Proud of the work with the 'Off The Street Club' project. Hopefully it motivates others to DO MORE. Check out the video link here:
It was great working with other Karen Stavins talent on this project; creating new relationships and having 'shop talk' with other actors on set. A great day!
During the week, I usually work late, making work outs in the morning a necessity. However, one evening, when a work out was not achieved that morning, I had a sudden burst of energy on the way home. "I'm going to go for a jog!" (Because I don't think what I do counts as real running.) It was still warm out, a nice breeze, good Spotify playlist, I was ready.
Not even a minute into my run, I came across a cat on the sidewalk. Most pets in our neighborhood are well looked after, so this seemed unusual. He was a little skinny, however he had a leash, nice coat, and my sister's cats are pretty obese so I guess all other cats look a little skinny to me. I figured he belonged to the house he was right in front of. Also, he seemed pretty comfortable going up their front steps.
Walking up to the house I could see a young girl watching tv from the front window. I had rung the doorbell but she didn't seem to notice. Being a stranger on her front porch, I didn't want to spook her by tapping on the window and waving her (potential) cat around. I was saved on the second ring, when two younger girls answer the door.
They were the epitome of all that I believe in. One, brushing her wild curly locks from her face, fiercely swung open the heavy front door with an ease that came from daily practice. The other, looked up at me through her bright blue goggles wearing her pink princess pajamas.
After no initial reaction from either girls, 'Is this your cat?,' I inquired. 'Oh yeah!,' they exclaimed. 'He was just out here by himself, I wasn't sure.' 'Oh he goes outside all the time,' they stated as they took the cat from me and placed him on the floor. Miss Lion Locks barked orders for the cat to come inside and exclaimed, 'Look Sara!' when he followed suit and slithered around the door inside. 'Ok bye!' I exclaimed, as the girls' interest increased towards their furious feline.
I couldn't help but laugh as I started back up on my (short-lived) jog. I hope we all get a chance to let our hair down, play, and wear our goggles at night.
Lollapalooza is an institution here in Chicago. Amazing musical groups, performing at the iconic Millenium Park, with the beautiful backdrop of the skyline of Chicago--it's an experience. In the dead of summer, you are hot and sweaty, constantly buzzed from either the alcohol or the heat, wolfing down a pizza, hot dog, or hot asian baos to stay fueled. It's pretty epic.
However, throughout the years, it has lost a little bit of it's luster--for me. Some of the bands I'm so excited to see, just do not do well in the festival setting. I'd much rather see them at a more intimate venue, or be able to view more of the theatrics to their typical show. And the heat....some years, you are just so sticky and it's hard to find relief from the sun. The food is pretty amazing, they have many vendors, but if you're there all day, it can get expensive. Also, having gone several years, I haven't seen much difference from year to year. The layout of the festival if usually the same, so are the food vendors. Nothing too exciting and different to look forward to.
If you've never gone to Lollapalooza, please go. You will not regret it. However, now, after going a few years, I might not be so hasty to jump on those early bird tickets. Unless there's someone who I think will perform amazingly at the festival, I might be looking for other options for my summer weekends in August.
Chicago LOVES all types of transit. Train-friendly, bus-friendly, fairly car-friendly, and heavily bike-friendly. I have been involved in all those forms, EXCEPT the two-wheeler option. As easy as it is to ride with many bike paths, plenty of bike racks available, and pedestrians and motor vehicles friendly and aware of your presence, I was deathly fearful of ever getting on two wheels in the city. I had heard of too many incidents of really experienced cycalists getting hurt involving cars or pedestrians, things out of their control. How would a less experienced biker survive?!
As my years in Chicago have progressed, I've moved farther west in the city, which I enjoy; however runs along Lakeshore were impossible (an early endeavor I enjoyed when I first moved to the city). Well thanks to motivation from my boyfriend, who fearlessly hopped on a bike in the city the soonest he could, and once we both had bikes, we decided to try a joint leisurely ride through the city. Possibly getting to enjoy the beautiful lakeshore again. Well....I ran into two cars...parked cars. Brilliant, I know. (No damage was done to either). Riding the bike came as easily to me after 10 years off a bike as the saying goes. It was the other elements, the cars on the road, that made me tremble. As the cars came closer to me, the more distance I wanted to create, which unfortunately shortened the distance between me and the parked cars.
However, through some encouragement and further motivation from my other half, I decided to get back on the horse. This time we were going to the beach. And I did it! I had made it through the city, to the lake, and enjoyed time of the lake front as well. It was a long, and exhausting day, trying to my relationship dynamic (fortunately, my boyfriend was very patient), but a success!! I had such a proud moment when I though to myself, 'I've conquered my fear.' I was outside my comfort zone and ready to explore.
Being able to bike created and opened the door to a summer of fun. We were able to bike to new restaurant and places, and get to the lake soooo much easier. Also, I was able to bike to work, allowing me to save some money riding the L every day. I challenge you to try something new as well; see what doors open for you!
Confession: I went to this a-mazing terrarium-crafting workshop two years ago. I spent money on a magnificent vile, and they charged me for all the supplies used (very reasonable and great for first-time terrarium creators), and I went home with a beautiful self-created piece of life I was ready to love and nurture. AND IT DIED. A cactus died. A plant that requires little water and excessive sunlight died. It basically takes care of itself, and I neglected it so much that it died. I felt like such a failure.
Well, two years later, my thumb is turning a pale shade of green. It all started when my sweet, amazing friend mentioned this on her trip home to visit her mother. My friend came back with four potted beauties ready for love and care. They survived! After a few months, I had the confidence to buy a few succulent babies of my own.
With the chill of Chicago fall and winter has been a challenge, I am ecstatic to report that I've only suffered one casualty. AND I hope to bring some bigger pots in the future. Just getting greener by the day!
'I love you' has always been a very special and sacred phrase for me. I didn't always feel comfortable saying it to friends or even family members when I didn't feel I truly meant it. That's why, when I said it recently to a co-worker who was going through a rough time, I surprised myself. But I was being completely honest. In that moment, I fully and completely had love for her, compassion towards her situation, and was sending nothing but love to her and her family. It came flying out of my mouth, but in that moment, it was the completely right thing to say.
I still consider 'I love you' a very special and sacred phrase, but now, I will send love when I truely mean it and when the recipient truly needs it. I am open to sending love everywhere!
tWell, I'm not officially in a book club, but I have been borrowing all of my friend, Julie's, books recently. It has been at lease a year since I've dived into a good book, therefore, my drive for literary exploration was waning. However, Julie has revitalized my hunger! Unlike movie's or even television, there's a savoring and time commitment that comes from reading books that allows you to be completely immursed into their world....and I had missed it. Now, I crave coming home in order to find out where our protagonist is in their journey. I love knowing I don't need headphones, or charged battery, or even electricity to enjoy a story. I think I just needed to get back on the paperback horse, and now, I can't stop riding.
I challenge you to make a list, or set goals. What have you been dying to read? Maybe challenge yourself to a classic that never seemed appealing in school. Or, start a hunt for your new favorite author. Recently, I've been on an autobiography kick that I don't want to give up. Reading stories from other women, some whom I admire their career, is always motivating. One's that have made me salivate recently:
Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham
Yes Please by Amy Poehler
Wild by Cheryl Strayed
I am ready. I am ready for the year to start, my star to shine, my creativity to be challenged, my mind to be pushed and my body to grow strong.
I contemplated writing an end of the year blog for quite some time. This year wasn't the most prosperous for me, but yet, there were many things to celebrate. I didn't think the things I had learned would be much different from others, and I didn't believe my struggles were anything to be shared. I had my health, a warm bed to sleep in, and food in the pantry; by many standards, I have little to complain about. However, just because I didn't complete some peril-less journey this year, does not mean my lessons learned aren't to be shared. My voice is unique and so is my story.
However, at this time, I will choose not to share my lessons learned, because, honestly, I do not wish to re-hash and re-visit last year. I've shared all the amazing moments of the year on my blog and I'd like to just focus on those amazing bits for now. I'm ready for the new year, but ask for help in staying focused, not to loose sight, and not to make excuses. One of my goals for the new year is to challenge my creativity more. In the past, I was hoping this would be done through character work in the shows and films I was working on. However, I learned the hard way that I can not expect others to do this for me. It's time for me to make my own lesson plan, set my own calendar, and do it myself.
It's that time of year where we all give thanks to the people and things we have been blessed with. Upon looking on this past year, I am so thankful for the wonderful that keep me sane and show their love. To me, it's my driving force. I am filled with so much love for those special people in my life, I can't help but show it. I'm always the one to go in for the hug, grab a hand to squeeze, give those extra kisses and I am ever so thankful to feel that love back. My sensitivity can sometimes be my downfall, but ever so passionate about the ones I hold close to my heart. I am thankful now and always to feel their warmth, giving me drive to enjoy every day. Through the support of my loved ones, I've been able to continue through the year accomplishing new dreams. This past year has been one of my most financially restricting, but I've found I've still been able to reach all my wonderlust dreams. I've visited 4 new states this past year and I couldn't bee more thankful. (I gave myself a special 10 year period to visit all 50 and it's well underway). Now, we only have one more month till the close of 2014 and I plan on making the next 30 days one of the best chapters yet.
Laissez les bons temps rouler! Beads, bourbon, beignets, pralines, po' boys, and a beautiful wedding. I just returned from my first trip to Nola after watching a childhood friend exchange vows with her (now) husband in an elegant and loving wedding ceremony. They lead their own second line, and wed in the beautiful backdrop of the Audubon Tea Room at the Audubon Zoo. I feel so fortunate to be apart of their special day as well as fall in love with the same city in which they fell in love in. Spending a whole day eating dishes mostly made of shrimp (cajin shrimp, shrimp po' boys, shrimp jambalaya), indulging my sweet tooth at the infamous Cafe Du Monde, scarfing down one of Johnny's Po' Boys, and mississippi mud at Laura's Candies was just the beginning. Visually drinking in all the local artisans at the beautiful Jackson Square, exploring the eerily intriguing Madame LaVeau's VooDoo Shop, learning about the history of Mardi Gras and the effects of hurricane Sandy at the Louisiana State Museum, and having my first mint julep at Pat O'Brien's, allowed me to experience all the different colors the city paints with. We also threw in a night at the casino and had just a delicious and joyful rehearsal dinner at Evangeline. You'd thin one would be quite exhausted from all these adventures but I'm just hungry for more! I'm so happy I was able to visit this eclectic city and get a taste of all is vibrant flavors; I can't wait to go back again.