Monday, May 31, 2010

Some Things Never Change

As I sit writing this, I have that general malaise that goes along with living in NYC. It feels like a cross between pure exhaustion and being hung over while trying to muster up the energy to do the things you need to do and still have time to unwind after. Yup, I miss it, but I don't. I've been reminded of a lot of things this week - why I like NY, why I hate NY, but most importantly how thankful I am that I don't have to take the train/bus combo everywhere all the time anymore. We are staying just past Flushing in Queens which is a 45 minute bus/train ride to Times Square. It's not terrible, but when you leave the city at 11:30pm and don't get home til 12:30, it becomes a bit taxing (even more so when you *accidentally* stay out until 3:00am...oops...)I've definitely had a week full or reminders like that.

Sometime last weekend (the expanses of my memory are quickly shrinking) we met up with my friend Amy and had dinner at Saint and Sinners. It was awesome. We pulled up and started talking outside and quickly moved inside because of the noise from the 7 train above us (ha, forgot about that one). When we walked in, the bartender looked up at me and did a double-take. He then greeted me with a kiss on the cheek and the ever-endearing Irish "how the hell are ya" and "what the f*** are you doin here?!" My friend Nigel came in after the Mets game was over, as did the other bar owner, Ronan, who made his presence known by yanking on my pony tail. it got crowded quickly, so we left, but it was great to see everyone again! We went back the next week on a not-so-crowded night which felt more like "home." The locals (most of which are Irish men who have hit on my at least once but probably don't remember) were there along with Nigel and a group of transvestites (which is not so common) and us. Some things never change.

We went to the first game of the Mets/Phillies series on Tuesday night (which the Mets won) and on Wednesday saw Phantom of the Opera. The show was good overall though you can tell it was originally done in 1986 as some of the props and effects are really outdated and a bit disappointing. The chandelier was not as great as I thought it would be and someone in the design department needs to review the effect wind has on the properties of water based fog... but I digress.

A few trips to the Mr. Softee truck later, we went downtown a few times to meet more of my friends. One night we went to see Essau who's a bouncer at a bar in Times Square. Once we got to the bar Jeremy and I realized it was the same bar we were introduced in back in March of 2009 before we knew each other or I even thought about working for the circus. WEIRD. That week also happened to be Fleet Week. I think I was the only girl in Times Square more annoyed by the amount of people there than excited by all of the men in uniform. A few days later, Alice and Carl came in and I met them at the South Street Seaport. When Jeremy got off work he met us at Blockheads where we stayed the rest of the night drinking cheap margaritas and a drink we affectionately named the Mexican Trash Can. And another few nights later, we met my friend Katie at a diner with a singing waitstaff that seemed to be having an Abba medley night.

The show schedule has been really busy lately, so Jeremy and I haven't had any time off together. Instead, we've been taking trips into the city after work to get away from the circus. The only problem is that we've both been so tired lately that our options end up limited (as we found out when I fell asleep watching Shrek in the movie theatre). We did, however, make it out to an earlier showing of Get Him to the Greek which was HILARIOUS and made even better by a visit to Panera Bread for dinner :-)

We've packed up since then and moved further into the suburban abyss also known as Long Island...

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Start Spreading the News

As I write this I am listening to the dulcit sounds of cars, wind, people, and buses which can only mean one thing - I'm back in Queens! We left Boston on Monday a little later than we expected because Jeremy got out of load out late, but arrived in Queens that night and checked into our hotel in Maspeth. Considering this is New York, the hotel was clean, big enough, and in a good neighborhood (even though there was a HUGE cemetery across the street. I'm talking nearly Arlington sized but creepier). Come to find out this hotel was the same one that my family and I stayed in when I moved to NY for the first time (talk about creepy...). The next day we woke up, ate breakfast downstairs, and packed up to go to the trailer lot. On the way, I had Jeremy drive through Woodside and past my old apartment. I nearly cried -mostly because when I lived there I thought I'd never get out of there, but I did and now think the place has a certain charm about it. The lot is in Fresh Meadows, Queens, which is about a ten minute drive past Citifield. If you don't know NY, that is code for IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE. Everything around us looks like a suburb, and it's a 30 minute bus ride to the END of the F line. Getting anywhere the next two weeks will take some serious planning...

We got here before our camper because I have to help park everyone when they get here, so we hung out in someone's personal trailer for a while becasue it was raining. Eventually though, everyone started showing up (all at once, I might add) so standing in the rain was inevitable. Jeremy ran out to get some Chinese food from a Kosher Chinese place (only in NY), and I proceeded to join the synchronized swimming team. After two changes of clothes, including shoes, we were done for the night and went into our camper to enjoy the lack of rain and heat because even though everything was hooked up and the lot power was run no one had turned on the generator. Awesome. It's at times like that when I think to myself, I'm turning into my mother because all I can hear in my head is a combination of, "You're going to get sick" and "My idea of roughing it is a hotel without a pool." Both of these things are true. (I've been sucking down emergen-C and tea like it's my job.)

Load in here takes 2-3 days. This makes sense and no sense at all; it does because we have to set up a tent and seats on top of the show, but it doesn't because the show is so much smaller than ringling. I hate to tell the guys here, but their job is so easy when it comes to manual labor. Maintenance has is pretty bad, but other than that (and I hate to say it because I don't like playing the "my job is harder than your job" game, but...) these guys have it SO easy!

We're still fighting to get our water hoses hooked up properly becasue we don't have the correct equipment, so the camper is disgusting right now. We can use our toilet, but there's no water in it; we can use the sink, but no water comes out of the faucet. Luckily the show has a surplus of gallon jugs of water that we've been using for purposes other than drinking.

A lot of people have gone in and out of the city already. I've been suck in the office and Jeremy has been loading in, so I get to watch the artistic coordinator's doberman pinscher while he's in Manhattan. She's really sweet, terrified of Jeremy, and only speaks French. (raises eyebrow) I know how to say "hello," "come here," "good girl," "please," "shit," and some of the words to "Frere Jacques" in French. I think the dog is listening to me out of pity.

Load in will be done after today, and we start shows Saturday. My day off is Sunday and Jeremy's is Monday, which is no fun. I think we're going to see a Mets game Tuesday night and then HAIR on Wednesday night. (Gotta do SOMETHING in the city!). If you're reading this and are in NY, let me know!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Cymbals and Lobsters

This is our last week in Boston, which is great because we go to Queens next, but sad because we didn't get to the Sam Adams Brewery. Ah well. We did, however, go into the city one night to catch a showing of "Date Night" with Tina Fey and Steve Carell, which was hilarious. Yes, it was a bit of a chick flick, but the humor made up for that, as did the bloopers during the credits :-)

Something I don't think I've mentioned yet -
We've had to take the train in to work everyday, and in order to get to the train on really cold or windy days (like the day of steady 40 mph gusts we had a few days ago) I cut through the Westin next door, stop in the Starbucks, and continue on. The hotel is connected to the Boston Convention Center and is down the road from the World Trade Center, so needless to say, it is busy. This week, I happened upon a convention of marines(!!!). I'm not sure if it was what I was wearing or the way I was walking or what, but one of the marines saluted me and stopped for a split second as he passed by. Then when I smiled at him he told me to have a nice day. Is this some kind of military flirting or did he really mistake me for another marine? Either scenario would be hilarious, though I'm secretly hoping he thought I was a marine given my complete lack of physical stamina.

Cheese (sound guy we worked with at Ringling) came to the show on Sunday night as Jeremy might be going through the company he works for to rent the audio equipment for next year. I had already gone home for the day, but they went out to Dick's Last Resort afterward and had dinner.

Jeremy had Monday and Tuesday off, but I only had Tuesday because someone needs to man the office on Mondays "in case something happens." This past Monday, I signed up for and built my netflix cue and went to the replica of Cheers for lunch...but it's ok because Jeremy spent the entire day at Carmax (again) while they put weather stripping in the truck. The next day, we went to a mall to get him fitted for the tux for his brother's wedding and I picked up the chain to a necklace that I had sent out for repairs. After we got home, Jeremy went with the show drummer and Bello to tour the Zildjian factory. He got some great pictures, saw some really famous drum kits *ahem Ringo Starr* and got to test some of the cymbals. While has was playing one of the kits, a woman from Zildjian noticed him and after talking and listening to a clip of his band online, told him to take home the 2 cymbals he was testing and said that anytime he needs new ones to call her because she put him on a MINI ENDORSEMENT!! If that wasn't exciting enough, he then proceeded to sit next to the guitarist from White Snake at dinner. Man did I pick the wrong day to do laundry! Yesterday he went to a music store in town that he loves and picked up a new snare. To review, he came out with about 1500 bucks worth of equipment this week for about 300. Yay!

The highlight of my week came last night. We decided to go out for seafood (couldn't NOT do that in Boston) and seeing as that Qunicy Market on the harbor was closed for a private party, we ended up at the Legal Test Kitchen, a test restaurant for menu items that later end up at the Legal Seafood restaurants. It was DELICIOUS! I had a lobster roll with about 4 tails worth of meat inside with homemade chips and a brown sugar cucumber salad, Jeremy had truffled lobster mac and cheese, and we split a side of fried pickles with lemon aoli sauce and hot rolls with warm garlic bean dip. All of this for about 5 bucks an entree less than the regular Legal Seafood restaurants. As we were rolling out the door with our doggie bags, we found out we had been sitting next to the head of the Sam Adams brewery. Perfect way to end Boston, don't you think?

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Beantown Excitement!

We're still in Boston, and excitement doesn't even sum up the half of it!

On the job front, my position hasn't picked up much at all, but after talking with the artistic director he promised to help solve that problem and jokingly asked me not to quit yet. I like him - he's French but has the sense of humor of a comedian and he's incredibly level-headed which is an amazing quality in a boss! I will, however, have to invest in Rosetta Stone French as half of my office of four people natively speaks it. Shouldn't be too hard as I seem to have little to nothing to do for a while. Case in point, today is the day of the week where there are a whopping two of us on the lot. JOY. Jeremy's job is going well. He had the privilege of working and event for the Theatre Offensive which is a GLBT theatre group. He was excited about the performances until he realized everyone there would be dressed in drag! I would've loved to have seen his face when one of the drag queens asked him to help him down the stairs...haHA! He did meet some cool people that night and scored us two free tickets to the Second City show featuring the Boston improv troupe Improv Asylum and met a sound guy from Huntington Theatre who offered him a tour of their space and equipment. I guess having to watch the gentleman with police lights for pasties for a night was worth it ;-)

Last I left you, we were planning on doing some fun things in the city and have actually accomplished some things on that list! This past Sunday night we went to a bar called Lucky's with a couple that works at the circus and had a blast! The guy is one of the Frenchmen who works at the desk next to me and his wife is actually a voiceover actor in NY. Not only was the company great, but the bar was amazing. It reminded me of a speak easy in decor and had some great specialty drinks, like the cucumber jalapeno margarita. We went on a Frank Sinatra Sunday, which meant there was a live band that did nothing but Sinatra covers. They were incredible! Even though the singer looked like my cousin Larry, he sounded like a reincarnated Sinatra. If you're in Boston, look up Lucky's!
Last Monday, we went on a tour of the Necco Candy Factory. Now, I've never really been a fan of Necco wafers and Mary Janes, but it was incredibly cool considering they don't give tour to the public...ever! After arriving and being briefed on the safety and Willy Wonka-ish "don't tell our secrets" policy, we all donned lab coats and hair nets (some of us had to wear beard nets...) and made our way though the factory. We watched taffy pulling, peanut roasting, malted milk ball coating, and smelled so much chocolate that I don't care to eat any in the near future. Seeing the making of conversation hearts and the packing of Necco Wafers was really interesting, and rest assured all of the white stuff floating in the air was indeed part of the candy and not the staff's personal supply of cocaine. We also left with clark bars, "New Moon" bars, chocolate Necco wafers, caramel suckers, and thin mints to boot! I feel sorry for the parents of the children who went on the tour and came home with the same amount of sugar...Unfortunately, there are no pictures of this because of factory rules, but I do have a few melty clark bars left to remember the place by.

It has been raining on and off all week so the plans to do laundry haven't worked out so well, and the parking in Boston is atrocious, so going to the Laudromat was also a failed adventure. (Lindsay + truck + busy streets + parallel parking = not gonna happen) One night when it wasn't raining I was able to get some accomplished...and while the load was drying, I congratulated myself with getting the leftover elephant out from under my nails at a local nail salon.

(I just ran outside and was followed back by the circus lot calico cat, Ginger...she's adorable. I want one!)

On Saturday night we used our free tickets to Second City which ended up being really fun. The show was based on Boston history and pop culture, which made me glad we've been here a while so I actually had personal experience with things they were talking about like not being able to use a GPS in the city because there are four street named the same thing that all intersect each other. The improv portion was good, but after watching it I realized that the quality of the improv we did in NY was just as good and the students I taught can actually play some of the games better than he professionals on tour! It was definitely reassuring and made me feel good about myself :) I think the best part of the evening was that two of the performers acted exactly like two of my friends from college (for those of you who know Tim Dunn and Warwick you know what I'm talking about). It made me feel like i was watching J*M7 all over again which made me all happy!

---Side note: the IWU seniors graduated two days ago. These are the people that were freshmen when I was a senior. A. Not having student ties to IWU is a horribly eerie feeling B. I feel old C. I miss college. A lot!

In national news...there was an oil spill, which I'm sure everyone's heard of by now. But on top of that, a water main near Boston broke, contaminating the city's water supply on Saturday night. This means that we are now all either using bottled water that the company provided but had to go to Rhode Island and Connecticut to procure to do things like brush teeth, wash dishes, and eat. We're under a boil order so we can opt out of buying water but we don't really have the time or space to put the water once it's boiled. It's a bit difficult but doable. The worst of the situation came on Sunday morning when I arrived at work. Not only did the cookhouse not have coffee, but Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks didn't either. Not a good way to start the morning. Thank God for CVS and bottled Frappuncino!

And finally we get to yesterday....
We started the day by taking the truck to get checked out at the nearest Carmax, which happened to be two hours away in Hartford, CT. After a nearly 6 hour adventure, we went to the mall. About five wrong turns later, Jeremy came out with two pairs of badly needed shoes, a new phone upgrade, a thumb drive, and most importantly, a GPS. (Let me just take a moment to reiterate how impossible it is to drive in this city. Not only were the roads built for horses, but I'm not sure "urban planning" was big with the British as navigating the streets here is I'm sure akin to navigating your way through Pan's labyrinth.) We hooked up the GPS and made our way across town to Fenway Park! We arrived, payed a ridiculous amount for parking and walked into what is one of the coolest ballparks I've ever been in. It's incredibly old and small, but it's been well kept and the lack of seats in the park leads to a manageable crowd size. We had grandstand tickets which I really didn't know much about when I bought them online. Come to find out we were sitting behind home plate about 50 rows off the ground! The only drawback was that the seats were original-style so there were no cup holders. We got our hot dogs, beer, and pretzels and sat down to eat only to see DUFF from Ace of Cakes, in his Food Network Bruins jersey walk down the aisle next to us and plop down about 10 seats away from us! **Short history: I love Ace of Cakes. I want to hang out with the people that work there. Jeremy has mixed for Duff's band in Baltimore because that's where they're both from. We aren't even IN Balitmore at this point. I may or may not have freaked out** Instead of doing what I wanted to do which was run up to him and ask him if I could get a picture because there is no way I'd ever be able to afford one of his cakes, I took a picture from a distance and left it at that. The game was great for the Sox - I don't quite remember but at one point I think they were beating the Angels 250 to -37. We took this as a sign that they'd win and bought some souvenirs, and left during the end of the 7th. Did I mention we got lost looking for a gas station on the way home?

I was hoping to update this every week, but given the size of this entry, I may need to write more often...

Sunday, April 25, 2010


I have been on the road since June 2009, (which now that I think about it, is ten months) and I have just now gotten time to actually start writing things down about this extravaganza that is my life. To review:

I lived in NYC and wasn't making ANY money whatsoever, so I joined the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus as an electrician (logical next step, I know). After working there for ten months I realized that the issues I had with the job and company weren't going to blow over, so I left with Jeremy (boyfriend for those of you just joining me) for the Big Apple Circus. He is now the Head of Sound, and I am the Artistic Office Manager. We have moved into a tiny camper that fits in the bed of an F350 - which believe it or not is bigger than the rooms on the train - and are starting to acclimate ourselves to our new working/living environment. The circus is currently in Boston, MA (for schedule go to and we will travel to Queens, Long Island, and Stamford, CT to end this season.

The great thing about having an office job is that I get paid more money than most of the people on the show to do things I already know how to do, I get to meet all of the VIPs, and I get to schmooze at events. The drawback is that I've spent the last two days doing absolutely nothing and it doesn't look like things will pick up any time soon. Ok, maybe nothing is an exaggeration, but for an over-achieving workaholic like myself, touring the different offices and filling out one purchasing order during a total of 15 hours of work seems just a bit slow. Now watch, because I've said this I won't have any time to breathe this next week... ANYWAY I've started to write this blog and will be updating it hopefully with some consistency.

As of now, I'm sitting in the office listening to our last show of the day (2 show weekend days are amazing when you're used to 3 show Saturdays and Sundays followed by load out). I'm getting along well with everyone so far, as is Jeremy, who has "saved the day" by showing up and doing what he does. We've been told that the sound for the show has been sub-par for a long time now, and the little bit of tweaking of microphone placements and EQs that he's done to the system have done wonders for the quality of the show. Just wait until load in the next town when he corrects the hanging angles of the speakers! Also, Bello (renowned as America's Best Clown) was the headliner on the last Ringling tour Jeremy was on so they are already good friends. Not to be a one of "THOSE" people, but it helps when you know the guy everyone is trying to meet/know/be like. Aside from that, the people here are all very nice and seem to have a more mature sense of themselves and work than what I'm accustomed to, which only makes things even more pleasant.

Insofar as seeing Boston goes, we haven't explored too much yet. We visited Jeremy's friend Nick who goes to Berkley, had dinner on Long Wharf on the Boston Harbor, and I've spent a good amount of time exploring the downtown shopping area as my job requires a business casual wardrobe that I realized I haven't remotely had since high school, if ever. Once we get out of work tonight, a few people will be going to a bar called Lucky's where there is a Frank Sinatra cover band who is infamous with everyone in the show. We shall see... whether they are good or bad it will be nice to get out of the camper for a while. I've spent most of my time the past week cleaning it and obsessing over cabinet organization to the point where I think if I buy one more canvas bucket from Target, Jeremy may sign me up for some sort of Organizers Anonymous help group. I believe plans are brewing for a trip to the Necco Candy Factory, a Red Sox game, and a tour of the Sam Adams brewery assuming that nothing else gets scheduled into our time off here. We shall see.

Hopefully I will be taking more pictures shortly and can post them here, as well as on facebook. Pictures from June 2009-December 2010 are already on my facebook profile if you want to take a gander. Also, feel free to send the link to this page to whoever you think would like to keep up with where I am and what I'm doing. I'm a bit thin in the email address department (oops). If I'm ever in your area or you are ever in a position to take a road trip to me, let me know!