Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Repurposing

The vegan eating continues.  Yes it has occasional cheats, a pork dumpling here, a chocolate biscuit there (what can I say, Lauren brought me Bourbons from Scotland).  However it is also leading down fun new avenues of 'repurposing'.

Now I'm all about this highly zeitgeisty idea - upcycling, customising, whatever you want to call it.  I just turned an old belt into a decorative scarf storage system, beautified two plain cardboard boxes by covering them with miniature music scores, decoupaged an entire table and turned another into a chalkboard and written my initials on the wall using blue fairy light.  It's fun to make new interesting things out of other things.  And it can be very pretty and certainly it's satisfying.
And it works with food too.  My latest interest is cauliflower.  I bought one at the start of last week and have had a week's worth of meals from that one cauliflower done in three different ways.  One is a quick version of cauliflower cheese where I essentially stir fried the cauliflower into a vegan cheese sauce (yep vegan cheese it's a thing).  Another is mashed - very simply as if it were a potato, boil it down til it's soft then mash it with a little garlic and a vegan butter alternative, salt and pepper.  If you're me and you're really really into pepper anyway, it's not all that necessary since the cauliflower already had it's own spicy pepperiness.  The third and for my money most fun way is cauliflower rice - you literally chuck it in the blender and whiz it up til you have small crumbly pieces, not too much or it gets soggy.  Then throw that in a pan with some olive oil, and I did salt, pepper, a little lemon juice and a tiny dash of soy sauce.  And I ate it with stir fried broccoli, beans and carrots and it was bloody marvellous.
Cauliflower as itself, as a potato alternative and as rice, all delicious.  Love it.  Thinking about what veggies to play with next week.  I will also need to test some Thanksgiving ideas starting asap.

Ummm in less foody news, I'm going to be in the workshop reading of 'Supersolider' the new musical by Jim 'wrote Hair is my idol and the coolest dude' Rado.  Waaaaaaaaaaah! Alongside my dear friends Xalvador and Sena no less.  Yay yay yay! Week of rehearsals beginning October 7th and two performances Monday 14th.  Yas.

Peace!xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Sunday, September 22, 2013

OMGZ

Ok, I don't want to be someone that brags about their famous friend but seriously, it blows my mind that one of my best friend is doing so amazingly well - the season finale of 'Dexter' aired tonight and...well...
Dexter-808.jpg

That on the right is Sam, my USA big bro...from Woking...y'know.  It's nuts that he was literally just in my living room making silly jokes with us and his picture is on websites about this huge TV series.  Nuts.  I am so lucky and so proud.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Last Of The Summer Live

I went to a gig last night! Yaaaaaay me

It was (I think) the final installment of Summerstage, a venue in Central Park where performances have been going on all through the summer months.  I saw three bands - City and Colour was the headliner, supported by Warwickshire's own Lucy Rose, who I didn't know but I am delighted to have discovered, and also by Lissie who I have been a big fan of for about three years now.

It is raining outside right now but yesterday evening was beautiful - not cold, clear sky, fresh air.  I went by myself.  It is nice to do things with friends but I am always happy to enjoy events by myself because really, it's not like you're going to be catching up during the gig/movie/play etc.  I had a lovely time, it's a looong while since I saw live music outdoors (not since Bestival 2011, specifically).

Here is Lucy Rose - I have listened to her album and concluded that I actually like her live better than recorded.  Her voice is lovely but it was more substantial somehow live when she was also playing her guitar and interacting with her band.  There's a lot of female singer-songwriters in a similar vein but she has a more honestly rock 'n roll energy on the stage than a lot of them. And her band was great.



And as for Lissie well, I think she is the coolest, her voice is AWESOME in a retro girl rocker way and her songs are really original.  Of all the aforementioned female singer-songwriters that are around I think she stands out for having a real, not manufactured, essence of eras gone by. Her band was also fantastic and I am obsessed with this song, it's new on her album out October 8th and I cannot stop listening to it.


City and Colour, the headliner, is actually one guy named Dallas Green who was the frontman of a Canadian band called Alexisonfire.  He has a devastatingly beautiful voice and mad guitar skills.  However I enjoyed Lissie's set more than his.  He has mostly ballady songs, not so many uptempos, and while it is amazing to hear him sing live so gorgeously I think if I ever see him live again I will find a place to sit and close my eyes and just listen, not watch.

Spent a lazy quiet day at home with Lola who was doing the same - our respective weeks really took i out of us and our roomies are both off again visiting family and friends in Texas and Georgia.
While I remained in jammies until babysitting this evening I did also make various home improvements, washed my backpack, cooked my cauliflower, decoupaged a couple of boxes, figured out how to hang my scarves etc etc.  Nice day.  Raining out.

Peace!




Friday, September 6, 2013

Folding Stars


No time like the middle of the night for learning origami hearts.  This one is made out of the sheet music for 'At Last' by Etta James...I have three copies and it's in the wrong key anyway.

All-American Unamerican

Planning Thanksgiving!

Sure, it's on November 28th, but we have big plans here at 2C.  For all those who are lost come Thanksgiving Day (read: not American and therefore not going home anywhere) we are hosting the ultimate Global Celebration.  With guests from Spain, the Netherlands, Argentina, Luxembourg, Mexico, Hong Kong, the Czech Republic, Scotland, England and one repping for the USA I have a lot of recipes to look up.  We are also encouraging elements of national dress.  Lola asked me 'what is the traditional dress of England?' It's hard to answer that one...sadly I had to show her something I try to keep hidden.  Something I am not proud of.  And it is Morris Dancing.  Seriously, with all the other fantastic cultural things England has managed to produce, how did we so carelessly overlook folk dance and get landed with Morris Dancing? I suppose I could set up a Maypole in the living room.  Sooo...perhaps I will have to go with Sherlock Holmes or Beefeater as my national costume.

And as for the fare, well so far I have about a billion ideas but for my own homeland I'm thinking PUDDINGS...treacle tart, custard, apple crumble.  This is going to be a smorgasbord of epic proportions.

And we WILL play charades because whenever we have people over...that's what we do.

Went on the set of Sam's current TV show yesterday, as they were conveniently shooting a few blocks south of our respective apartments.  Things I learned: TV folk are really nice! And, TV set lunch is really nice (with plenty of vegan options:D).

Me and Lola enjoying the craft services (snacks and coffee!)


On set with the star himself! So proud of my awesome friend.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Euroflash




Me and my Luxembourgian pal Michel enjoying tunes, sangria and sun at the wonderful 'Mister Sunday', a weekly party held outdoors on Sunday afternoons in a small grove next to the Gowanus Canal, Brooklyn.  A DJ drops bliss-inducing electro disco beats, the bar serves the aforementioned sangria and a host of beers which I haven't investigated yet...though one is called Pork Slap.  There are food tents and picnic benches, a ping pong table and a throng of Brooklyn's young and hip...and slightly older but no less hip...and very young and incredibly hip (people bring their kids) plus a few dogs.  It is a wonderful place to dance to music that you'd actually want to dance to, something that I hear surprisingly rarely, I frankly don't see what is so complicated about choosing dance-worthy music and yet so many DJs fail.  Also to sit with a friend and chew the fat and watch the happiness go by.  If you're a Euro it will remind you of home - I can't speak for Michel but for me it is reminiscent of Bestivals and Womads past, field parties, nights at the rec and debauched Sunday evenings in the Thomas Lord back garden.  ALSO if you're like us and you are into people's personal style it is a veritable feast for the eyes and a nice forum for my own sartorial experiments.

So that's another of the nice things that I did in the last couple of weeks!
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Monday, September 2, 2013

Passage of the Seasons

Meeerh what is chronological order anyway? I have a couple of wonderful weekend events to recount plus general ramblings. I will not be doing it in the correct order - it is 'Labor (labour, I know) Day' today, the strangest name for a day off that ever I did hear. No idea what we commemorate today other than end of summer, beginning of autumn. In the spirit of this, I had the delight and privilege of spending Saturday in East Hampton with dear friends, an open bar, a piece of theatre and a swimming pool. To what do I owe this magnificent bounty you ask? Well, Fundamental Theatre Project of which Sam is co-artistic director and our school librarian Katrina is managing director have a friend who just happens to be a CEO or something at JP Morgan and Chase (banks. Big banks.) And who offered his Hamptons summer house as the setting for an FTP fundraiser/it's Labor Day weekend let's have a random excuse to have a party! The owner of the house met FTP a couple of years ago when Sam was starring in a rave-reviewed production of Equus alongside Alec Baldwin on Long Island. I don't know the whole story...the upshot is that at 9.30 (well, 9.45) am on Saturday, I was boarding a minibus on west 37th st bound for East Hampton and crammed with fun young people - it was like going on a school trip except some of us were hungover and everyone was drinking coffee. The bus ride itself was fun fun fun - I've always loved bus and coach trips, and it was of course the first time I've left the city since Christmas AND the first time I've ever been to Long Island. So I was really enjoying myself all the way there and came fully prepared with iPod, book, snacks (in fact I brought an entire lunchbox, not knowing how well annoying vegans were catered for on Long Island) and a cardigan and a scarf for essential back seat bed-making purposes. We spent the trip taking pictures, giggling, chatting to a couple of other young folks who went to American Academy of Dramatic Arts and comparing school notes, napping, all that stuff. Once we'd got there we wandered through the town for a spot of lunch and exploring - everything was small, sweet and painted white including the train station. It was lovely to walk at a slow pace, something I had to consciously make myself do accustomed as I am to power walking and crowd weaving at dangerous speeds getting from place to place in the city. We had a few hours before the event proper kicked off so naturally we took to the pool area. Some fell asleep, some lounged in the jacuzzi yes jacuzzi, some of us danced around in the garden taking pictures and dangled our feet in the pool. Some of us...Lola and myself...did those things while drinking a beer. Our generous host had decided that we should be the ones to begin...well, drinking. What can I say? After spending a couple of hours floating in total bliss the guests began to arrive, a mish mash of Hamptons summer homers, random groups of young'uns and older theatre folk who are long time friends and or patrons of FTP. With the open bar in full swing the atmosphere was convival and I was happy to sit back and observe the high levels of schmoozing going on around me. We enjoyed a site-specific staged reading of a section of 'Valhalla' by Paul Rudnick, a play set in two time periods and places exploring the meanings behind love and beauty through the eyes of two totally separate but thematically connected male characters. It was fun to be so closely involved with the action as we were watching scenes whilst crammed into rooms in the house, beneath the balcony and around the jacuzzi to the point where some audience members were pretty much sharing the stage space with the actors. And then the party continued, the average age of the crowd decreasing as the older guests departed. By around 8.30 it was just the busload and a few stragglers remaining so with a 2.5 hour journey ahead of us we rounded up the crew and hit the road again. This again was just like going home at the end of a school trip, except this time everyone except the driver (Katrina the librarian, natch) and her boyfriend was some degree of innebriated and we had all pilfered the open bar and filled our bags before leaving. Knowing I had a long journey home once we got back to the city and an earlyish start the next day I took the trip home as an opportunity for some shut-eye, so I missed any fun that may have happened. All I know is we were back on 37th by midnight (we made two stops along the way. Ever tried stopping a bus full of tipsy 20somethings so everyone can get food? Don't, you will be worrying that someone will piss off the restaurant by being loud, everyone will have to go to the bathroom, noone will know what order, people will forget to pay then lose their food when they have paid, forget where the bus is parked and generally what should be a 10-minute stop will become a 30 minute operation.) I'm so grateful to FTP for running this thing and to my fabulous companions for making it so much fun. Next year we will go bigger! Well it took so long to document that one event that I feel a separate post is needed for each subsequent (or whatever you call it when it is not subsequent in the actual sequence but it is in the sequence of your account) event. Look, pictures!
Natalia and I at the back of the bus (before I fell asleep for a while)

Portia (of London, Brit power) in the garden

The bus ladies enjoying the party

Bus crew enjoying the pre-show relaxation time

David and Sam mid-scene, 'Valhalla' by Paul Rudnick

OPEN BAR, the way to get us to agree to go to stuff

Lola looking worried about all the relaxation

Lily the dog

Nati and I in the position we maintained most of the evening