WCT

Two more reasons to love Waukesha, WI


Would that all houses were purple and sunflowered!

Would that all houses were purple and sunflowered!

I’ve always enjoyed living near the heart of downtown Waukesha, WI, particularly in the week and a half it’s not covered in snow. It’s just such a casual, charming, friendly little town, and for all the complaints I’ve heard- and uttered- about how confusing it can be to navigate when you’re not used to the area, I even love the streets.

I’m a big fan of the direction the town is taking as it cleans itself up, brushes the dust off its dancing shoes, gargles a little mouthwash. It just feels safer, cleaner, and fresher than it did before. I have to say, though, that the one thing I wonder about is how a town this size can support so many coffee shops and art galleries.

They’re all great, don’t get me wrong, but you can’t walk a block without tripping over some quaint little someplace or other where you can grab a cup of joe (delicious, accompanied by friendly service) or buy a local resident’s latest foray into abstract painting. Some places even let you do both. And every time I see one of these places I think: Who the heck is around to drink enough coffee to keep each cafe viable? Who the heck is around to buy enough art to keep each gallery viable? This is Waukesha for crying out loud, not the Third Ward or Cedarburg! I know it’s changing, but is it changing quickly enough for these places to make it when they’re competing in such close proximity?

And then? I heard another coffee shop was moving into town. I couldn’t believe it. Even more unbelievable was that it was to be set up in the purple flower house on St. Paul Ave. where another coffee shop had just gone out of business last year. As nice as it is as a consumer to have the extra variety, I just couldn’t imagine what this place could offer to make it worth walking a block off the main drag for, especially in the exact place another coffee shop had failed.

But folks, I’m here to tell ya’: It’s worth walking a block off the main drag for.

Cafe de Art

136 E. St. Paul Ave., Waukesha, WI 53186

The name of the place is Cafe De Arts and if you like coffee (or tea, or sandwiches, or salads, or desserts, or colors, or free wifi, or Turkish people) you are hereby assigned to check this place out. You owe it to yourselves. Really.

I stopped in this afternoon around 1 to see what the place was all about and was immediately struck by the warmth of the decor. The thickly painted wall art, the custom made doors and tables, the reds, oranges and yellows of the decorative fabrics, all set off by the natural beauty of sunshine and a fresh breeze, made the environment so welcoming I knew it was a place I could easily stay all afternoon.

While reading over the wall menu I was approached by the woman who would soon take my order. So charming, very pretty, all smiles. We met by the dessert case and I asked if the baked goods inside it were made there on site. She told me she makes them herself right there in the kitchen and then went over each one with me, giving me the names- none of which I could pronounce outside of “baklava“- and main ingredients.

I hadn’t been planning on ordering anything to eat, but the feta and parsley stuffed pogaca (pron. pogasha) on the top shelf looked too delicious to pass up so I ordered one to accompany my chocolate and vanilla blended mochaccino.

While waiting for my order I made myself comfortable on one of the leather couches by the flat screen TV which at the time was playing Turkish music videos, one of which was this video by the adorable Turkish pop star Yalin. Isn’t he cute?! The woman I’d spoken with before, who I later learned was Gulten Munzur, wife of owner Ayhan Munzur, soon brought out my pogaca and coffee and I was instantly in cafe heaven.

My drink was strong; very flavorful, very rich, very drinkable. It lacked the “coffee bitterness” I’m accustomed to, without tasting as though the bitterness was perhaps still there but masked by sugar and flavored syrups. As a testament to the freshness of the ingredients and the fact that they had no fancy additives to hide behind, I found myself having to swirl my cup once or twice to mix things back together a bit. And the pogaca, which I’d expected would be cold and flaky, was actually warm and quite soft much to my delight. It’s like a very moist roll that looks like dense bread but tastes like fresh feta cheese. And the glazed top was more than just a nice visual touch– it was delish.

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A commercial coffee roaster similar to the one at Cafe de Arts

As I was finishing up, Gulten came by to ask how everything was and I could only tell her it was wonderful. Ayhan soon came around to tidy up a table two other patrons had just vacated and also asked how I’d liked everything. We chatted a bit and he was just so personable and friendly it would’ve been impossible not to like him as instantly as I’d liked Gulten.

He asked if I had seen their roaster on my way in and when I said I hadn’t he brought me up to the front of the cafe and showed me a machine I’d’ve sworn was part of an old locomotive refurbished to decorate the living room of a steampunk afficionado. I don’t know how I managed to miss it when I first arrived. It was this enormous black and gold… thing which he was clearly quite proud of and which really was quite impressive.

He went through the process with me of how the roasting is done, showing me the small, green coffee beans as they appear before roasting, how the hopper is filled, how the temperature is controlled and varied to alter the strength of the roast, and a handful of the final product. Amazing. I told him if he ever decides to sell the beans dipped in chocolate I’d buy their first pound.

And in case you were wondering, you can purchase (non chocolate covered) pounds of their coffee beans for somewhere in the neighborhood of $9. (Don’t quote me. I’ll get the actual price and update here soon.) Another ‘variety is the spice of life” part of the whole gig is they import their beans hundreds of pounds at a time from all over the world, and roast them fresh every couple of days so you’re never drinking last week’s brew.

They’re celebrating their Grand Opening (link is to Facebook event page) this Tuesday, June 30th, from 6 – 9 pm and I am definitely going to be stopping in. If you live in the area this place absolutely must make it onto your “must visit” list; I cannot recommend it highly enough. And since they’ve just opened recently after moving here from Turkey-by-way-of-New-Hampshire I cannot recommend highly enough that you visit sooner rather than later to be part of jump starting this promising addition to the local small business community. I get the impression they already have a loyal customer base, which is not at all surprising, but they really deserve your patronage too. No foolin’.

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After my impromptu guided tour of Cafe de Arts I headed across the Waukesha State Bank parking lot to check out “The Cemetery Club” at Waukesha Civic Theatre for their 2pm pay-what-you-can performance. Sunset Playhouse put on this show last season and I heard it was wonderful but wasn’t able to make it, so I made sure not to let it pass me by again. Especially not on an afternoon when I could name my own ticket price!

The entire experience was absolutely engaging. Director Brian Zelisnki pulled together a remarkable cast of delightful and talented actors who connected so dearly with their characters it truly felt as though they were living out each moment for themselves on that stage.

G. Chmiel, F. Klumb, J. End

Chmiel as Ida, Klumb as Doris, End as Lucille

Joan End’s “Lucille” was loud and funny and wild, and just perfectly drunk enough in Act II that you had to wonder what was really in the tea props. One of her closing scenes had tears rolling down my cheeks it was so touchingly well played. I hate crying in public, but in that moment there was no stopping me. Thank you, Joan.

Fran Klumb’s “Doris” was  humanly solid, comedically smooth, and professionally real. She has this great way with a line where you’re so floored for a moment by her timing and delivery that you can’t even laugh right away because you’re too busy thinking “Wow!” She was perfectly cast in that role. Loved her.

Gladys Chmiel’s “Ida” was a particular treat for me as I am quite the Gladys Chmiel fan. It was all I could do, all anyone could really do, to keep from wanting to run up on stage and hug her throughout the show. Her performance was so tender, her focus so devoted, her dancing so cute, that I cheered for her all the way. Gladys never disappoints, and this show was no exception. Brava, friend.

Supporting this central threesome were Doug Smedbron as “Sam” and Rhonda Trickey as “Mildred.” I’d only ever seen Doug in “Social Security” and “Season’s Greetings” at Sunset Playhouse so I was excited to get to see him in something with a little more stage time. His portrayal of Sam was perfect. Just perfect. Cute as a button without being schmaltzy, cautiously dedicated without being detached, and believable believable believable. I can’t work with him soon enough.

Rhonda’s “Mildred” only appeared in one scene, but watch it and tell me you had any idea she hasn’t been playing roles like this for years. She balanced giggly, oblivious flirtatiousness with respectful stage sharing like a pro. This was her first play ever, but you’d never know it. No rookie hamminess, no “backting.” Good on ya’, Trickey. Keep acting.

Good on all of ’em, really. One minute I was laughing out loud, the next I was gasping in shock, leaning in for more, or brushing away enormous tears. I only wish I could’ve seen it sooner so I could’ve encouraged more people to check this show out for themselves. There are still two performances left, but one starts in 12 minutes so I’m thinkin’ this blog won’t be directing anyone out to Civic for that one. But if you’re free for their closing performance tomorrow, Sunday June 28th at 2 pm, do attend. It’s guaranteed to please.

And I’m guaranteed to be late if I don’t wrap this up and head out soon! Such is the life of a busy Waukesha socialite. ;)

Things to Mention


So much to update you on, dawgs. Where to begin?!

Thing to Mention #1: Ferret Stuff

Me with my friends Jessie and Nicky's ferret Brodie

Me with my friends Jessie and Nicky’s ferret Brodie

Had a ferret dream last night. In it I lived in an apartment someplace out east. A two story brick number. One of those 6 unit type deals. I believe I lived on the ground floor because somehow my ferret- a big, white male with patches of gray in his fur- escaped through a low, open window. I ran outside after him, absolutely panicked that I’d never find him again because that’s usually what happens when these guys get loose outside- you never find them. But boy bigger carnivores sure do…

As I rounded a corner of my building one of the groundskeepers (who looked strikingly like my real life next door neighbor) saw me and said he’d help me find my lost ferret. We ran across the yard together toward another apartment building, at which time the groundskeeper saw the ferret run behind a bush. The guy scrambled on his belly through dirt and leaves to reach my freaked out little animal, emerging triumphantly from the brush with this adorable, panting, frightened weasel in his grip. I can’t tell you how excited and grateful I was. In fact I’m *still* grateful and neither the animal nor the guy are even real!

I love ferret dreams. :)

Thing to Mention #2: Work Stuff

In the parking lot at work today I saw a vehicle I’ve seen around town before and have *actively* made fun of. Not the actual vehicle itself, of course, just the ridiculous bumper stickers on it which, in truth, probably aren’t really ridiculous enough to merit my ribbing. But then I guess we all know by now I’m kind of a jerk like that.

I won’t quote the stickers because who knows who’ll read this, but as a point of reference they were the type women put on their cars when they feel like they have something to prove in terms of their “toughness.” I have no idea who actually drives the vehicle, how they act, what they look like, but– man some bumper stickers just imply an awful lot on your behalf and it ain’t always what you intend… And to be fair and even things out, I’ve been flipped off for my Israel one, so I’m not really knockin’ anybody for anything I haven’t done myself.

Other work stuff? Um… Well I’m on my fourth week there and haven’t screwed anything up too majorly yet, so that’s pretty cool. I’m learning a lot and am fortunate enough to actually like everyone I work with so far. Given more time I’m sure things won’t remain so rosy because there’s people ‘n’ data involved and both can be unwieldy, but so far so good. PTL.

One of the nicest things thus far is that my immediate supervisor NEVER makes me feel like the questions I’m asking are stupid, or like there’s something wrong with me for not already knowing by heart how to do some thing or another. I like that. I need that. I feel bad asking questions after I’ve been taught how to do something, no matter what that something is. I feel like I’m just bothering people, or like I’m not worth the time it took to teach me the task in the first place if I can’t remember how to do it now that I’m on my own. That’s all ridiculous of course, but that’s sure how it feels in the moment. Thank God for AK, though. Man…

Thing to Mention #3: Family Stuff

Dad measuring the cake before adding more chocolate shavings

Dad measuring the cake before adding more chocolate shavings

My birthday was last Thursday. Welcome, Late 20s. Good times.

Spent Saturday with my family, my Mimi, and my brother’s girlfriend RAM. Dad and Bekah challenged my mom to a bake-off so there were two birthday cakes this weekend. Now that’s my kinda throw-down.

Mom made an enormous ice cream mud pie with a fudge brownie crust and chocolate mocha frosting, and Dad and Bekah made a three layer (7.5″ tall) atomic cake with pudding, bananas, strawberries, and chocolate shavings in between the layers of vanilla, chocolate, and banana cakes. Both cakes were so gorgeous and delicious it wasn’t until we were all lazing about digesting an hour later that I realized we hadn’t done the whole lighting-candles-and-singing-Happy-Birthday thing. Whoops.

I got some lovely (and oh so welcome!) gift cards for Speedway and Kohl’s from Mim and the ‘rents, pretty girly smelly stuff from Bath and Body from my sis, and a bag of Starbucks coffee and a bag of chocolate covered espresso beans from the bro and his gf. Naturally out of all these beautiful gifts I focused the longest on the birthday card RAM made me which featured a sable ferret on the front. *sigh* I’m getting weird about it- I know. I just kept thinking how I could use the card as a bookmark in one of my other birthday presents: “Ferrets for Dummies.”

The only person missing from the fun was Bek’s bf Andrew, though I’m sure there was still PLENTY of cake left by the time he arrived… We’re lookin’ out for ya’ dude. No worries.

Thing to Mention #4: Theatre Stuff

Mark Neufang and me getting saucy...

Mark Neufang and me getting saucy in “Don’t Dress for Dinner”

Don’t Dress for Dinner” had an awesome opening weekend. Every audience was loud and appreciative and let me tell ya’: That Felt Good. Friday night’s show was a good 10 minutes longer than usual for all the added laugh time. Sweet! Even Sunday’s 2 pm matinee was pretty noisy, and that one was an outright shocker. The Sunday afternoon crowd at any community theatre tends to be filled mostly with kindly local folks just north of 70. And those folks can enjoy the crap out of the show and still hardly utter a peep the entire time. Not this crowd though. As loud as many much younger Saturday night audiences I’ve played to. A delightful surprise. :)

If you’re thinking of coming out to see it, there’s a Pay-What-You-Can performance on Saturday, March 28th at 2 pm. I think the suggested donation is $10 bucks, but who’s not broke these days? C’mon down, drop $5 bucks, have a few laughs. It’s a good time.

I auditioned for another show Saturday the 7th, but the honest truth of it is I’m just too tired to keep going for now so I’ll leave that for another entry. I can only talk so much theatre at 11:43 pm on a work night. :S

But before I go: Sauce Velouté

All the world’s a stage…


… and unfortunately: Stages Pass! So hurry and get your tickets before these stages pass:

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tst-poster-2FEBRUARY

Spiral Theatre
Torch Song Trilogy, by Harvey Fierstein
Directed by Mark Hooker

Torch Song Trilogy is a very personal story that is both funny and poignant. Torch Song Trilogy chronicles a New Yorker’s search for love, respect and tradition in a world that seems not especially made for him. From Arnold’s hilarious steps toward domestic bliss with a reluctant school teacher, to his first truly promising love affair with a young fashion model, Arnold’s greatest challenge remains his complicated relationship with his mother. But armed with a keenly developed sense of humor and oftentimes piercing wit, Arnold continues to test the commonly accepted terms of endearment–and endurance–in a universally affecting story that confirms that happiness is well worth carrying a torch for.

Location: Spiral Theatre at Plymouth Church, 2717 E. Hampshire Blvd., Milwaukee, WI; (414) 248-6481 (Call for tickets or email info@spiraltheatre.com)
Dates/Times: February 6, 7, 8, 13, 14, 15 at 7:30 pm and 8, 15 at 2:30 pm
Cast: Enid Barnes, CJ Darnieder, Jordan Gwiazdowski, Mark Hagen, Brian Richards, Kelly Simon
Facebook: Event Page

ETA 2/9/09: I want to write up the show before closing weekend sneaks up on me, but until I get a chance to do so and if you’re reading this post before then: This is absolutely a must-see. And if you’re familiar with the script, fear not! It’s been cut down so you won’t be there all night. ;) It really is fantastic and if you’re on the fence about heading out to see it this weekend, do yourself a favor and buy a ticket. You will thank me a hundred times. Feel free to thank me with presents and cash. ;)

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dmd-posterMARCH

Spiral Theatre
Die Mommie Die, by Charles Busch
Directed by: Mark Hooker

The year is 1967, and Angela Arden is a washed-up pop singer who’s married to movie producer Sol but is involved with an unemployed actor named Tony. When Sol turns up dead, all fingers point to Angela. Leading the charge is Angela’s daughter Edith, who’s eager to get even by killing her mother. Edith’s brother, however, is not so sure that mom is to blame.

Location: Spiral Theatre at Plymouth Church, 2717 E. Hampshire Blvd., Milwaukee, WI; (414) 248-6481 (Call for tickets or email info@spiraltheatre.com)
Dates/Times:
March 13, 14, 15, 20, 21, 22 at 7:30 pm
Cast:
Will Elwood, Jordan Gwiazdowski, Mark Hooker, Gloria Loeding, Nathaniel Press, Sandra Stark, Jenna Wetzel
Facebook: Event Page (Coming Soon!)

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mark-hookerA note from Spiral Theatre’s Artistic Director Mark Hooker:

“Don’t miss Spiral Theatre’s LAST SEASON in Milwaukee.  Spiral’s producer and my partner Dave Berg are relocating to the Twin Cities. Dave had a job offer that he could not refuse. We’re sad to leave but excited for Dave’s new opportunity. We are amending our season slightly to accommodate our sudden and unexpected departure.”‘

Milwaukee will miss you two and the fun times and great art you’ve been a part of here. Best of luck to you both in all your future endeavors in Minneapolis!

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dont-dressMARCH

Waukesha Civic Theatre
Don’t Dress for Dinner, by Marc Camoletti
Directed by: Mark E. Schuster

Be prepared for an evening of riotous confusion as this breathtaking farce races through a romantic week end gone awry. The setting is a New York farm house. The plot is a carefully planned weekend with a chic mistress. Bernard has remembered to arrange every detail; a cordon bleu chef; wife sent to visit her mother; and best friend invited as a cover. Foolproof plan? Don’t count on it.

Location: 264 West Main Street, Waukesha, WI 53186; (262) 547-4911 (Call for tickets or email boxoffice@waukeshacivictheatre.org)
Dates/Times: March 13 and 14 (8pm), 15 (2pm); 20 (8pm), 21 (4 & 8pm), 22 (7pm); 27 (8pm), 28 (2 & 8pm), 29 (2pm)
Cast: Ruth Arnell, Donna Daniels, Scott Fudali, Mark Neufang, Matthew J. Patten, Chelsey Peterson
Facebook: Event Page

Thank you, 2009. . .


…for starting off on a better foot than the one on which 2008 ended.

Monday: Auditions!
Auditioned for “Don’t Dress for Dinner” at Waukesha Civic Theatre. Director I’ve never worked with before, actors I’ve never worked with before, good times all around. Lots of wet snow to navigate, but lovely to look at.

Tuesday: Job Interview!
Got a call from Aquent to attend an interview for a position that sounds pretty fun. The interview is tomorrow morning at 10. So woohoo for that, too.

Wednesday: Callbacks and Casting!
Callbacks for “Don’t Dress for Dinner” were last night, followed by an email saying I got the part I wanted. So woohoo for that. I’ll include more details in a later post, or perhaps just lower here; this is enough awesomeness for now.

Thursday: Moola!
Checked my bank account online and discovered I received an additional unemployment extension after all and that it had already been deposited since, as directed, I’d been claiming weeks even after my initial amount ran out. In honor of this I have the heat on and did some much needed grocery shopping this afternoon. Woohoo yet again.

Friday: Art and Friends!
Tomorrow’s the interview, then lunch with a friend, (then renewing my driver’s license :S) then an art showing at a theatre downtown, then karaoke night at the Ugly Mug for… someone’s birthday. I forget whose. Anyway: more woohoos.

Saturday: Ben!
Ben! I saw Ben! Ben Ben Ben! And I had a sandwich that was really good! And I saw Ben!!

Sunday: Food and Friends!
Brian. Birthday party. Beer. Buffalo wings. FREE! Running out of woohoos over here at this rate. ;)

In other news…
Watched a ton of DVDs this week. Nice to get back into that habit. Caught about 7 or 8 old, crappy flicks via episodes of MST3K, and watched The Dark Knight, 9 1/2 weeks, Memoirs of a Geisha, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, and then all of Season 1 of The Sarah Connor Chronicles. It’s a wonder I got anything else done this week. :P

I did, though. Somehow. Lots of cleaning, time spent with the fam, auditions and callbacks, laundry, organizing paperwork for tax season… It was good. Good good.

And now? Time to wrap up the day and prepare for the travel and wackiness of tomorrow. Phew!

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Don’t Dress for Dinner
by Marc Camoletti

Presented by the Waukesha Civic Theatre
Directed by: Mark E. Schuster
Stage Manager: Kristen Radeunz
Costume Design: Sharon Sohner

“Be prepared for an evening of riotous confusion as this breathtaking farce races through a romantic week end gone awry. The setting is a French farm house. The plot is a carefully planned weekend with a chic Parisian mistress. Bernard has remembered to arrange every detail; a cordon bleu chef; wife sent to visit her mother; and best friend invited as a cover. Foolproof plan? Don’t count on it.”

Cast
Mark Neufang as Bernard
Matthew J. Patten as Robert
Donna Daniels as Jacqueline
Chelsey Peterson as Suzette
Ruth Arnell as Suzanne
Scott Fudali as George

Performance Dates and Times
March 13 – 15: Friday at 8 pm, Saturday at 8 pm, Sunday at 2 pm (8, 8, 2)
March 20 – 22: Friday at 8 pm, Saturday at 4 pm and 8 pm, Sunday at 7 pm (8, 4/8, 7)
March 27 – 29: Friday at 8 pm, Saturday at 2 pm and 8 pm, Sunday at 2 pm (8, 2/8, 2)

Somebody’s got a case of the Tuesdays


The Good

I’m not exercising my right to bare arms until the divet on my bicep heals. I couldn’t even watch them work on me; it was just too gross. On the plus side- they pumped my upper arm so full of juice I wouldn’t feel it if an F-150 swiped it right now.

moleFor those just tuning in: About two months ago this *thing* suddenly appeared on my upper right arm. It didn’t hurt or itch or anything, and it was very small. Just this teeeeeeny little red scratch-like deal. That bled. A lot. Over the past two months it got bigger and bled more. No explanation. No previous mark of any kind prior to its appearance. There was just… nothing, and then there was something.

Through the connections of a bunch of wonderful people, most of whom I barely know and many of whom I never even met, I was able to get in for free to see a dermatologist this afternoon where I had the *thing* looked at, numbed, and cut out, with the ravine left in its wake cauterized so we all got to enjoy the scent of my burning flesh. I’ll find out in about two weeks when the biopsy results come back if this thing was cancerous or not. :S

The Bad

Speaking of things swiping me, I *might* have been robbed, but I’m not sure…

hamburglarEvery apartment in my building gets a storage unit in the garage. For a long time the wood around the lock on my storage unit was busted– apparently the previous tenant forgot the combo to their lock and decided that instead of cutting the lock off they’d just BREAK THE DOOR to get to their stuff– so I couldn’t keep anything in there very secure since not only could I not lock the unit, I couldn’t even get it to stay closed. For that reason I only ever kept empty boxes in there.

The door was eventually fixed, and I picked up a padlock so I could begin moving things in. I never did get around to putting the lock on, though, because I ended up never actually bringing anything down there except for more empty boxes.

I think.

I feel like I remember a friend of mine helping me bring down a few big Rubbermaid bins last winter, but I can’t be entirely sure if there was anything in them or if they were just helping me get some bulky, empty containers out of my way. I have a call in to him and his wife asking if they have any recollection of that favor, but I haven’t heard back from them yet so I don’t know for certain.

The *headdesk* part, the part that made this potential but as yet unverified theft possible, is that I still never did put the padlock onto the door. I don’t have any good excuse for why I never did that. I just… didn’t.

2244-blue-mist_smIf I did bring down any containers they were most likely just full of winter clothes and things like that, so there  was nothing of tremendous value lost to whoever (may have) robbed me. But, you know: It’s my stuff, and if it’s worth it to me to keep it then it’s got some value at least. Especially these days when I’m in no financial position to be out replacing things.

So now here I sit unsure if I actually put anything in there or not (because I still have several filled bins and boxes up here in my apartment and don’t know how many I had to begin with), and unable to really verify if I did or not until I hear back from the friends who helped me.

If it turns out that my things were, in fact, stolen, I plan on posting some notes around the building asking for the person(s) who removed boxes/bins from storage unit #17 to please replace them or leave them outside of my apartment door, no questions asked.

I need winter clothes. I’m frizeeeeeezing in here!! It’s 32 degrees outside, and about 56 degrees inside.

Dude: I need a job. O_O Speaking of which…

The Ugly

I’m registered with three different staffing companies and a talent agency, and applying for 3-4 jobs online every day, but still no luck in the ol’ Employment arena. I find this puzzling, to say the absolute least. I’m qualified, I’m honest, I’m loyal, I’m nice (enough), I bathe daily, and I’m available. I know the market is really rough right now, but… but… I still just don’t get it!

dilbert-02Basically: I find it impossible to believe I’m that much less qualified than people already filling positions out there that I know I could do. I mean– think of how many doofuses you work with. (And I know you work with at least a few or else “Dilbert” would never have become as popular as it is.) These are the people you work with who are so annoying and so inept that you complain about them on a daily basis to your significant other, your friends, your family, your bank teller, your grocery bagger… These are the people you know are going to get fired if the boss catches them screwing up, or screwing around, even just one more time.

So here I sit shivering in an apartment I can’t afford to heat, surrounded by furniture I’m taking pictures of so I can sell it on Craig’s List, asking myself: Am I really less suited to be your coworker than people everyone complains about and whose contributions are substandard? Really?!

*Meh*scellaneous #1

Click the Pic for a great blog entry about using this product

Click for a great blog entry about using this product

I wrapped my bedroom window in plastic yesterday. One of those 3M Scotch tape window insulator kits. I bought it after last winter for $5 bucks on sale. I don’t know if it’s helping or not, though.

I washed the window frame, let it dry, applied the tape- and pressed firmly!- cut the plastic to size, smoothed it onto the tape, tugged out any wrinkles… and then listened to it pop off as the pressure from the wind coming through the closed window loosened it.

(Series of Expletives Deleted)

At this point I’m kind of wondering if it’s worth it to attempt to insulate the window in the guest room since it’s just as drafty and therefore likely to have similar problems. I’ve been keeping the blinds drawn in there and the bedroom and closet doors closed and hoping for the best. Brrrrrrr!!!

*Meh*scellaneous #2

The show I’m in closes this Sunday. I had a great time with this cast and am really going to be sad to see this one end. Not to mention the fact that there’s really nothing I want to audition for until February, and that’s a long time to be off the boards, you know? Here’s hoping that aud works in my favor or I am going to be one bored little girl come this Spring.

08_7_noisesoffThere are really only two shows coming up in the area that I’m looking at auditioning for this Spring, and one of them is likely to have just about the fiercest competition I’ve ever seen. It’s a popular show at a popular community theatre and everyone I know who does comedy is already gunning for a role in it.

I’d be happy taking an added-in part of Assistant to the Assistant to the Assistant Stage Manager and run a Canadian cross or two with a clipboard if that’s the only way I could get into this thing. It just sounds like such a blast.

If only they’d allow me to do the casting. Got a few good ideas up my sleeve… (JIM!!! MATTHEW!!! RICK!!! HINT HINT HINT!!!!!!!)

*Meh*scellaneous #3

You know what else sounds like a blast? A Filet o’ Fish meal. Or maybe just some chicken noodle soup and a pb&j while finishing “The Name of the Rose.” Now if I can just convince myself to get out from under the covers and remove my hat, coat, and scarf long enough to make them… Brrrrrrrr!!!!!

I love technology. Always and forever.


(The first portion of this entry was originally written 11/10/08.)

When you’re unemployed and no one cares where you are, there’s no reason to be up at 7 am on a Monday morning.

But by golly I was.

I didn’t even get up that early when I had a job…

born_into_brothels_lrgI’m on my third movie for the day after visiting Blockbuster and the library. The first was too embarrassingly poor to mention, so we’ll start with number two, a documentary called Born Into Brothels. It follows American photographer Zana Briski‘s time spent in the red light district of Calcutta. In it she befriends the children of prostitutes and teaches them photography, helps a few of them get into schools, and sends one for a week long trip to Amsterdam to… study art? Ice skate? I don’t recall exactly what the base purpose of the trip was…

Interesting to see that side of the district through the viewfinders of a bunch of children, but so heartbreaking to see in the end how many of them either gave up the opportunities to get away from those hardships, and those who had these new opportunities taken from them by their guardians. And why do these guardians take these opportunities from their children? Because they need to keep them close to help make money? Sure. And out of jealousy of their potential to get away from the life that has already taken their own youth and destroyed them? Ah… Perhaps…

Maintaining the Indian theme of the evening I’ve moved on to The Mistress of Spices. I got it because I want to be Aishwarya Rai when I grow up, just– not Aishwarya Rai as she is in this movie. Yawn. The other downside of the movie is Dylan McDermott. Bigger yawn. The one upside is Zohra Sehgal. That woman could appear in every movie I ever see from now on and that would not be enough. She just looks and acts like someone you want to love.

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All righty dighty. Back to the present.

Just closed weekend number two of “The Philadelphia Story” at the Waukesha Civic Theatre. It’s been going really well, and I have to say I’m shocked at the  number of friends of mine who’ve come to see the show. I never have this many friends in attendance so it’s literally one *wow* after another when I step out of the green room to see who’s out there. It’s just so much more fun to get up there when you know you’re sharing the fun with people you actually enjoy and care about, you know?

Digging a few boxes out of my storage unit in the garage today. Got to find the rest of my winter clothes (Current temp: 34 degrees) and then figure out where in the heck I put my plastic window wrap. The windows in my building are awful about letting in drafts, but I’m hesitant to turn the heat on until I find a job. :S

On the subject of money savers, I’m thinking of lowering my internet connection to the next speed down and cancelling my Blockbuster subscription. $48/mo is just too much to be paying for internet access, and $13/mo for movie rentals– while still a great rate– is simply more than I can justify. I forsee a lot of evenings in the near future that feature me trying to make out shapes on the one local channel that comes in- in rolling, static filled black and white- on my TV set. :S

blog_rabbitearsWhy is it that nobody seems to be able to pick up tv stations any more unless they have cable? And I’m not talking about all that HD crap and getting those boxes and everything. I’m talking about– Well don’t you remember how when you were a kid you could just turn the TV on and there were anywhere between 10 and 20 stations that came in crystal clear? It was wonderful! No need for cable, no need for fancy converter boxes. Maybe a set of rabbit ears was perched permanently atop your set, but that’s a cheap, one time purchase, and with enough tinfoil counterbalanced on the ends of the antennas you could be golden for years with those things.

But now… I remember when my family first moved into their current house in 2002 and couldn’t get a single station without getting cable. I mean: NOTHING. Even went out and bought a fancy, expensive antenna to attach to the set (cheaper than cable!) and still they got ZERO reception even on local channels.

I never thought I could cancel movies AND fast internet. I thought I was too weak!

But Blockbuster? Yep. This will be my last month. *sigh* It was nice while it lasted. :P

The Philadelphia Story at WCT


ETA: This post has been getting lots of hits lately from people searching online for info about Kris Kingstad, Waukesha Civic Theatre’s beloved properties mistress who passed away August 25, 2010 of lymphoma. She was diagnosed some time during the winter of ’09/’10 (as far as I know) and her condition began deteriorating quite rapidly in recent weeks. She was in the care and company of loved ones when she passed.

She was a wonderful woman. A consummate professional with a beautiful heart, an encouraging spirit, a fun sense of humor, and a brand of humility you don’t often find in the theatre. She was loved and appreciated by many and will be greatly missed.

There will be a celebration of her life at Bevsek-Verbick Funeral Home at 10210 W. Lincoln Ave in West Allis, WI on Tuesday, August 31, 2010 from 4:00 to 6:00 pm, with a short service to follow. The interment is not open to the public.

Those wishing to honor her memory with a gift are being encouraged to donate to the Lymphoma Society and Waukesha Civic Theatre.

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Hi all.

I’m in a show that Previews tonight; “The Philadelphia Story” at Waukesha Civic Theatre on Main St. in downtown Waukesha. It’s been loads of fun to work on so it’s almost a shame to reach opening weekend because it means the experience is nearly over! Though I’m sure we’re all looking forward to the prospect of having our evenings back to ourselves, so I imagine we’ll get over it. ;)

Synopsis, etc. of the show from the WCT website:

Tracy Lord, the privileged, spoiled, divorced, and uninhibited daughter of the Philadelphia Lords, is engaged to be married, but that doesn’t stop her from beginning a whirlwind adventure. Her fiancé, her ex-husband, a reporter, a scheming brother, a Broadway dancer, and her father all contribute to the mayhem, culminating in a hilarious turn of events and an unexpected ending you won’t forget.

The cast includes Ruth Arnell (Tracy Lord), Ramon Campos (Mac & Doctor Parsons), Ruth Caves (May), Jeff Davis (Willie Tracy), Eric Eggers (Sandy Lord), Will Elwood (CK Dexter Haven), Haley Gray-Hoehn (Dinah Lord), Beth Keller (Elsie), Jenny Kosek (Liz Imbrie), Ann Morrow (Margaret Lord), Mark Neufang (Mike Connor), Jeff Porter (George Kittredge), Jim Volden (Seth Lord), and Scott Wendelberger (Thomas).

Reva Fox is the Director. The production staff and crew includes: Costume Designer Aleta Bernard, Co-Properties Designer Kris Kingstad, Wig Master Anthony Mackie, Stage Manager Debi Mumford, Sound Designer John Santroch, Co-Properties Designer Monica Santroch, and Scenic Designer, Master Carpenter and Set Decorator Michael Talaska.

Performances are Fridays – Sundays and run as follows:

Friday  Saturday     Sunday
Nov 7-9 8 pm     8 pm              2 pm
Nov 14-16 8 pm     4 pm/8pm     7 pm
Nov 21-23 8 pm     2 pm/8 pm    2 pm

Ticket info from the WCT website:

Individual tickets are regularly $19.00 ($17.00 for students and seniors.) Tickets may be purchased over the telephone with VISA, MasterCard, Discover, or American Express during Box Office hours or Mail orders are accepted any time. Mail orders are processed in the order in which they are received. Specify show date and time, and mail order to WCT, P.O. Box 221, Waukesha, WI 53187. Please enclose $2 handling fee per order.

BOX OFFICE CONTACT INFORMATION
Box Office: 262.547.0708
Fax: 262.547.8454
E-Mail: boxoffice@waukeshacivictheatre.org

A side note on tickets:

I believe there are cheaper rush ticket options available, but I couldn’t tell you the first thing about when they’re available or how much they are. I would strongly recommend that you contact the box office by phone when purchasing your tickets to confirm the rush time/cost, and to confirm ticket availability before waiting to show up to get in. There is also a Pay-What-You-Can option during the final Saturday matinee (2 pm, Saturday November 22nd).

This is one of the friendliest, most amiable casts I’ve ever worked with. I’m proud of what we’ve all worked together to accomplish, excited about the opportunity to work with Reva (audition for her if you can!), and looking forward to sharing the fun with you. And if you should come out to the show, let me know you’re there so I can be sure to pop out and say hi. :D