Tag Archives: winter

Tahoe Winter 2015

There have been a handful of things keeping me super busy lately. One of them is that last weekend, Drew and I took B to Tahoe for a winter extravaganza. We rented a house with the Jameses and Molly, and spent 3 nights there hanging out.

We got there first, and while we were unloading the car, an 18-year-old kid pulled up in an SUV and said, “Hey, you guys moving in?” “Yes,” we said. “Okay, good to know. I’m going to make a phone call.” Then he got back into his car, talked on the phone for a minute, and then drove away. We were a little baffled – and concerned – but before I could call the rentals manager, she pulled up behind our car. She was kind of freaking out, and said that the cleaners thought we were coming the next day so they hadn’t finished. So she ran inside and cleaned the bathroom sinks and the stovetop. So that was kind of weird.

It’s not very snowy in Tahoe right now, but we did have an ice patch of our very own in a shady spot of the yard.


Actually, it was probably good that the roads were basically clear so the drive was quick and safe, and the boys could run around outside in every free 15 minutes to keep them from going crazy.

The first day we went into Tahoe City where there was a playground near the beach. We went to the water’s edge, where there was about 6 feet of ice, and taught the boys to throw rocks (um…not our brightest moment) to break the ice. B brought a rock home with him, which I keep forgetting about, but I’m pretty sure is still in the diaper bag.


IMG_9040The second day, we went up to Mount Rose to find some snow – it was still pretty icy, but Drew could pull B around on the sled we brought him. We also saw one stupid teenage boy after another sled down a hill and very nearly go face-first into a tree. Literally. Also, a woman went down another hill on an inner tube, jumped a little hill, and was 2 seconds away from shooting out into the road – if her inner tube hadn’t suddenly popped. She was laughing. We were all worried that we were about to see someone – tree guys or inner tube girl – get really hurt.

Luckily no one did. And we slipped and slid around on the ice until it started to get too dark.


On our drive back to the house, we realized that Mount Rose is in Nevada – B’s first trip out of state!

The only downside to the trip was a slight fever that the boys seemed to be passing back and forth. Neither was down for long, but we were dosing them both with Tylenol all weekend. On our third night, B was up literally every 45 minutes, actually crying. Not just whimpering. I’m pretty sure neither Drew nor I slept more than 2 hours altogether. It was one of the worst nights of my life, especially since we weren’t sure what the problem was. He wasn’t feverish all night – just upset.

Finally at 5am, after many times of being up, of shhhhing him, of asking what was wrong, Drew brought him into our bed and we both sat there going, “What’s wrong? What do you need?” He finally croaked out “Wawar!” Water?? I felt like such an idiot. Was he just dehydrated all night? Could we have solved this 8 hours ago?

I think we were all suffering from the altitude a little bit. My skin and my lips were so chapped – and I think we were all dehydrated. Luckily a couple days back at sea level and we’re all back to normal.

It was a classic case of “I had so much fun! And I’m SO GLAD to be home!”

(And fun fact: I just found out we’re getting our whole security deposit back – so that’s nice! I’m always a little nervous about that.)


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Filed under Awesome, Beauty, Children, Drew, Friends, Nature, Travel

Equivocation, Part 3 (The One With The Toasts)

Equivocation closed on Sunday and I failed to write anything about it.  I had planned this “funny” post where I talked about how I had gotten my track down to a science, and detailed how I spent a lot time sitting in the green room or on the floor backstage, and jumped up at the precise moments to be where I needed to be…but the day that I started writing it was the day EVERYTHING went wrong.  One of the actors got a scary phone call 5 minutes before curtain and thought his child was sick or hurt, so the first 15 minutes was real hectic until he could get offstage, get someone on the phone, and make sure everything was fine.  Props were misplaced (not always by me) and right before the end of Act I, one of the actors spilled a tidal wave of fake blood (mostly corn syrup and red food dye) all over herself and backstage left.  While we made it through intermission and got her cleaned up, some of the spots on the floor backstage were missed by the mop, and so I spent a lot of the second act finding sticky blood spots and trying to clean it with baby wipes.

ANYWAY, Equivocation is closed now and that’s that.  It was a good closing.  The audience was very friendly and agreeable and on our sides.  The cast got to go back out for a second bow.  (The stage manager apparently LOVES encore bows and always wanted to send them back out, but this was actually deserved.)  The champagne toast onstage was very nice and everyone was happy and it was just a good note to go out on.  One of the actors tipped me (hooray!) and one of them gave me a copy of Middlemarch, because he had been telling me to read it ever since rehearsal.  That may very well be the nicest closing present I’ve ever gotten.  The tipping actor told me that the book actor must really respect me, because that is one of the highest compliments he pays (she’s known him for about 15 years).

I was sad for about 10 minutes and then I started in on the next project, which is 5 days of a reading of this new play called Carthage by Emily Schwend.  I really like the play and I’m stage managing and it fills in this week, which otherwise I would have had off.  On Friday we start prep for the next mainstage show and on Tuesday we start rehearsals and then I’ll just have hundreds of things to say about Woody Guthrie’s American Song.

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Filed under Endings, Memoir, Theatre

The Wedding Photographer from the Black Lagoon

So, I got married last November.  It was a wonderful affair, with wine and family and dancing and cake and guests coming from New York and Spain to help us celebrate.  It was really much better than I expected and lots better than I even wished for.  The caterers were thorough and invisible when they were supposed to be, the DJ played all the right music and none of the wrong music, and the cake was 5 layers, not 4 like we were expecting, because the baker wanted to give it some extra drama.  I love me a 5-tiered cake.  The photographer and his assistant were everywhere at all times, stayed from 11 in the morning until 11 at night, and didn’t mind when our set-up shot plan changed 3 times.  They left the reception when we did, and promised us our pictures in “4-6 weeks! by Christmas!”

Here is a timeline of how the next 4 months have gone.

Dec 15, haven’t heard anything from him, so I email him just to find out if he’ll post them soon. We’d love to sit down with our sets of parents and go through the pictures.  Photographer doesn’t respond.
Dec 22, Facebook informs me he’s going to Mexico for Christmas.
Dec 22, I email him again because I haven’t heard back.
Dec 23, Photographer informs me via email that he’s “out of the country” for the holidays and will return after the New Year.
Jan 6, I email him again asking because I haven’t heard anything.
Jan 6, He writes back saying he’s almost done!
Jan 11, They’re posted! We’re so happy. I email him back asking for a couple others shots – one, a group shot with the girls I used to babysit, which I definitely remember being taken. Two, anything, from any point in the night, of me and my mom together. He tells me he’s out of town until Jan 17 so he’ll get back to me.
Jan 26, I call him. No answer.  No callback.
Feb 12, I email him. No answer.
Mar 2, I call him. No answer.  No callback.
Mar 6, I call him around 9:30 in the morning..  He answers!  Holy cow!  He tells me he’s “just looking at the pictures” and he can’t find the one of me with my babysitting girls.  Also, he says, “this has never happened before” but he can’t find anything of me and my mom.  He’s “never had to set that up before, it always happens naturally.”  I basically give up and say sweetly through my teeth, “Okay, well, everything else is great, so can you mail us the DVD?”  He says he’ll do that right away.
Mar 11, Silly me, I assumed “right away” meant he’d mail the DVD on Saturday, or Monday at the latest.  No DVD has shown up yet and shipping from San Francisco to San Bruno shouldn’t take long.  I email him asking if he’d sent it because I wanted to take it to my parents’ house over the weekend (not true).  He writes back saying he’s at a “wedding photography convention” in Las Vegas to get some new slick DVD cases that he likes.  He’ll overnight one to my parents’ address, if I’ll give it to him.  I give it to him (anything to get a copy of that DVD!).
Mar 12, In the morning he leaves me a voicemail saying he’s been to the post office, UPS, and FedEx and no one can get it there by Saturday.  I text him saying to just send it to me here.

Today we got home and there was a (granted, pretty slick) DVD case leaning against the door.  Which means he just brought it by and left it at some point today?  There are 2 DVDs inside, one saying in Sharpie, “Copy 1” and the other, “Copy 2.”  For needing to be placed in such a slick case, the DVDs are pretty unimpressive, but if I pop them into the computer and my wedding pictures exist thereon, everything will be forgiven (if not immediately forgotten).

So here it is, over 4 months later, and we have our pictures.  The next step is to upload all 600 onto some photo sharing-and-purchasing website, send the link to everyone, and then order the prints.  Now the only thing to kind of bother me is the fact that everyone else has that one great the-happy-couple-kissing-in-a-very-posed-manner-in-front-of-a-tree picture, and we, for some reason, have none of those.  I mean, we have lots of good candids and that’s what I wanted anyway, so it’s all good.  I just kind of miss not having that gazing-at-each-other-lovingly-in-front-of-a-pond picture.

Oh yeah, and I need to write that photographer a scathing review on Yelp.  My only question is, is this the kind of thing where I should warn him beforehand?  Or should I just cut into him via the faceless internet?  Major dilemma.


Filed under "Other people", Being a girl, Drew, Family, Not awesome

Longer & More Introspective Than I Was Expecting To Be

Sunlight closed yesterday.  When I woke up feeling slightly head-cold-y I knew it was going to be a long day.  Over the next 12 hours the cold settled in, through 2 shows, strike, and then the obligatory going-out-for-a-drink which I avoided through the entire run of the show.  By that time though I couldn’t stomach the idea of alcohol (I was light-headed already from sinus congestion) so when Liz the Stage Manager asked if she could buy me a drink I wimped out and asked for a diet Coke.  Which came with a peppercorn (?) in it.

Closing was kind of a weird experience, it’s just not the same as it was in high school and even in college.  I remember getting major post-show depression and it just hasn’t happened in years.  I thought it was because for the last 4 years all the shows I’ve worked on have been in addition to a job, and so closing them has just meant that I get to go back to working only 40 hours a week.  Turns out that it’s actually not that pessimistic – everyone agreed that closing (and opening) just don’t mean as much when it’s your job, and it’s just another show.  Jen the Production Manager said her parents were still saving all her programs and ticket stubs on the wall of their laundry room and I grinned from the familiarity: my parents moved their wall of theatre stuff from the hallway to the laundry room sometime while I was in New York.  Although I guess they’re not even saving stuff anymore, my mom told me they threw their Sunlight programs away like the day after they came to see the show.  That’s fine, what are they going to do with that anyway?

I still saved a program and I still felt a slight urge to ask the actors to sign it…but don’t worry, I resisted.  I have learned a thing or two.

I was thinking about past shows and some of the past facilities I worked in, and how great Marin is in so many ways.  I thought maybe I would share some of them.

Brilliant Traces:  Well, we rehearsed and performed inside a school during the summer.
A) Rehearsals were on the 5th floor, air conditioning controls were on the 1st floor, and I often had to run up and down the stairs several times in a 3-hour rehearsal period. 
B) It was summer which means the school was locked most of the time, so if I arrived and the actor (who worked at the school) wasn’t there yet, I had to wait outside. 
C) I often ended up washing the dishes in a drinking fountain.

Kraken:  One of my least favorite theatre spaces ever (Soho Rep) – an unmarked door in a fairly dirty part of Soho, it always reeked like someone had just peed on it (which they probably did, it was set back in the wall and next door to a bar, all the guys working on the show remarked it was exactly where they would go if they stumbled out of the bar and had to go).  I washed dishes in a dimly lit dirty bathroom, which incidentally had no doors.  At one point the toilet broke and I fixed it myself.

The Vietnamization of New Jersey:  Okay, I actually liked this show and it was in Theatre Row so it was a great facility.  But they did throw cornflakes ALL OVER the stage and it was crazy hard to keep it cleaned up during rehearsals…luckily I had two crew members for the run so they did all the sweeping and mopping work.

Eccentricities of a Nightingale:  Giant bowl of “eggnog” which was really powdered milk in water. Washing dishes in a bathroom again!  Except for when I would use the slop sink.  And I hated the stage manager for some reason.

Recent Tragic Events:  While this was one of my favorite things I did in New York (I really liked the script, the people, the time commitment, and my life while this show was going on), the theatre itself was incredibly small and the booth was really just behind-a-curtain in the back row of seats.  For a couple of the performances, I know the audience could hear my stomach growl.  But I can’t really complain about this because I still smile when I think about the entire thing.  I loved buying a pizza from the $.99 pizza place every night, and I loved having to play all the sound cues (and there were a million) on a CD player, even when I had to change the levels quickly and precisely.  I guess I did have to wash dishes in a bathroom again.  Really, I just don’t like washing dishes in bathrooms.

Brunch:  OMG. The American Theatre of Actors is terrible and I would never work there again, and I say that with complete honesty even if I did live in New York again.  The guy who runs it is crazy and the director almost got arrested for taking out the trash.  To get to the booth I had to climb up a ladder on the wall and I was convinced I was going to fall and die at some point in the run.  The place was messy and dirty, and the house lights sometimes didn’t work at all and sometimes wouldn’t go off.  Too many ladders and too many perishable props that had to be bought daily.  I was in the grocery store on the corner constantly for limes and ice, down the street at the flower stand for roses, and in the ice cream store for balloons, all grossly overpriced but it’s New York so what are you going to do?

I guess I can’t say anything bad about TACT or TACT shows…

So I guess that leaves my two lists.

The things I will not miss about Sunlight:
-Snow.  Sweeping snow, scooping snow, loading snow, shaking snow, finding snow in my clothes.
-Certain actors’ warmups
-The fight
-The smell of low sodium vegetable broth mixed with water. Gross!
-Cumulative hours of references to old films and actors that everyone else is unfamiliar with, but has to nod and smile along to, as one actor describes exactly what he’s doing with this line

The things I will miss about Sunlight:
-Liz the Stage Manager
-Hanging out and making fun of the actors during intermission (when they turned on the charm they were really awesome)
-Headset chatter and movie games with Liz and Myles the Board Op
-Only 4 actors! Minimal laundry!
-The last 30 minutes of the show when I had no more duties and could just sit on the floor in the dark and drink Juice Squeeze

But we start Equivocation this weekend and so I am not feeling too sad.  Onward and upward!

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Sychela, by the way, is what my mom sometimes calls me.

You know when you meet someone named Michael and they say, “Call me Mike” or when an Elizabeth always goes by Liz?  I wish it were that easy to shorten my name.  Not that my name is super long or anything, but I like nicknames and familiarity and informality.  I even like it when people (the select few who remember the good old days) call me Sheesh.  But shortening my name has never been something that everyone does easily.  In high school a couple people called me Sych.  But it hasn’t really stuck anywhere else.

Until now.  One of the actors in Sunlight spent about a week calling me Sych on accident (and can you blame her?), but it was infrequent and there was usually no one else around, and I didn’t correct her.  (This, by the way, is the same actor who misheard Liz the stage manager’s name as Olivia, saved it in her cell phone like that, and still sometimes calls her that.)  Finally one day she said, “I’ve been saying your name wrong,” and I told her I would still answer to it.  Then the other actors started doing it too, and finally one day in rehearsal the director asked if they could shorten my name that was.  I said yes, that I didn’t mind being called Sych but I wouldn’t want to, say, be introduced to a new person that way.  And now they all do it.

And it’s just getting weird.  I don’t know if it’s just from the overload which I’ve never experienced before, or if it’s TOO familiar for a group of people that I don’t necessarily feel like I’m BFFs with, but I now hear myself referred to as Sych about 15 times a day.  I’m not sure if it’s something I’ll get used to or something I should nix in the future.  So I’d just like to say, once again, thanks Mom and Dad for the swell name!


Filed under "Other people"

A day of repairs

A week, maybe 10 days ago, I went to lock the deadbolt before going to bed, and stepped on the welcome mat next to the door.  My sock was instantly soaked through.  Upon closer inspection, water was leaking under the door and filling the little area right in front of the door.  We’ve had a lot of rain lately and it’s sounded especially loud right outside the front door, but I guess it’s been coming inside as well.  We kept saying to each other, we have to get this fixed.

A few days later, the front door started splitting – the front and back panels coming away from the frame – leaving splinters of wood and paint all over the (still soaking wet) floor.  We finally made the trek to the office to tell them that we needed a new door.  They sent a guy out who spent all of 3 minutes here, and put some screws in the two panels to keep the door together.  Yay!  We then pointed out the wall by the front door, which the other day formed a huge bubble of water from a leak inside, as well as the ceiling where you can see water stains forming.  He said he’d have to wait for it to dry out and then they would repaint.  (Good luck anything drying out here right now.)

Today two new guys came out and looked at everything.  They radioed the office and called it a “huge mess” and I think once or twice stopped themselves from saying bad words.  (“Hey, look at this.” “Oh, shi….”)  They tore up part of the wall, pulled out all the soggy insulation, disconnected the wiring (did I mention this is the wall with the main light switches and outlet?), and cut a vent in the ceiling so it could dry out and stop storing water.  They promised to come back to shave part of the door: since it’s so swollen, it’s really difficult to get open or closed.  They also made many disparaging comments about the other guy, who didn’t really do anything and also didn’t have us sign anything, so there’s no record of what he did do.

We actually kind of need a new door, I think, especially since we’ve both been having difficulties with getting our keys in both of the locks.

So today ended up being sort of productive, not that we had to do anything, but we did oversee it.

Also today, we took my car’s right front tire to Firestone to get it patched up, after a kind patron at the show yesterday tracked me down and told me I had a flat.  I thought I could put the spare on myself, just to get home, but then Jenn the Production Manager said she’d help.  Then while we were assembling our tools (thank God I have a spare tire and a jack, although no wrench, but she had one in her trunk), Margot the Literary Manager was walking by and stopped to hold an umbrella over us.  Then while I loosened and pried off the plastic “hubcap,” two of the tech guys came walking by after gorging themselves on burritos, and said they didn’t want to get in the way.  I said please get in the way, and then they proceeded to put the spare on.  But I still think if I had to, I could have done it myself.

When I picked up my newly repaired tire today, the woman behind the counter asked if my husband was going to put it on the car for me.  I said, “We’re going to put it on together.”  Then she gave me my receipt and a free wall calendar of Pacifica.  Bonus gift.

Don’t worry, we still had time to watch lots of TV, including The Pregnancy Pact.

Trash bag-covered hole in the wall

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Filed under Home improvements, Not awesome

Maybe less caffeine before bed?

Last night I had trouble falling asleep.  As I lay there listening enviously to the even breathing of a certain other person who could obviously fall asleep just fine, I slowly didn’t know where I was anymore.  I lay on my side facing the outside edge of the bed and realized that the wall in front of me had two closet doors, one open and overflowing, one closed.  The bedroom door further down was closed for privacy.  The fan at the foot of the bed was off (this is the middle of winter after all) but I could sense it there.  I could feel the dusty curtains somewhere behind me over the grated window that led out onto the fire escape, and then I heard (faintly) the 7 train go by outside.  I reached a hand out and touched, not the smooth polished wood of the nightstand I was somehow no longer expecting, but the rough unpolished birch of a $7 Ikea side table.  Covered in piles of books, papers, and dust.  I let my fingers trail up over my head and I stroked the headboard I remember leaving behind.

I kept my eyes closed because I could see so clearly through the bedroom door, down the hallway, into the living room glowing in the light filtered in from streetlamps.  The ugly couches and the TV we paid off for a year were outlines, dusty ones.  If I went to the window the sill would be cold even with the heater blowing warm air from the vent below it.  Out the window the Manhattan skyline glittered: the Empire State Building, its lights already off due to heavy fog; the Chrysler Building, my favorite, sparkling like a Christmas tree; the CitiBank Building a blight as always on the otherwise perfect view.  Inexplicably an older woman would be pushing a cart down 61st Street even though all the stores and laundromats would be closed.  Would it be snowing?  Sometimes I could only tell by looking at the beams from streetlights – and sometimes it was everywhere.

The elevator rumbled innocuously past the 4th floor, delivering home someone who had just disembarked the recent 7 train.  The parquet floor was cold and the rug gritty beneath my bare feet.  If I knocked on Jared’s louvered doors would he answer them, wearing a t-shirt from God of Carnage or [title of show]?

I kept my eyes closed tight, rolled around in the so familiar feel of this bedroom I had lived in for 3 years.  I tried not to move so I wouldn’t disturb this feeling.  I wanted to peek and see if it was true.  Before I looked though, I wondered what was more likely: that the last year had been a dream and it was the beginning of 2009, I was gainfully employed in a job that challenged me and gave me health insurance?  Or that this was an alternate reality where I was in January 2010, but one where we had stayed in New York?  Would anyone else realize this was wrong?  Would Jared be happy or disappointed to have us back?  Would I be happy or disappointed to be there?  Would Drew?

Eventually I fell asleep and when I woke up I was in San Bruno, California, married and fully admitting it was 2010.  It seems silly and a little dramatic to imagine being back in Queens.  Of course I wasn’t back in Queens.  But it was nice to feel it, is all, around me, for just a little while.


Filed under Being a girl, Endings, Fiction