This is so hilar

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My Broadway Debut

I’ve been fortunate enough to see dozens of Broadway shows over the years, everything from classics such as “Phantom of the Opera” to new shows such as “Anything Goes.” But I got to walk on a Broadway stage for the first time last week.

Tad’s aunt Andrea, a computer programming wizard by day, a community theatre actress/producer/director by night, has connections with Broadway friends like no other. So when she sent Tad an email two weeks ago saying she was coming to New York City for a work thing and could get us tickets to a Tuesday night show, would we be interested, of course we didn’t hesitate to say yes.

It was later that we found out we would be seeing “Addams Family,” that we were sitting fifth row, orchestra, and, oh yeah, Andrea was good friends with Brad Oscar, the actor who plays Uncle Fester, and there was a good chance we would get to go backstage.

I’ll admit, I was lukewarm about seeing “Addams Family, The Musical,” but it was surprisingly entertaining and expectedly cheesy. For my “West Wing” fans, the actor who played Gomez was Roger Rees, formerly Lord John Marbury, so I was smitten. Brooke Shields was incredible to see in person, (I mean, come on, it’s Brooke Shields), but her voice fell flat compared to Brad, who was so animated, and Rachel Potter, the actress who played Wednesday. Her powerful singing just dwarfed everyone else.

After the show was over, Andrea, Tad and I went to the stage door to see if we could catch Brad on his way out. When we saw him, several people in the crowd said, “*Gasp!* It’s Uncle Fester!” then he saw us and said “hey guys! Come on back.” So passed the fence and security, we slipped into backstage.

Immediately we found ourselves surrounded by enormous pieces of the Addams house, fake grave stones, puppets (oh yes, there are puppets in this show) and costumes. Then we walked out onto the stage and looked out right where we had been sitting.

Anyone who has ever does even a middle school play or been to Broadway show can understand how breathtaking it was. I thought Tad, who used to do lights and sounds for all of the productions at our high school growing up, was going to pass out from excitement.

I pretended to be dead:

Brad walked us through the stage and explained how the set changed and showed us where the quick change costume room was. We laughed about the show and complimented his acting several times over. Then when we parted away outside, Tad, Andrea and I ended up at the Stage Deli for pastrami and Matzo ball soup.

It was one of the most incredible experiences I’ve had, and something so uniquely NYC.

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This is where Christmas trees come from:

Photo taken on 68th and Columbus

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Lauren Does Christmas 2011

Through my whirlwind work week, I managed to decorate my apartment for Christmas, yay!

Tad and I got our tree tonight. I think he was wearing the same coat when we pick-up up our first live tree last year.

Tad carries the Christmas tree 2010:

Tad carries the Christmas tree 2011:

Side note: I can’t believe this is our second Christmas in NYC. Here’s a recap of our first year.

Here’s what I did with the apartment this year (for those of you wondering, Tad and I share a 300 sq. ft. studio/loft space. I know. I don’t know how we don’t kill each other either).


Haven’t decorated our tree yet. That’s a project for another day.



New addition, Scrabble tiles on the front table:

I got that idea after Googling “cheap Christmas decorations.” Which got me thinking about Christmas gifts and the more I thought about it, the more I developed some ideas for how to give someone a thoughtful gift for under $15. I’m not a retailer expert (I’m not even a business or consumer reporter), but these are ideas that have worked for me in the past:

1. Photos or artwork in IKEA picture frames.

2. Personalized bottle of wine using Oeno writers.

3. Personalized travel guide

4. Print/Internet subscriptions (

5. Do-it-yourself gift baskets

Get the full details HERE, but BONUS! There’s video with this entry. Video?! Yes, video. Let me know what you think! That screen grab YouTube chose for me is top notch.

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All of the bowls were dirty so I had to resort to using a mixing/big fruit bowl for spaghetti night:

And I got new glasses for distance, so now I have to carry around two pairs — the other is for reading/computer work. Now I can see individual leaves on trees 100 yards away and I can read the scores of the football game at the bar — like I used to:

There, you’re all caught up now.

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A happy mini-Thanksgiving

I was saddled with working the Thanksgiving shift this year, both Thanksgiving Day and the Friday after, which means I had to stick around up here in the city while my family went to Tennessee to have Thanksgiving at my aunt’s house.

Tad, who also had to stick around to work Black Friday, was here with me. I was very thankful for that.

We went through many rounds of what our first Thanksgiving, just the two of us, would be from going to my friend’s aunt’s house an hour train ride away, to going out to a nice fancy Thanksgiving dinner, to getting take-out to what we ended up settling on — making dinner ourselves.

The Menu: Given that our oven is the size of a bread box and there was only two of us, we opted for a 3-pound roast chicken over a turkey. Then I made mashed potatoes, green bean casserole (with homemade roasted onions) and biscuits from scratch.

Mashed potatoes and biscuit recipe came out of my mother’s cookbook, but I got the green bean casserole recipe from Food Network HERE.

We cheated on everything thing else: I don’t like stuffing (to me it’s just soggy bread) so that and the gravy came from a box. Cranberry sauce, which I’m also not wild about, came from a can.

But the end result looked like this, and I was very proud of us:

How did you spend your Thanksgiving?

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Sounds of the golden oldies not heard today

To this list, I would like to add the sound of a tape — VHS or cassette — rewinding or fast forwarding.

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