened yet and there was hand cleaner Wahoo!

I thought the race started at 9am, I was wrong, so PSM hated to leave, but he had yoga scheduled and we didn’t know when this thing would start! Besides, he’ll be there for my half marathon next month! The run finally started about 9:30 and I ran the first mile, then walked the second and did run/walk for the third mile. I thought I did pretty well since I haven’t much running in the last few weeks because of my back. So…43:54, I’m happy!

I accomplished my 3 goals: #3 – Time under 45:00, #2 – Finish with people behind me, #1 – FINISH! Check, check and check!

After the race I walked back to Paul’s place, showered, chilled and waited for him to get home. After he got home and showered, we headed to brunch, a veggie omelet with my fake cheese, yum! Gluten free bread, not bad and an order of French toast made with gluten free bread, honestly not bad.

Then a jaunt down to Marathon Running, http://www.marathonsports.com/, the running store by the start of the Boston Marathon, we passed over the start line, pretty cool. I got a new pair of my running shoes. It turns out they retired the ones I had, Mizuno Wave Runner 16, boo. They are now on 18, oh well, I like them, they’re just not the same. And when went to look for them online, no dice, wow! But it is a very cool store, the shoes weren’t too much, for that brand, gotta break them in before my next 2 races!

So…if you happen to find a pair of the Mizuno Wave Rider 16, size 8, please pass them my way! http://www.ethostream.com/CentralAuth/success/success.php?siteid=25504&mac=50%3A1A%3AC5%3AFA%3A57%3AA3&osmmodal=&RemainingTime=86400&portal=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.elementhotels.com%2FLexington&primaryAdProviderName=ValueClick“

Then next door to the candy store, where else! We bought smarties, no high fructose corn syrup! for us and Necco wafers for PSM. We had a total of one smartie each tonight! Let’s see how long it takes for us to finish these!

Then on to McGreevy’s Irish Pub and Sports Bar, this is the bar owned by the Drop Kick Murphy’s, big fans of the Patriots! how cool is that! http://www.mcgreevysboston.com/.

But wait…there’s more!

We head down to the Huntington Theater, http://www.huntingtontheatre.org/, to pick up our tickets for the evening. We don’t do things small around here!

After we picked up the tickets, we went to Ginger Exchange, http://www.gingerexchange.com/symphony/, a great restaurant that used to be Betty’s Noodle House, but Betty retired about two years ago. It really was enjoyable, I had vegetable pho soup with rice noodles, veggies and tofu, quite pleased. PSM had udon soup and got to add fresh red pepper chili paste, I think I saw some tears, he was happy.

After dinner, we walked the half a block back to the theater to settle in with everyone else for ‘A Little Night Music’, http://www.huntingtontheatre.org/season/2015-2016/a-little-night-music/, a wonderful musical about reunited lovers, passions reignited, jealousy, a weekend in the country, yup, that’s about it. And it’s where “Send in the clowns” comes from, kinda cool. After seeing it the show, the song makes more sense which in and of itself is cool.

After the show, it was back to PSM’s to get my stuff and head back to the hotel so I can tell you all about our day and what a day! Are you tired yet? You should be we walked 18,409 steps!

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You may have heard, but in case you haven’t, my baby sister, GES, turned 40 this year!

And when your sister turns 40, then you have to do something big! So…after several months of working on schedules…you try arranging a weekend away with a mother of an 8 year old and 5 year old! This weekend it was!

We headed out by The Acela, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acela_Express, the high speed train run by Amtrak, it took a little over 3 hours to get from Boston to NYC and if you read my post on Friday, you know I missed the train GES was on by seconds! I hopped on the next one and came in about an hour after she got to Penn Station in NY. We found each other!

We headed out of the train station and walked to the Grand Hyatt, which was literally right next to Grand Central Station, an amazing classic train station. It was about a half mile between the two locations, but it was fun to walk through Times Square and see all the people, commotion, hear the noise, smell the different smells, it was fabulous! I know I’m a New Yorker because as we were pulling into Penn Station, I saw all the graffiti on the buildings, felt the vibe and I had an overwhelming sense of calm come over me, it felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders and my chest opened, I was home, sigh.

We got to the hotel, eventually got to check into the room, they were a little busy. Went up to the 31st floor, settled in and then went to the Grand Club level to get some drinks, membership does have its privileges…Then we went ventured out to see what we could bring back for a nosh, found some salad, back to the hotel to eat and watch Pitch Perfect 2, don’t bother, sorry, we were disappointed.

Eventually, we turned it, but not after a few times marveling at how great it was to be together and that’s what it’s all about!

Saturday, we slept until 9:30am, what a treat! For both of us! We got out of bed eventually, then headed back to the club level, you have to use your room key to get to the floor, how fancy! We had breakfast on the outdoor patio, it was really nice to be up that high and having breakfast outside. GES sent a text with our photo to some friends and said “We slept in and having breakfast at 10:30…I can go home now!”

After breakfast, we headed back to the room, showered and got dressed, then headed out up to Broadway to meet dad near the theater. What theater you ask? We were meeting at the Palace Theater to pick up tickets for “An American In Paris”! Dad was taking us to see a 4 Tony award winning musical! http://www.broadway.com/shows/american-paris/?gclid=CjwKEAjw__atBRDfqe-9voylym8SJAAOBeQ_2siOl7q4i8Ihd82lMMywru2hEbAWUWls-F29JOPjpRoCx9Lw_wcB

After we picked up the tickets we walked to the M&Ms store, a three level store with candy, clothing, housewares and more! It’s an experience and if you’ve never been, you must go! I’ve been to the one in NY and Las Vegas. We stocked up on some Chanukah and Christmas gifts, how good are we!

Then it was off to the theater! Our first show, as I said, was An American In Paris and after waiting on line to get into the theater for what seemed like forever, we were in for a treat!

This was a fabulous musical based on the 1951 musical film starring Gene Kelley and Leslie Caron, which is one of my all time favorite movies! http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0043278/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1. The musical was a little different from the origianly screen production, but it was so amazing! Thank you daddy!

After the production, LaLa, dad, GES and I all walked around for a bit and went to Trattoria TreColore, http://www.trattoriatrecolori.com/menu.html, one of our favorite Italian restaurants in the Theater District. We had a lovely supper, celebrating my sister and dad’s birthday.

After dinner, we parted company and GES and I headed the few blocks to the next theater, the main reason for this trip…to see KINKY BOOTS!!! We have loved the movie Kinky Boots, Kinky Boots, The movie, http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0434124/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1, since we first saw it years ago. I’ve probably seen it close to 50 times, I’m not kidding!

It’s based on a true story, about a shoe factory that makes shoes for men and when the factory is going under, Charlie, the owner of the shoe factory, meets Lola, a fabulous drag queen and he has an epiphany…they go from “making a range of shoes for men to shoes for a range of men” thus going from Price and Son Shoes to…The Kinky Boots Factory!

RG had a connection who got us fabulous seats in the orchestra, row K off the stage! The show was fabulous! It was produced by Cindy Lauper, who I la la la LOVE! She’s one of my idols from my childhood in the 1980s! I had a poster of her, ala “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” over my bed growing up! She’s one of my favorites and Harvey Fierstein wrote the book!

I cannot begin to tell you how fabulous this show was. We love this movie and to see it come to life on the stage, which amazing music, lyrics and choreography. We got some tshirts and I got…a bag! It looks like an old fashioned Pan Am flight bag, I’ll show it to you another time! GES said it’s a great bag, thanks for helping my problem!! I’m not complaining!

After the show we walked back to the hotel, reliving the show and every wonderful moment, from the sounds, the sights, the drag queens, all of it. And being together, that was the best part! We got to the hotel, got some hot teas and took them to the room where we relaxed, I wrote to you, watched movies and just enjoyed our time together.

Eventually we both fell asleep, my faster than GES, imagine that! Slept until 9:30 again, how nice! This time we showered before we went to breakfast, took our food out on to the patio again and just enjoyed ourselves again, deciding that we needed to do this again, at least once a year. Well, we said that numerous times over the weekend! So it’s going to happen!

After we went back to the room, we finished packing and headed out towards Penn Station, stopping at the Crocs store, I found some shoes for work, hopefully they will treat my feet right after 12 hours! Then the two blocks to Penn Station to stand and wait and wait and wait until the train came in and they told us what track to get to.

People can get a little testy while waiting for the train, oh well. We found some seats, settled in and started to watch a movie. The WiFi didn’t want to help us, so I pulled out my portable hard drive and we watched Better Off Dead, with John Cusack, http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0088794/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1. Then we started watching We Hot American Summer, I’ll keep you posted!

We got to the train station, headed to the house and had dinner with the family and some neighbors, then I headed out to the hotel to check on my kids, unpack, write to you and then sack out, I have to be at work at 6am tomorrow, gotta go!

If you have the opportunity, when Kinky Boots comes to your town, go see it! Kinky Boots, The Musical, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kinky_Boots_(musical)

Happy Birthday GES! It was such an amazing weekend! I cannot wait to take another sister/girls trip with you!

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Doable, but not the easiest thing in the world, not going to stop us!

Things are different when you’re of short stature, you can’t reach certain things, can’t see over certain things. And no, I do not need to sit on a phone book when I drive!

Today, GES and I were with dad and LaLa at a Broadway show, I’ll tell you all about the weekend tomorrow, it’s been awesome so far! The first show we went to, yes I said the first show, we were in the very top row of the balcony, we could see everything except if the actors were at the very edge of the stage, a fabulous view and if there was something we couldn’t see, we could always stand up, how cool is that!

The not so cool thing…the woman in front of me and the woman in front of GES spent most of the show leaned over, towards the stage. Really? So, did we see the show? Most of it, as long as we stayed leaning to one side or the other. When the action was towards the back of the stage, what was towards the front of the stage, not so much, but overall, it was still a fabulous show, the music was terrific, the choreography, the lyrics, the acting, top notch, the woman blocking the view…not so much.

Then we go to the second show, had amazing orchestra seats and the people in front of us were tall to begin with, how do you think it went sitting? Luckily, the seat one over and in front of me was empty, so I could see if I leaned to the left and GES was able to get comfortable sitting on her foot, crossing her leg. It all worked out fine.

Being short, you learn to adapt and accommodate and after that, a piece of cake.

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Oh brother was I tired last night! A 12 hour day can do that to a person!

Let me tell you how tired I was…I slept until almost 10am! Yes, me…the girl who doesn’t sleep, slept until almost 10am! It was awesome and now I am caught up for the month!

We saw…BOOK OF MORMON! OMG! SO FUNNY!

So…after the museum, we drove down town to the theater district, parked and walked around for about 1.5/2 hours, it was great. The sights, the sounds, the smells of New York City and Times Square and all of it, I was at peace, I love this city! No other like it in the world! And I love that I was with my dad!

We stopped in a Pret a Manger for a bite to eat, lunch had finally worn off and I didn’t want my tummy grumbling during the performance! Then it was time to go, we walked to the theater, found our seats and settled in to have a good time. If there was a little more leg room between the seat and the railing, it would have been better. I’m short, just imagine what it was like for my dad!

The show is so funny! The high level overview? Two young wide eyed missionaries, one “the perfect elder” the other…”the perfect screw up” well, that’s what his parents seem to think, who are paired up and sent to a remote village in northern Uganda. There are several missionaries there already, no converts and the village is terrorized by a warlord, can’t tell you his name, not PG, and the villagers are more worried about disease, torture and death than the lord. The less than perfect elder has a breakthrough with the villagers and presto-chango…new congregants.

Let’s just say the less than perfect elder, who has not quite read the Book of Mormon tells them his own version, so to speak. This one has Yoda, some hobbits, Darth Vadar, BobaFet, just saying. Do you get the picture?

There is singing, dancing, hilarity, flashy sequined numbers, from simple vests to an entire underworld red sequined extravaganza! There are lessons to be learned, friendships to be made, humility to be experienced, warlords to be defeated, body parts to be saved.

The important thing to remember, this show was created by the guys who brought you South Park, very tongue in cheek, poke fun at religion, among so many other things! If you are a very religious person or offended by bad language this show is not for you. But…if you have a good sense of humor and can take things in the spirit they were written, go see this show!

Thanks daddy, I had the best time!

Enjoy the opening number: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NzS5rUEsy3M&list=PLF4A9BACDC3B1E6E3

http://bookofmormonbroadway.com/show

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{February 7, 2015}   A day of culture!

Today I started with music and ended with murder!

Oooh, that sounded so ominous! Let me explain…

This morning I accompanied MGS, along with JS and the twins, N&E, to the Boston Symphony Orchestra for one of their Family Concert series, this was “Keeping Good Company” Musical Partnerships of Inspiration and Innovation, fabulous! Thomas Wilkins was the conductor and what a way he had with the audience, especially the kids! He was personable and witty and engaging and the kids enjoyed it all, I’m not sure if they enjoyed it as much as the adults, but it was a lot of fun.

The conductor talked about the pieces that we were listening to, made us think and questions and wonder and use our imaginations…what did this piece make you think of? What emotion did that piece elicit? How about thinking about this in this way or that. Inspiration and innovation, that pretty much sums it up. There were pieces we each liked and some we all agreed upon. There was even a piece from Star Wars: Phantom Menace, how cool is that?

All in all, a great morning.  http://www.bso.org/brands/bso/education-community/children-families/family-concerts.aspx

We got home after a nice lunch and watched How to Train Your Dragon and Despicable Me 2, both renamed by MGS as Dragon [1 or 2] and Minions, which I am sure your children have done the same thing!

Later, GES, ACS and some friends went to their temple for a Murder Mystery Dinner Theater extravaganza! “Marriage Can Be Murder!”

The mother of the bride has planned for the perfect wedding, but before her beautiful daughter can even say “I do” a bloody killing mars the happy day.

It is up to you, the wedding guests, to find the motive, and make sure that love lives “happily ever after”.

As soon as you enter the Temple, you will become part of the mystery and the fun, do the chicken dance, catch the bouquet, question the suspects and solve the crime. You could even become the evening’s “super sleuth” and win a prize!

This was a lot of fun, we had to dress as if we were going to a wedding, so ‘no jeans and rock-n-roll’ t-shirts. I have to say, there were very few people who were not dressed as if they were going to a wedding, some people even pulled their fur coats out of the closet!

When we got there, we mingled in the lobby area and had hors d’oeuvres, drinks and cast members would come and interact with us, thanking us for coming all this way for the wedding, giving us background, doing some improv, it’s a great time.

I have done dinner theater before, murder mystery, in fact, both on the actor side as well as the patron. I always thought about getting back into it. I have also hosted many murder mystery dinners, I think I told you about the one in Boulder last year, so much fun! GES, myself and some of her friends there tonight talked about doing one…I’ve got a new one, unopened in the box, downstairs…

We started with the wedding, but there was a murder! Oh no! So, while they were figuring things out, we went into the fellowship hall for dinner, even had wedding cake for dessert!

One of the fun things was that they used attendees as part of the show, like bridesmaids, wedding planner, father of the bride and the rabbi, who was playing…go figure, the rabbi!

In the fellowship hall there was dinner, dancing and frivolity and towards the end of the evening, we were asked to submit our guess for who dunnit!

The first thing the detective did was to read the “bonehead” answers and call people out on them. Not to worry, almost everyone there was a member of the temple or new someone, so it was all in good fun.

Then there was a prize for the correct answer, problem was…there were a lot of us. [notice I said us] so she picked a name out of a hat for the grand prize, tickets to another murder mystery event put on by that company.

So…I started the day with music and ended with murder, what a day!

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Today, the family continued a fine tradition started when my sister and I were kids, we went to see The Nutcracker Ballet.

When we were kids, we got one big family gift for Chanukah and went to see The Nutcracker on Christmas Eve, performed by the New York City Ballet Company at Rockafeller Center. We did this for years and years and years, we would get dressed up and go to a matinee at the City Company and then go out to dinner, it was usually my parents, sister and grandmother [mom’s mom, who lived in NYC].

It has been along time since I have been to a production of The Nutcracker and it brought back so many memories. Now, you know how when you do something over and over and it becomes a tradition and the way you saw it first is how you always remember it and it is a good and happy memory and when you see it again and it’s different, you’re like…huh…

Let me preface by saying, this was a wonderful performance! The dancers were fantastic, the choreography was beautiful, the sets, the orchestra, everything, it could not have been better and to see the enraptured look on both EJS and MGS during the performance and MGS twirling her little heart out after the curtain closed, almost to the car, made it all worth it and I could not imagine a better picture, being there with not only my nieces and brother-in-law, but with my dad and sister, just like when we were kids, I was transported back in time all at once as if in a dream.

I have been to see The Nutcracker once on stage in Atlanta, I took my grandmother when she was visiting and once at an IMAX 3D. Both were different and I was not crazy about them, despite being a wonderful performance, but good memories because of the company and story. Something important to point out, the version that we grew up with was the George Balanchine version, each Ballet Company chooses to do their own choreograpy, what we love…Balanchine.

For those of you “not in the know’, here is a link to the entire production by The New York City Ballet Company filmed in 1993, and in the role of the Nutcracker Prince was Macaulay Culkin, who was 13 at the time, and of course we were in attendance that year, he was quite good in the role. Now, just so you are aware, there happens to be some narration during the performance in the video [I found it odd when I first heard it]: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OZ5Se2ErinU

Act I takes place at a party and Act II takes place in The Land of Sweets. We love the entire ballet, but everyone has their favorite parts and I am going to tell you about ours and I will tell you where they are in the video link. In Act I, I love the when Clara and Herr Drosselmeier’s nephew part company at the part [23:05], when The Nutcracker becomes a boy [46:00].

There are so many to love and dad, GES and I love the entire production, but here you go. We all LOVE when the tree grows [32:52] in Act I, then in the Land of Sweets, my mom adored Coffee, from Arabia, her ultimate favorite part was at the very end, what she does with her feet, amazing! Mine is Tea [52:18], so funny and charming always makes me laugh and GES is Candy Canes [53:24] when he hula hoop skipping, you’ll know when you see it, I must admit, I love that too! We love Mother Ginger, always played by a man dressed as a woman, and her polchinelles [57:00] with her tamborine and hand mirror. My dad’s favorite is The Pas de Deux, with the Sugarplum Fairy and her Cavalier, but the bestest part of it is towards the end, when he pulls her, on point, on a block across the stage [1:09]

I hope some day you get to experience this in person, but if you don’t, please enjoy the link, I know I am in heaven sitting here listening to the music while I talk to you! Happy of happies!

http://www.nycballet.com/Season-Tickets/Nutcracker-Additional/Synopsis.aspx

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