Saturday, November 29, 2008

Eat, pray, goodbye

Steve just cooked a delicious leek risotto and tomorrow he's leaving for Spain for two weeks for the presentation of the photography show he is curating. I just watched "The Visitor" which was a wonderful film, very surprising and moving.

I wish I could write about what I'm really feeling, but I think it isn't the time. I guess it's enough to say that life is hard, much harder for most of the rest of the world, but I don't think anyone gets through life without struggling. I feel bad about what's happened the past few days in India. Both Steve and Zoe have been there and they both loved it and had wonderful experiences and met lovely people. We hosted a Joyitta, the sweetest young woman and spent time with the other eleven students who came here for a few weeks on an exchange. A few of them talked about moving to Mumbai for college. I hope that they are all right. We can only imagine how terrifying it was in Mumbai and all over India these past few days and how devastating it is for those who lost their family members and friends.

You know what really annoys me? CNN's "Terror in India" logo and their theme music. It really pisses me off. Every disaster has a special logo and theme music.

I was reminded by my friend John that these are the shortest days of the year and in a few weeks the days will be getting longer again. So even though it will be winter, we'll have more daylight.

And a new President. Goodbye, George. I bet you are counting the days.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Love those cowboys

The thanks I'm giving

Aside from all the personal gratitude I have for my life, my family, friends, dogs, health, abundance...all that stuff, I have to say that the overwhelming feeling of thanks I have is that in less than two months we will have a new President, a new administration, the Republicans will be packing their bags and getting out of town as their jobs are filled by Democrats. The Senate and the House will have Democratic majorities. And although I know Obama is no magician and that we are in for a rough ride, it is such a huge relief to have another brilliant person leading the country, whose values are what we need right now and who is bringing on board seasoned and intelligent women and men to help him govern.

What a relief is all I can say. And it's good to remember that although it took eight years, it's going to be over soon. In something like 53 days.

Hallelujah. Whoppee. Thanks, gods and goddesses. Yahoo. Amen!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Another lovely morning

Last night I didn't wake up six times, filled with dread, as I did the night before. Last night I took a sleeping pill and then I woke up at 6 something and Steve was already awake. He's going to Spain this Sunday to present his project to the Spanish bank that will be funding it. The show is about flamenco in the 60's and 70's. He's curating the project, which has the photographs of 15 different photographers (including his work) and two filmmakers. He has to give this big presentation on the 12th of December and he's very nervous, as anyone would be. But this morning he yelled at our daughter (I understand his feelings, but it wasn't even 7 am), and then got into an argument with me. Yesterday he tried to fix my BlackBerry when I asked him not to and he broke it. So today will be spent waiting for a new one to arrive and then countless hours will be spent making it work.

There's an article in New York magazine this week about loneliness. One out two households in Manhattan are single people living alone. I would never have guessed that. I think that overall, in all the boroughs of NY it's one in four.

I lived alone for eleven years in Los Angeles. Aside from various boyfriends I dated, mostly I lived alone. I remember feeling very lonely a good deal of the time, but after a few years of living in the Harper House in West Hollywood, my wonderful next door neighbor Susie (she was Mary and I was Rhoda) filled that void. At least once a day we would get together and talk, or share a meal, or go somewhere together. My two cats, Max and Annie also kept me company. I began running at a park in Beverly Hills every morning, seeing the same people and running with a group of them. I studied yoga for a few years at Bikram's first studio. I found 12 step meetings. I was living on the west coast, my parents here on the east coast.

Life was definitely a bit lonely, but so much less complicated.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Barking dogs

"In Nepal, the dogs bark all night long. Every twenty minutes or so, they all stop at once, and there is an experience of immense relief and stillness. Then they all start barking again. The small mind of sem can feel just like that. When we first start meditating, it's as if the dogs never stop barking at all. After a while, there are those gaps. Discursive thoughts are rather like wild dogs that need taming. Rather than beating them or throwing stones, we tame them with compassion. Over and over we regard them with the precision and kindness that allow them to gradually calm down. Sometimes it feels like there's much more space, with just a few yips and yaps here and there."

From "When Things Fall Apart" by Pema Chodron.

My dogs are still yapping. I spent this past weekend at my women's retreat again and it was a fascinating weekend. To be in the company of over a hundred women of all ages, from all over the world, with different life experiences, is interesting enough. This weekend Dr. Christiane Northrup came to our session and I have always admired her. She talked a lot about Regena's work and how pleasure really does affect our health and how important it is to seek it out in our lives. She talked about nitric oxide, (not nitrous oxide, which is what you get in the dentist's office, laughing gas, which she also likes) - but how nitric oxide is released in our bodies when we experience pleasure and how great that is for us.

Anyway, these weekends are filled with so many emotions and when it's over, it feels like withdrawal. This morning I did my reading and my meditation and the difficult feelings that come over me in the autumn returned and I'm trying to embrace them rather than fight them, but it's hard. Most of the time we use other substances or activities to avoid the feelings: alcohol, drugs, shopping, sugar, TV, caffeine, whatever works. I must have woken up six times last night, each time filled with dread. And I know that right now, a lot of people are also waking up six or more times during the night, filled with dread or fear or anxiety. I'm going to take a walk this morning and increase my nitric oxide levels, and do some work, and hopefully feel some of the pleasure I felt this past weekend, in the company of so many powerful women.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


...another really great film. Zoe and I went to a Writers' Guild screening tonight and the film is excellent, Gus Van Sant directed and Sean Penn is brilliant. As amazing as Frank Langella is in "Frost/Nixon" - I think that Sean Penn's performance as Harvey Milk, the gay San Francisco city supervisor who was assassinated in 1978, is magical. And the film is so pertinent, given the passage of Prop 8 in California. It's coming out at such a important time and hopefully will affect so many people and will wake people up.

Of all the films I've seen recently, this one really moved me. I was living in Los Angeles when Harvey Milk and Mayor Moscone were murdered and I remember it so clearly. And seeing the whole Anita Bryant bullshit again (they used the actual footage and boy, was she an idiot) and the attempt to pass Prop 6 (the attempt to take away rights for gays, to stop them from teaching in schools, etc.) in California in '78, which was defeated.

So how could Prop 8 pass in 2008? How is that possible? It's insane to legislate that gay people shouldn't have the right to's disgusting.

The screenwriter, Dustin Lance Black, was there tonight to answer questions afterward. He wrote a really terrific script - and he looks about 25. Zoe and I went up to him to tell him how much we loved the film and he couldn't have been kinder. She told him she'd been one of three members of the Gay Straight Alliance in her high school. He grew up gay, in a Mormon family, in San Antonio. He said that when he heard the story of Harvey Milk it saved his life and he was passionate about telling it. So passionate that he wrote it on spec (with no studio backing) over a period of three years while he was a writer of "Big Love" on HBO. And then one of Harvey Milk's close friends, Cleeve Jones (who was one of the originators of the AIDS Quilt), gave the script to Gus Van Sant who immediately said, "Love it. Let's make it."

After the screening was over, as we were leaving we saw Josh Brolin and Emile Hirsch who both starred in the film. I immediately spotted Josh Brolin and told him how wonderful he was. (As Dan White, the guy who killed Milk and Moscone.) Remember the "Twinkie Defense?"

We will definitely march in the next protests for Prop 8. This bill has to be repealed. And please... go see the film.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

"Pray the Devil Back to Hell"

I haven't seen it yet, but I hear it's an excellent film. This description is from Mama Gena (Regena Thomashauer):

"It is a story of sisterhood, a story of a group of diverse women in Liberia who come together, create community, find their voices, live their truth, train their men, and stop a war.
Sisters, these women stopped a WAR. With LOVE.
Thrilling, moving, inspiring.
And what is especially fulfilling for me is that I get to witness and live inside this move every day: women coming together to create a new reality. Women creating community. Finding their voices, living their truth, and creating their lives as a living prayer to their own divinity.
This is all so possible in our lifetime.
I want this for every woman on Earth."

And here's a quote of the day sent to me by a friend. I'm not sure my husband would agree with all of it, but here goes:

'Whatever you give a woman, she will make greater. If you give her sperm, she'll give you a baby. If you give her a house, she'll give you a home. If you give her groceries, she'll give you a meal. If you give her a smile, she'll give you her heart.

She multiplies and enlarges what is given to her....

So, if you give her any crap, be ready to receive a ton of shit.'

Old friends

I just got off the phone with a friend of mine who I met in the 70's, when we were both working at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. R was the research assistant to the Chairman of the Organizational Psychology department at the Sloan School of Management and a very respected professor, the only woman in the department. I was their administrative assistant. It was my first job out of college and R and I used to sit in each other's offices for hours and talk. (When we weren't working. We talked a lot.) She's coming into Manhattan on Monday (she lives in Connecticut) to see an old family friend of hers, her friend's husband, brother and his wife -- and then she and I will meet afterward for coffee to dissect the lunch.

What I love most about R is her stories. She is a great storyteller and I got to know all her friends through their stories and eventually, over the years, I met most of them. She got married when she was in her mid 30's, and then I did too, and then she had her son and then a year later, I had my daughter. Over the years we've been in and out of touch, but whenever we speak or get together, it's like we never were apart.

I was supposed to have tea with one of my old boyfriends D a few weeks ago. He flew up from Florida because he manages someone who was going to be performing at Carnegie Hall, but the client was arrested (something about driving without license plates and having a gun in the car.) We missed tea because he was busy bailing his client out. But today, I'm meeting another old boyfriend for lunch in the Village. He teaches at the University of Delaware and he's in town to do some consulting for a college here. He was my second serious boyfriend, he dumped me right before my senior prom because he was having "an identity crisis" - (we all had them in the 70's) and then we got back together when I was a sophomore in college and he was a junior, but then I felt I could never trust him, so I dumped him.

Strangely, one of the nights I did my monologue performance, a woman I am slightly acquainted with came over to me and said, "I am from Plainview, L.I. too." (I mention that at the beginning of the piece.) She said she had just missed her high school reunion. I told her that my old boyfriend L.C. just went to his reunion this past summer and that he sent me photos of it. And she said, "Wait, L.C. was my boyfriend too!" And then she promptly took out her BlackBerry and called him on the phone. This was 10 pm on a Friday night. He was a little stunned, I think. Anyway, we're having lunch today. it true that Sarah Palin may be getting a book deal for something like 6 million dollars? No way! Can she write? I mean, I know that I could use a good editor myself (I've always written dialogue) - but she is a moron. Now granted, she did run for Vice President. (She did, right? I didn't hallucinate that, did I? But how is that possible?) Two months ago I never even heard of Sarah Palin and now I find myself in Tina Fey/Saturday Night Live withdrawal.

Anyway, it looks like my B job will be coming to an end soon and I can concentrate on finding something else. In the meantime, I'm reading "Secrets of Six Figure Women" (Barbara Stanny), "A New Earth" (Eckhart Tolle), "Extreme Exposure: An Anthology of Solo Performance Texts from the 20th Century (Edited by Jo Bonney) and "When Things Fall Apart" by Pema Chodron.

And Obama is busy putting together his cabinet. Two more months! From tomorrow! Something like four million people are supposed to be going to Washington D.C. for the inauguration. That will be amazing.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Intimacy with fear

That's the title of the first chapter of "When Things Fall Apart" by Pema Chodron and I am re-reading it. "Embarking on the spiritual journey is like getting into a very small boat and setting out on the ocean to search for unknown lands." I get fearful when I think about the future and I don't know what it's going to be. I'm in a place like that right now and I have to say, it's both terrifying and exciting.

I loved seeing Barack and Michelle Obama on 60 Minutes last night. How refreshing was that? Two really intelligent, articulate people who will be living in the White House and I just like them so much! It feels like we're moving from the darkness into the light and it is truly exciting, even with all the problems that plague us, to know that we'll have the best minds in this country focused on solving them. And talk about facing his fears, Barack has that down. He seems to be preternaturally calm. I love that we won't have to worry about the future of the Supreme Court and Roe v. Wade and a million other issues that would have been a complete nightmare if the Republicans continued in office for another four years.

So - all of that is great and mostly I'm focused on trying not to let the winter, and my loss of work, and fears about money and the future keep me from moving forward.

I do know that humor helps me. I saw my director Matt this weekend, along with a few other friends, and he always makes me laugh. That changed my mood dramatically. And then I went to a screening of "Frost/Nixon" with Ron Howard, the screenwriter Peter Morgan and Brian Grazer speaking afterward and that was fantastic! And on Sunday, I went to Unity, my "church" (it's filled with lots of people of all faiths, including Jews) and went out to brunch with a woman I met at Mama Gena's. So I had spiritual, intellectual and emotional sustenance this weekend. And now I'm going to get my butt to the gym, or go for a long walk. Somehow I'm going to get through this winter and enjoy it, even though I only love the first snow and then I am so ready for April.

I guess in spiritual terms though, I should say I will feel whatever I feel and try to live in the moment, even if it sucks.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Current events

Just a brief post because I am excited that President elect Obama asked Hillary to be his Secretary of State and I have to say that I thought that would happen long before he won the nomination. And I hope that Robert F. Kennedy Jr. becomes our next Senator!

And Prop 8? What a travesty. That won't last, but it's truly disgusting that they managed to sneak that through by manipulating people through fear.

One final thought, there's a new product that's out now made by a company called 23 and Me. It decodes a person's genome and tells us all kinds of information, like whether or not we will get cancer and what kind (or I guess if we are pre-disposed to get cancer), or heart disease, Alzheimer's, etc., whether we carry diseases in our genes like Parkinson's which we would be passing on, tolerances to drugs, caffeine, alcohol, etc. It's kind of amazing and it costs $399. I'm wondering if I would want to know all of this information. I think so. Here's their website:

Three quotes

In the past few weeks I've heard three quotes that have resonated with me. The first one came from Michelle Obama, when she was talking about being a mother. "I'm only as happy as my saddest child." It's a line I've heard before, but it really hit home when I read it because I've been trying not to let myself feel as much despair as I usually do when my daughter's life isn't going according to my plan. That's something I've learned in 12 Step meetings, to let go, to know that we all have our own journeys. As much as I wish my daughter was away at college and happy and not living at home (and doing what I believe she should be doing), it is what it is, for now. I think that somewhere between "I'm only as happy as my saddest child" and "Live and let live" is where I find myself. And it's not a particularly comfortable place to be.

And then, strangely, I heard a line on a television show that also resonated with me. I was watching "Brothers and Sisters" - not a very good show, but a good cast. Rob Lowe and Calista Flockhart are trying to adopt a baby and they met with a potential birth mother. Calista felt that the birth mother hadn't really dealt with the idea of giving up her baby. Having experienced many failed attempts at pregnancy herself, Calista was afraid of having her heart broken again if this woman changed her mind. Rob Lowe said something like, "If you can't handle having your heart broken, you're not ready to be a parent." I never read that line in "What to Expect When You're Expecting."

And then a few days ago, in the New York Times, there was an article by Jane Brody entitled, "When Families Take Care of Their Own." Rosalynn Carter, the former first lady, was quoted.
"There are only four kinds of people in the world - those who have been caregivers, those who are currently caregivers, those who will be caregivers and those who will need caregivers."

I'm sorry that these are not more uplifting quotes like "We have nothing to fear but fear itself." I guess I could leave you with the serenity prayer, which is one of my favorites:

"God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference."

And one more. Psalm 4 from A Book of Psalms, translated and adapted from Hebrew, by Stephen Mitchell.

Even in the midst of great pain, Lord,
I praise you for that which is.
I will not refuse this grief
or close myself to this anguish.
Let shallow men pray for ease:
"Comfort us; shield us from sorrow."
I pray for whatever you send me,
and I ask to receive it as your gift.
You have put a joy in my heart
greater than all the world's riches.
I lie down trusting the darkness,
for I know that even now you are here.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

"Go where it's warm"

I heard that expression recently and it doesn't have anything to do with Miami, it has to do with friendships. I was talking to someone yesterday about the sadness we feel when friendships end abruptly or gradually fade away. Whether it was our decision to step back or the friend's decision, there is still a certain amount of pain involved.

Friends that you have during a particularly exciting and demanding time of your life, college, your 20's, the early years of being a mom, seem to be people you would always want to stay in touch with, to be close to, but sometimes that doesn't work out. Friends you have as a couple, who seem to be almost family members, disappear off your radar screen and one day you realize that you don't have much in common anymore. The reality of trying to maintain a friendship that's over is too much effort, or too painful, or simply not healthy. I guess in some ways it's like a marriage that isn't working. You may still love that person, you don't want to be hurt, or hurt them, but it's clear that it's time to move on.

With some people you might not be in touch all the time, but you know if you reach out to them they are there for you and you wouldn't hesitate to be there for them. But sometimes, when it feels like an obligation, or there's anger or resentment under the surface, it makes more sense to go where it's warm. Sometimes I feel that I'm the only person who experiences this, that there is something wrong with me that friendships I thought would last a lifetime end, but I know that isn't true. I am filled with gratitude for the friends who do care, who truly want to remain in my life.

A friend of mine, who's in her 80's, told me recently that she and her late husband had a situation many, many years ago that still bothers her. A couple used to invite her and her husband to dessert, after inviting other people to an entire evening, dinner and dessert. She and her husband went a few times and to this day, forty years or so later, she still wishes she had told that couple off. She also gave me this piece a few years ago, which I hung on my bulletin board.

"The Balcony of Your Life"

"Not everyone is healthy enough to have a front row seat in your life. There are some people who need to be loved from a distance.

It is amazing what you can accomplish when you get rid of, let go of, or at least minimize your time with draining, negative, incompatible, not-going-anywhere friendships and relationships. Observe the relationships around you. Pay attention! Do the relationships around you lift? Or do they lean? Which ones encourage? Which ones discourage? Which are on the path of uphill growth? Which ones are going downhill?

When you leave certain people, do you feel better or worse? Which ones always have drama? Or don't really understand, know, or appreciate you?

The more you seek quality, respect, growth, peace of mind, love, and the truth around you, the easier it will become for you to decide who gets to sit in the front row, and who should be moved to the balcony of your life!

Choose your audience carefully."

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Boogieman, an important film

The film about Lee Atwater, the former Republican evil mastermind (he mentored Karl Rove) is on PBS' Frontline tonight at 9 pm.

South Beach, it was fun too

It sounded like I had a miserable time in Miami when I wrote about it in my post yesterday. I didn't. It was challenging, but also fun. Here I am with Sharon and Nancy at the beach.

Monday, November 10, 2008

South Beach Sojourn

I spent this past weekend in Miami, along with 120 other women, all there for the purpose of researching pleasure.

To be honest, it wasn't that pleasurable for me, but it was filled with drama and some pretty exciting romantic adventures (not mine) and that were fun to witness.

My relationships with women have always been challenging, probably because my sister and I have always been in conflict, so sharing a hotel room, spending almost all my time in the company of women and also going to South Beach clubs were all challenging experiences for me. And I had a cold. (I'm still trying to figure out why my immune system weakened after the show and after the election.) Perhaps it has to do with my daughter and in that case, I don't even feel like going into it.

It felt great to go to the new Jet Blue terminal which is very 21st Century, get on a 2 1/2 hour flight and arrive in Florida with the sun shining and a temperature of 80 degrees. (And I loved that Florida went for Obama.) It was fun sitting on a beach with mostly topless women and swimming in a pool. (There was lots of skinny dipping late at night while I was asleep.)

It was fitting to celebrate a really wonderful week in our country's history - in the company of women of all ages and life experiences. What I love about this four month workshop with Mama Gena (Regina Thomashauer) is that while we call it pleasure research, it's much more than that. It's about owning who we are as women, discovering what gives us pleasure, which then spreads our good feelings to the people who are in our lives...AND it's also about examining and accepting the pain that lives deep inside us.

It's the light and the dark. The duality of life.

In two weeks, Dr. Christiane Northrup will be speaking at the workshop and she's the primary reason I signed up. That and the dancing.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Autumn in Central Park / The day after

To celebrate the election, I took yesterday off and spent a few hours in Central Park. Since I find that autumn is a difficult time for me (winter's coming), I try to spend as much time in the park as I can and appreciate how beautiful it is...whatever the season.

This winter at least, we'll have an inauguration, a new President, a Democratic administration and majorities in both houses of the Congress. That is filling me with hope. Even Elizabeth Hasselbeck finally got it. It wasn't just an election between politicians. It was a movement. It was understood first by young people and then gradually the rest of us caught on. (At least 52% of us. More will later on.)

Seeing Martin Luther's King's "I have a dream" speech several times last night on TV really brought home that point:

"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."

I know that Barack and this new administration is not going to have an easy time fixing the mess this country is in. I do know that after many years, we are finally on the right road.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Eight long years

What a moment.
This is the most important election of our lifetime.
What an acceptance speech.
Yes we can.

Sister Act 2 "Oh Happy Day"

Monday, November 3, 2008

When do we get to inhale?

Random thoughts:

Tomorrow night at 7 pm, if Obama wins Virginia, we should be in good shape. If he loses this election, I believe that the voting machines are clearly being tampered with. Virginia's polls say 50% for Obama, 45% for McCain. I hope they're right.

Now that the show is over, I'm obsessing about the election and I don't want to have the television on, but I can't stop myself. Tonight and tomorrow night are going to be torturous and I just hope that we will have the results by midnight tomorrow. Two years of this is more than we can take. Even Obama doesn't know what state he's in. He said Ohio and he was in Florida. I'm sitting here nervously eating carrots, but I can tell you that today I went to the Bouchon Bakery in the Time Warner Center and had a chocolate "Ho-Ho." Which is their version of a real "Ho-Ho" and beyond delicious. It's better than going to the Market Cafe and eating their piece of chocolate cake, which weighs about eight pounds.

Okay, John King's got his map. Let me see what he says. Oh, he's talking about the potential scenario of McCain winning. I don't want to see this. It doesn't seem possible. Good. Oh, now they've got Palin on, time to turn off the sound. At the end of this election, the two women who have made me completely nuts are Palin and Hasselbeck. They are both attractive, I'll give them that...but not smart.

So... because I'm so exhausted from this weekend and I took a long walk in Central Park today and it's so beautiful, I came home and have been sitting on the couch. I watched Oprah and according to a poll, 40 million couples have unsatisfying sex lives, that's one in five couples. I think it's more. How do we improve it? Work at it. I'd rather Javier Bardem come over one night while Steve's out of town.

Oh....Obama's grandmother just died. That is very sad. I'm so sorry for him. Terrible. I can't believe she died a day before the election. Oh, he's crying. Well, I guess no one can say he's too unemotional.

Even in my office, the tension is so high. Someone mentioned in an email that there are phone banks at BAM (the Brooklyn Academy of Music) where people can make calls to talk to voters to support Obama. And someone else asked to be taken off the email list because she didn't want to have political discussions, just as the president of the company sent an email asking us to vote in a company wide poll. So...tomorrow's weekly meeting should be interesting. I may just go to BAM and make calls instead.

Okay, enough of my ramblings. I pray that tomorrow night at 7 pm Virginia goes for Obama and we can start inhaling again. And celebrating. Because this election and the state of this country is making us all crazy.

Sunday night was hot! Final show sold out

Last night, our final show was probably the best. Saturday night was great - and we had it taped, so that's good, but Sunday was a home run for everyone. I think we were just so happy to have one final chance to do the show and we were sold out, people were sitting on the floor, they just wanted to get in. I think we could easily do another weekend and fill up the place. Word of mouth seemed to be really good and people were calling, asking if they could get in at the door and we had a waiting list and had to turn a few people away.

Anyway - it was one of the most challenging and scary things I've ever done and also thrilling. All day yesterday I kept thinking, "This is insane. Why am I doing this?" I kept running the lines and obsessing about how it worked so well on Thursday and Saturday, so "tonight I'm going to bomb." But then seeing the audience, so open and energized and ready to be entertained - it just felt like a wonderful exchange and I totally relaxed and let all the fears go.

And it was fantastic that so many of our friends came out to support us and that several people came up to me afterward to thank me for tackling a difficult subject with humor.

Anyway, right now my brain is fried from having gone out late with the cast and friends of Karen's (it was her birthday) so we really had to celebrate.

It was a perfect run: first night, great audience, filled with so many of my friends, cotton mouth - sheer terror.

Second night, Friday night (notoriously a bad night in theater and it was Halloween) smaller audience, less laughs, felt a big letdown, but we all did our best.

Saturday night we did really well, great crowd, Steve's friend Peter, (who he's known since 7th grade) was sitting in the front row laughing loudly and sitting next to one of my dearest friends (they are both from Northern California) - and another wonderful new friend was in the front row beaming throughout the performance.

And last night - before going on, we heard that we had a sold out crowd. Wow!

What a wonderful, abundant experience with really amazing people. Matt, Karen, John, Shawn, Garry Novikoff and his excellent music, Michael Johnz our stage manager, the box office people who came every night to help out, Michael Holmes' great design for our cards and emails, and especially the audience - who couldn't have been more supportive or laughed any harder. I think it was truly one of the high points of my life. I can't wait to do it again. (We should do it soon!) I have to talk to Matt...and Karen, Shawn and John.

And now on to November 4th!!