Thursday, April 28, 2011

Much Like Seinfeld, I Choose Not To Run!

Memories...

Of the way we were!

Okay,, technically they chose FOR me, but the end result is the same. I won't be running the 2011 NYC Marathon. I didn't get selected in the lottery, I didn't partake in my guaranteed entry from NY Road Runners, and I already determined I was not gonna do the big charity drive this year. I was on the fence about doing the race again this year, so I applied in a way that just left it up to fate. I accept the news with both a sense of Relief and Regret. As anyone who's seen Kill Bill Volume 2 can tell you, you can easily feel both of those "R's" at the same time, but you probably feel one more than you do the other. Well right now, the "R" I most feel is relief. When I started my Marathon Quest back in 2008, I always envisioned it as a three-year deal. And I did, in fact, do it for three years, and each year the race was an unbelievably amazing experience. I ran well and I always avoided serious injury on both the day of the race and in the months of training leading up to it, which is nothing short of a minor miracle. To go a fourth consecutive time felt a bit like I was pushing my luck - at least in terms of successive years. Physically and mentally, I wanted a break from the training this summer. Even though Marathon Day in the city is amazing, and come that first week in November, I'm sure the "R" I will feel most is regret, my participation this year will be just to cheer from the sidelines. Maybe that experience will reignite the spark in me to run it again. Or maybe this Spring,I'll decide I simply can't not run SOME place, and I'll apply for the Disney World Marathon which would be in January 2012 and would be TOTALLY AWESOME. So we'll see if we can make that happen. Oh dear. Look, the seed is already planted in my brain. Gah! But as for now, I choose not to run! I'll see you this summer on the tennis courts. :)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

RIP Crackberry 2007-2011


(This picture of my blackberry was taken by my new iPhone. These times, they are a'changin'.)

So Monday evening I got an iPhone. This is a big deal for me. I have been a crackberry junky for the last 4 years. I've had three models over that time. The first one was a dinosaur, the second was much nicer (but got lost in transit early in our relationship) and the third one I loved and had through many adventures. Unfortunately, it has been freaking out on me too consistently lately. I was seeing more and more of the spinning hourglass as it tried to complete the most basic of functions. Plus I couldn't play angry birds on a blackberry. I had never played angry birds before! So it was definitely time for a change.

I don't really understand my iPhone yet. There's no keypad. There's no blinky light to tell me when I have messages. I don't know how to change any of my settings. It does have angry birds now though. So that's something. I feel a little bit like my blackberry was a PC and now I'm dealing with a mac. There is definitely an adjustment phase. I just want to take a moment to remember my blackberry fondly. For allowing an email addict like myself to immediately know when messages were waiting for me. For all the joy it gave me while killing time on the subway or waiting for people to show up various places. For carrying my Italian and French Dictionaries when I was running around Rome and Paris. For allowing me to play Facebook Mafia no matter where I was or what else I should've been doing. Thank you, blackberry. I've loved these days.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Rafa Picks up Six: Another Title in Barcelona!

(Once again, for the sixth time, it's the sweet taste of victory!)

April is always an exciting month for posting because it consistently comes with so many title wins for Rafa! Today Nadal beat David Ferrer 6-2, 6-4 to claim his sixth Barcelona Open title Sunday. It was their second face-off in a tournament final in as many weeks. So exciting for Rafa!

To review, Nadal had won Barcelona from 2005-09. This is actually Nadal's third time beating Ferrer in the Final, after beating him at the same point in 2008 and 2009. Last year, Rafa skipped Barcelona because the rest of the tour schedule was organized too close together and he needed an extra week of rest. Nadal’s only loss in Barcelona came way back in 2003. (!!!)

Nadal is now the first player to win two tournaments six or more times in Open Era tennis. He's actually won Monte SEVEN times as of last week. This marks Nadal’s 45th career ATP title and his 31st clay court title, which means he has moved into third place all time by himself on that list. The last time he lost on clay was at the 2009 French Open. And he plays on clay A LOT.

Rafa's career mark is now 501-105. That is one impressive palindrome of a record! He has also gone another year without losing a game in April. So that's six years now. We'll see if someone can take him down in 2012. Step it up, competition! :)

Rafa looks in really great form heading into the upcoming tournaments in Madrid and of course Roland Garros. Let's hope he can pull off another Masters Clay Sweep! Vamos!

(trophy envy)

Before I go though, I need to point out how ridiculous the difference is between the Winner's Trophy and The runner's up dish in Barcelona. The Trophy is GINORMOUS and it looks like Ferrer was given a doggie bowl for all his efforts. I mean, seriously, the runner up should get something a little better than that. Ferrer worked really hard and is having an incredible season. He shouldn't be made to feel inadequate! Let's give the runner up something a little more special next year, shall we, tournament organizers?? Thanks for your consideration. Vamos Rafa!


Saturday, April 23, 2011

Save Teen Rapp in NYC

Hey All, my friend Liz works for this great organization called Teen Rapp. They do important work in the NYC school system and their budget is once again in danger of being cut by Mayor Bloomberg. As some background info: Teen RAPP is a $3 million domestic violence prevention and anti-bullying program that reaches over 50,000 ethnically and culturally diverse students in 65 NYC middle and high schools, is the largest program of its kind in the United States. Teen RAPP saves New York City millions in potential costs related to medical treatment, hospitalization, juvenile detention, teen pregnancy, shelter placement and other social services. If you want to help keep this vital program alive, please sign the petition at the following link! http://saveteenrapp.org/

A Year Without Cookies - Week 16

(Cadburry Eggs have died. Cadburry Eggs have risen. Cadburry Eggs will come again.)

Week 16 is here and, seriously, it's Holy Week, so who the eff really needs cookies anyway? There are seasonally-themed sources of chocolate and sugar EVERYWHERE! Chocolate Bunnies, Cadburry Eggs, Egg-Shaped Reese's Buttercups, brightly-colored Hersey's kisses. All that's missing is a springtime version of Mallomars and I'd be in sweets heaven. And - if you swing that way - there are PEEPS! Not, my thing, but maybe you were born that way.

(Don't be a drag, just be a queen.)

Still, I continue to pass on the cookies and soda. I went to the movies yesterday to see Rio (BOOOORING!) while babysitting Migu and I got us both bottles of water to drink during the movie. LOL. I'm such an un-fun babysitter. (I did get us popcorn and a bag of Reese's pieces to snack on, so I'm not totally mean. Water is good! And Migu liked the movie enough so it was a successful outing.)

Even though I have been scarfing down the Easter Candy, I don't feel so bad about it because since my show closed, I need to indulge in some candy vices to fight off Post-Show Malaise. And also because the show has closed, I finally have time to go back to the gym and work off the candy poundage. Also, this coming Wednesday I'll find out if I'm running the NYC Marathon again or not this year via the lottery and if I do, that will seriously increase my gym/exercise time, so the 6 Reese's eggs i eat today will never show! It's a beautiful system this thing called taking in less calories than you burn! Isn't that what they teach on The Biggest Loser? I always fast forward through the nutritional parts, but it sounds right to me. No, but for serious, it's time to start eating healthier again after Easter Sunday, and that's what I plan to do.

Week 17 is on its way! Bring on the gym! Bring on the healthier foods! I'm ready!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Timing of a Day: Center Stage Round Up!

(We've still got one shot left! Group photo! Everyone get on the couch!)

So even though I'm still firmly in denial that the current run of The Timing of a Day has concluded at Center Stage, NY, I think I should face the truth long enough to send some thank you's out into the interwebs. It was a very artistically and emotionally fulfilling experience to bring the show back to the stage for a three-week run and it would not have been possible without the hard work of a lot of people besides yours truly.

First I'd like to thank my friends at Mind The Art Entertainment and Intimation Productions for financing the run and working so hard to get all the pre-production requirements in place. Special shout outs to Christan, Ariana, Joe, Cheryl, Jesse, Rachel, Ashley, Keelie, and David. In connection with them I'd like to thank Les for working on PR and Manny for working the box office. I'd also like to thank Elite Signs for allowing us to rehearse in their amazing loft space. And to Elegance Under Pressure for coordinating the Benefit Gala. Everyone put in an unbelievable effort!

I'd like to send out a thank you to my good buddy LMM and el jefe, LAM, for their belief in me and there support of the show and all their help with making our Gala Benefit performance such a fun time and great success. Thanks, guys!

To my beautiful designers, Marciel, Dick, Jared and Mike I'd like to thank you for making the stage look so amazing. The apartment looked great. The transitions looked and sounded beautiful. I couldn't hope for a more talented and attractive design team. I must give special shout out to Marciel who tried her best to rewrite all the cues with us via skype when mere hours before one performance it was discovered our Light Board from Hell had erased all the cues to the show! (Another special shout out to David, our Asst. Director who manually ran the lights through the entire performance because of the light board fiacso and did an amazing job.) Super love to you all.

To Daniella who called the show and had to deal with all the ghosties in the theater and our aforementioned ancient possessed light board, thanks for all your work and tenacity in the face of electroplasmic odds. To Gracie, who ran the entire backstage and organized the dozens and dozens of props and costume changes by herself in almost no wing space, I bow down and do the "we're not worthy" arm wave. I have no idea why you agreed to take on such a crazy task, other than that you knew how desperately I needed someone back there who could do it... and maybe I might have undersold the enormity of the task when you first accepted the position. Either way, you rock and made every performance a tremendous success.

To Beth, Nik, Miguel and Justin. My Fantastic Four. Such an amazing cast. Thank you for your intense dedication to the play and for committing to the process and always being there on stage for each other. It was a pleasure to watch you bring such depth and emotion to these characters night after night. I am infinitely proud of the work you've done. I love you all endlessly.

And of course, the last personal acknowledgement must go to my lovely and immensely talented director, Joey Brenneman. She has become such an amazing positive force in my life over the past year. I'm such a lucky person to have reconnected with her over this project. Not a day goes by when I'm not impressed by her talent, her strength, her thoughtfulness and her artistic inspiration. There are not enough words to express my gratitude and affection for this amazing woman. If you see her name connected to any upcoming project, run to see it. Her work is worth your time. You rock, lady. :)

And then lastly, I would generally like to thank everyone who came to see the show, everyone who donated money to our fundraising efforts, anyone not in NYC who made the journey to be in the audience (seeing non nyc-based friends in the audience always sends my heart a'flutter.) but also to everyone who could not make it who sent a kind supportive word, liked the show on facebook, liked a status or a positive review, and encouraged other people to come out and see what we were doing. It really means so much to have your support. For those who could only be there in spirit, we definitely felt you there urging us on.

So now we'll see over the next couple months where and when we might be able to bring the show back. I will definitely keep you updated. In the meantime, there is one last way you can help support the show. We are in the running for several New York Innovative Theater Awards. You can vote for us! Follow this link. From here click where it says Vote on the upper left hand side of the screen. Then click Audience Ballot. You will have to register at the site, but all they require is your email address and a password, you don't have to fill in a bunch of personal info. Then you just select The Timing of a Day, the performance you attended and give us 10's across the board in all our nominated categories. It's easy!

I want to say again a very sincere thank you to everyone out there who has been supportive of me and supportive of the show during the past year with these two productions. This has been such an unbelievably enriching and exciting experience, that I will continue to cherish always. I have so many other stories I want to tell, and I am in the process of writing them down and getting them out there, and I hope you'll be interested in seeing what comes next!

Best Always,
O

Gaga Lets Weird Al Perform This Way!

I'm not sure what Gaga was thinking by having Weird Al make a full parody track of Born This Way and then denying permission to use it on his album. If you are not up-to-speed on the mini-controversy you can read about it here. I mean, come on. She has her super-popular song Born This Way, and Pop Culture Icon Weird Al is paying tribute to her with a delightful spoof called "Perform This Way." Weird Al won't put it on his latest album, or release it for real with a video unless he had Gaga's permission. He always asks for permission! And most artists have enough of a sense of humor about themselves that they don't get bent out of shape about it. Those who don't have the sense of humor tell him no right from the start/ But Gaga took the weird approach to allow him to record the song and THEN denied permission. Which, or course, meant he leaked it and told people what happened. And while on its initial listen, I did think it took the piss out of her quite a bit, subsequent listens make it sound cheeky and light and fun. Plus, profits from the song were gonna be donated to the Human Rights Campaign. C'mon Gaga!!

Well, Gaga has now come on and given her permission for Weird Al to officially use the song on his next album and make a video and everything. Her heart has grown three sizes this day! Congrats on the change of heart, Gaga. This reversal was the right thing to do. Don't be upset by Weird Al's lyrics. It's fine by most of the planet that you were born this way to perform this way.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A Year Without Cookies - Week 15

(Fifteen weeks without a cookie can turn Owen into a Nutter.)

Man... I wanted cookies so much this week! I think maybe it had something to do with the final weekend of my show and wanted some extra chocolate chip comfort. Everyday at work there was a new temptation. E.L. Fudge. Oreo's, Chips Ahoy. Nutter Butters - everything looked so good! Couldn't they have given me one day where it was only thoroughly unappetizing oatmeal raising cookies in the jar?

I also was craving some soda. A bottle of root beer with a bag of chips for snack, a tall glass of ginger ale with Chinese food for lunch, an ocean-sized soda with popcorn at the movies. Picking non-soda alternatives on these occasions was not easy. Could my resolve finally be breaking down 105 days in? Hey! I just realized I passed the 100 day mark. We are now talking triple digits! Craaazy.

Even if a certain level of craving is rearing its ugly head, I have 20 weeks in my sights and I'm determined to get there. After that, we'll have to see. But 20? You are mine!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Rafa in Monte Carlo - The Magnificent Seven!!

(Rafa's Lucky 7)

It's been a couple days, but it was a busy weekend after a couple busy weeks and then I got sick. So now it's time to play blogpost catch up! First we are gonna take a moment to celebrate Our Hero, Rafael Nadal. Rafa won the Monte Carlo Masters Series Event on Sunday for the Seventh mother-effing year in a row! Can you believe it? It's really kind of incredible. There's just something about the Monte Carlo clay that brings out the best in Rafa. This was Rafa's first title win since October, but he's reached three very big finals before that, so he's season is really going just fine - especially since he is so naturally dominant during the clay season which will stretch from now through the beginning of June. He has a ton of points to defend this year, since he basically won everything from Monte Carlo through Wimbledon, but he's got a good chance to keep most of them. Dude might be a god in the eyes of O, but he's not a machine. It's possible he could lose a match this Spring. But I wouldn't go as far to say it was likely.

Here's where Rafa stands, at age 24, on the list of all-time clay court titles:

1) Guillermo Vilas - 45
2) Thomas Muster - 40
3) (Tie)Borg, Orantes, Nadal - 30 (He's only one title away from taking over third!)

Nadal also posted his 62nd straight match win on clay in the month of April with this latest title. His last loss on clay in April came OVER SIX YEARS AGO - on Apr. 8, 2005 to Igor Andreev in the quarter-finals of Valencia! During this insane April streak he has won 11 titles – seven in Monte-Carlo and four in Barcelona.

Also on the horizon, Rafa is only four wins away from 500 career wins and could get there this week in Barcelona. With his win earlier today, his career mark is now 497-105. He's now crossed the 200 career wins for ATP Masters 1000 matches. The only two other players to reach that mark are Fed (234-71) and Agassi (209-73). Nadal is at (201-40).

Nadal is also standing at 92 weeks at No. 1 which is crazy also when you think about how long he was at No. 2 behind Federer. If he can hold on to his clay season points this spring, he would hit the 100 week mark on June 13th.

Nadal also captured his 19th career ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title increasingly his lead in that tally:

1.Rafael Nadal 19
2. (tie) Andre Agassi 17 Roger Federer 17
4. Pete Sampras 11

SO impressive. I continue to be amazed. I hope he takes another title this week in Barcelona. All I can say is Vamos Rafa!!!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

A Year WIthout Cookies - Weeks 13 AND 14


(I require mint chocolate versions of these cookies immediately!)

Well, life has been extremely busy with the play, and it hasn't left me a lot of time to blog about my eating habits, but you'll be happy/amazed/relieved to know that I'm still on the wagon - no cookies or soda for me. We are now passed the 3-month mark! Yeah peeps, 25% of 2011 is over! Get crackin' on that To Do list!

I had my first dream about eating cookies last week. It was a strong companion piece to my usual dreams about drinking soda. In the dream, I was having an argument with some girl I don't know in real life, and it got pretty heated. During one testy exchanged I reached over to this table next to me and there was a box of Chips Deluxe Super Chunky Mint Chocolate Cookies*. I started shoveling them into my mouth, and then as I was chewing, realized I was not supposed to have them. I rationalized with myself that 13 weeks was a decent amount of time to have gone without them, but still i spit them out into my hand and then carried the goop around with me for the rest of the dream. Lovely image, ain't it?
*-there's no such cookie as this, which is how I knew I didn't actually break my fast. But seriously, Keebler Elves? Get crackin' on this recipe!

Well I'm glad my subconscious mind has finally gotten to cookies where it's been with soda for weeks and weeks. Spring is here (theoretically, it's still effing cold in NYC) and people have been both out and about AND apparently baking up a storm, since everywhere I go people are bringing with them tupperwares full of freshly baked cookies. Doesn't anyone make brownies anymore? Is that so much to ask? I find out if I'm running this year's NYC Marathon again at the end of the month. If I get back into running (I've been on unofficial hiatus the past couple months as the play has consumed all my non-work time) then I'll need extra calorie intake and the lure of cookies might be too strong. We'll see. Time has been flying by lately, and soon week 15 will be upon us!!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Timing of a Day: Week 1 Round-Up, Week 2 Launch!

(The cast, me and Joey with LMM at the Gala Performance on Wednesday!
It's started, baby!)


Hello, friends! Just wanted to send a quick message thanking everyone for their support of my show, The Timing of a Day. Response from opening weekend has been extremely positive, and I am so appreciative. The gala performance last Wednesday was a lovely event. You can find pictures posted on Broadway World and Playbill. Thanks to LMM for lending his time and support of the show to help host the talkback after the performance!

Since opening, we've received some wonderful reviews, including a glowing notice on TheaterMania. The cast and crew is doing a fantastic job. They are amazing. Don't miss out on the incredible work they are doing! We still have seats available throughout the second week of the run. Please come out and support! Performances run Wednesday through Friday at 8pm. Saturdays 3pm and 8pm and Sundays at 3pm. We're at Center Stage, NY - which is at 48 W. 21st st. 4th Floor, NYC 10010. You can purchase tickets at www.mindtheartentertainment.com/tickets.html

If you've come to see the show already, thank you so much for your support! If you liked what you saw, tell your friends to check us out! Like us on Facebook. Spread the word! Grassroots, baby! Gotta build that audience! :)

Seriously, thanks to everyone for the support. It means so much as we continue along with the run. I'll check in again about it before we head into our third and final week! I hope to see you at the theater!

March Madness! A Bracket Destined for Failure: From the Finals, A Champion Crowned! UCONN!!!

Well, it's the first week of April, and March Madness is finally over. I can't believe that if I had just blindly picked my favorite team, I would've picked the tournament Champion. What's even harder to believe is that even with all the errors I made this year, I comparatively did MUCH much better than last year. Let's take a look shall we?

(The numbers don't lie, but they do baffle.)

You can see as went into the Championship, pretty much everyone everywhere was doing poorly as well. I had no horse left in the race for the final. and only had 335 of a possible 898 possible points, which was enough to place me rank me 4298 ahead of 87.46% of all other players on the website. After UConn won, (UCONN!!! YEAH, BABY!!! They didn't even MAKE the tourney last year!) things looked like this:

(All those times I zigged when I should've zagged...)

After the Final I had 335 of 1058 possible points and my ranking only slipped less than 100 points so, I was ranked 4391 and doing better than 87.16% of the competition. Last year at this point, I only had 280 of 1056 possible points and I was ranked 25,975 of all players (They didn't do percentages back then). So even if it was a no good, horrible, very bad bracket for most people, somehow I remained ahead of the curve. Thanks for making it to the Final Four, Kentucky!

(The best guesser in the bunch)

Wondering who came in 1st place at the NY Times website? Well, that would be wbolin2. He got 710 of 1058 points possible, by picking UConn and Butler for the final and a UConn victory. I guess those two choices aren't totally crazy. He was wrong about the top half of the bracket, missing Kentucky and, of course, VCU.

So that's it for this year. I did better than last year, which is a victory most people can't claim. Hopefully I'll continue my progress in 2012. Earning half the points possible. That's my next goal. I'm gonna get there!