Brain-fried & Tongue-tied

I don't even know where to start.


I find I'm most productive in the early hours, when I should be sleeping.

Thank goodness I'm an insomniac.
When else would I find the time for last, last minute Christmas shopping & wrapping gifts?

T minus 2.5 days until I spend Christmas with my sister.
I. Can't. Wait.

Meet Cassie. She's magical & I love her:


The Thinker of Great Thoughts

When I was young, I distinctly remember wanting to be the first girl to think every thought there was to think...

There had to be some wildy impressive prize for accomplishing such a feat, probably even a Nobel prize...which I imagined must be cast in 24K solid gold and encrusted with precious gems. Not just anyone was capable of the brain power it required to ponder everything in the universe, however, at the age of seven, I was without doubt that I was more than capable, and ready to add that prize to the mantle I would one day need to display all of my most stellar, incredibly impressive, accomplishments. The mantle, I imagined, of course, would rest over the fireplace in the main sitting room of the fabulous mansion I would own in the future, (Maybe by age eleven...) because the house on Thousand Oaks was no kind of place for a rockstar/author/lawyer/ballerina/princess/supermodel/thinker of great thoughts to be living.

I would sit outside St. Thecla's church after my catechism lessons every Tuesday, plugging away mentally at the tiniest of thoughts, I figured I should get those out of the way before I moved on to the big ones. "What if I was that brick...What if I was that brick...or that one...or..." (seriously) "What if St. Thecla looked less like a giant, tacky beige & purple miserable prison & more like churches should look....like the ones on television where everything is shiny & golden & expensive, adorned with beautiful paintings" (I wanted everything in my world to look like the giant rhinestone clip on earrings my Yia Yia had bought me at the dollar store)Yes, I went to catechism. It obviously didn't work, because I have only three distinct memories from that time, outside of the general remembrance that I was bored out of my mind one hour out of every Tuesday for five long years. My relationship with God was fine, we chatted every night:

As I lay me down to sleep, I pray to God my soul to keep, & if I die before I wake, I pray to God my soul to take. Amen. Dear God: please let my parents give me their credit card and drop me off at Toys-R-Us for an entire day. Please let me be home schooled. Please let that younger, less brilliant version of me with freckles & blondish hair that has been occupying the other half of this room for the past few years go back from whence it came...Jesus was an only child, so why aren't I? Ask him on this one, I'm sure he'll understand. Please let Princess Diana realize that she is missing her beautiful, talented princess daughter & send for me right away...oh & that my name isn't Nicole...it's something with more letters & more exotic...like Violet...or Violetta...or...well I'm sure she will figure out. Goodnight God.

What? I said please. The undiscovered daughter of Princess Di must have manners. I was, of course, royalty...Another reason I didn't need catechism. Third grade, my second year of catechism, I had the hiccups so badly, it was disrupting our lessons & they had to call my mother to come pick me up. Only after a scolding from Mom, for the smug smile I had on my face, between hiccups, the entire ride home, did they stop. That's the last time I've ever had the hiccups. Honestly...cross my heart. You tell me that wasn't God himself excusing me from that hour of nearly lethal boredom. I got it. Thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not commit adultery (which at the time I thought that meant allow yourself to grow into a moldy, cranky old bat like my mom & dad) thou shalt not covet thy neighbors stuff, (mine was better anyways) thou shalt not ground their eldest daughter for mouthing off to a nun...common sense stuff. They weren't real nuns anyways. Real nuns wore those big, homely, blocky penguin dresses like they wore in Sister Act. So it was up to me to find other ways to occupy my brain for that hour...Following year, fourth grade, instead of spending the hour choosing a scripture to memorize & explain to the class what it meant to me from some giant outdated book with no pictures & no interesting characters, (Rainbow Brite, He-Man, Ninja Turtles, Ghostbusters, Johnny Cash, James Bond, Indiana Jones, Bob Dylan...I would have accepted any of the above.) I found it much more interesting to see how

many numbers of pi I could memorize within that hour. (It was displayed on a runner that ran around all four dingy grey walls, up where they met the dingy grey ceiling) Unfortunately the nun wasn't impressed with my recitation of the first 38 numbers of pi...mathematical prowess is not next to Godliness apparently...which I would find out a few years later, was a good thing anyways.

Which takes me back to my last memory of catechism, sitting outside waiting for the giant blue Lincoln Towncar to come flying through the parking lot at maybe 50 MPH, & swoop around the curved drive where it would finally screech to a halt in front of me. (I'm fairly certain the Macomb Township Police Department could pave their entire lot in solid gold using only the money my parents have paid out over their lifetime in speeding tickets. (& Lord only knows what else) The moment I realized that it was absolutely impossible to think every thought there was to think, because there was an infinite number of thoughts floating around the universe...Infinity...my favorite number. Imagine that. I was devastated, well, until I realized that there was no shiny gold prize to be had either. Oh well, I had enough on my plate as it was as a rockstar/author/lawyer/ballerina/princess/supermodel anyways. I would still be described as a thinker of great thoughts, brilliant perhaps, in the many television specials & newspaper articles that would be written about me..."the rockstar qualities of Janice Joplin & Joan Jett, The demure & timeless style of Audrey Hepburn & Jackie O. Smarter than Albert Einstein & modest as anyone could be." That would do I guess...

That particular childhood endeavor is what I blame for what now has become a nearly compulsive need to consider every

bad thing that can possibly happen as a result of every tiny situation I encounter throughout the day. Mental sanity suicide. Almost twenty years later, & I still have the same amount of "what-ifs" running through my brain at any given moment. For example, as I just took the elevator down three floors to check the progress of my laundry, I couldn't help but think there was a possibility that the elevator could malfunction & suddenly drop down to the basement the same way it does in the Tower of Terror in Disney Land. (scarred me for life) However, the mere fact that I considered the possibility of that happening, completely removed the element of surprise & therefore lessened the odds that it would. Make sense? No. Probably not. It's like an addiction, ranging from small scale crisis to unbelievably outlandish, 10 out of 10, life changing disaster. Paranoia? Kind of. I don't like being surprised & these things only happen when you least expect them, right? I'm just taking extreme caution & mentally preparing, constantly. If you really think about it, like I said, it's most likely suicide for my mental health, but on the other hand, I've already considered every possible (& impossible) horrible thing you could ever do to me, so when it happens, I'm at least not completely blindsided. As crazy as it sounds, this whole thought process, although mentally exhausting, has been serving me well.

Some people should come with a very detailed disclaimer, I'm one of them...


CAUTION: Mini-Vent Session Ahead. Limited Visibility.

Here's the thing people: Stop putting the responsibility of your happiness in other peoples' hands, or over other peoples' heads. You want something done, you do it yourself, right? Well that pertains to your happiness too. Take the initiative & make a decision. Take all of the time you spend blaming your unhappiness on her, or him, or this, or that & instead spend it doing one thing a day that makes you happy...magical. 99% of the time you know exactly what it is that you need, so what are you waiting for? Or who? The damsel in distress routine is so Renaissance Era...(am I right Ani?)

Carpe diem people, it's 2010 for goodness sake.
Thought of the day: I don't give myself nearly enough credit. For surviving the past 25 years of Burroughs-worthy dysfunction, somehow something clicked. I'm so glad to be me...Currently embracing my individuality, talent, intelligence, strange sense of humor & ability to think in a completely realistic manner & a completely outrageous, magical, over-actively imaginative way...simultaneously.
You dig?

Thank you. We will now return to your regularly scheduled programming.


When it snows, you have two choices: shovel or make snow angels...

Never ever in the history, my history, of Radio City have they ever cancelled shows. Until today. Two shows cancelled in the Snowpocalypse of Washington DC, three cancelled tomorrow. And by the way...as of right now...11:09pm....it's not snowing at all. Why do I feel guilty? I've been given one of the best gifts mother nature has up her sleeve around this time of year...a Snow Day! Zero responsibility outside of late brunches, snow angels, & hot cocoa. A lot of people on this crazy tour's spirits have been crying so loudly for a day off that Ms. Mother Nature herself answered their prayers.

“Nature has no mercy at all. Nature says, "I'm going to snow. If you have on a bikini and no snowshoes, that's tough. I am going to snow anyway."” - Maya Angelou

Instead of doing the last two shows of the day I got to catch up with my sister, have an incredibly fun dinner, & a giant mug of hot cocoa while watching Scrooged. (which is my favorite Christmas movie ever) There's just something so romantic in a Snow Day...it's an immeasurable force in the universe, Mother Nature, giving you permission to relinquish all responsibility for the day & feed your soul every comforting luxury it needs. Your boss, my boss, the corporate Radio City suits, can't argue with Mother Nature. What she says goes & apparently the people of DC have been working too hard, 'tis the season to drive yourself crazy.
It's time to crawl back into bed reach for a warm drink & your favorite Christmas movie. The weather outside is frightful. What I wouldn't give for a day off with my family, the fireplace & the frosty view of the river behind the house, hidden under sheets of grey blue ice & mounds of snow. Putting up a Christmas tree, with all of the ornaments my mother, the original crafty lady, & my Pop Pop, from whom she got the talent put hours & hours into crafting. It's been so long since I've seen any of them. I have my own box of ornaments at home, each one wrapped carefully with it's own memory in a sheet of old newspaper & tucked away in a box. Maybe it's in the attic, or the garage...waiting patiently for the day to come where I once again will have a tree to ever so painstakingly arrange them on for the holiday season. For now I will just have to settle with admiring the perfectly color coordinated, expertly designed trees in the lobbies of the hotels I seek refuge in night after night on this contract. Don't get me wrong, they're stunning, & I love them, but those ornaments don't contain the memories that mine do. My Christmas tree never looks so coordinated...it's more eclectic, more patchwork, more me.

Christmas is about family & memories & love & selflessness & hope. Things that easily fall through the cracks when I'm doing my best to get my laundry done, keep my suitcase organized, eat well, stay hydrated & somehow find time to Christmas shop, all while performing & traveling ever day...I'm spreading Christmas cheer to hundreds of thousands of families, in fact, becoming a very special part of their Christmas memories, but I've been unable to enjoy this Christmas season myself...instead I'm sitting on my bathroom floor with a white knuckle grip on my childhood Christmas memories & tears in my eyes, cursing the world for changing so much. Who wouldn't want to go back just once & be a kid on Christmas again? Dude if my six year old self caught me wasting the best time of the year the way I have been this season, she'd kick me in the shins so hard I'd have a bruise until next Christmas!! Those are my memories, & I keep them very near my heart, I can't ever have those days back....no amount of kleenex & Bruce Springsteen's "Santa Clause is Coming to Town" on repeat will take me back in time. Trust me, I asked....but then I realized I've been looking at this all wrong. So maybe my mom, dad & sister aren't all here with me...That doesn't mean I'm without family. My family here just happens to be comprised of Rockettes, singers, dancers, LPs, sound guys, riggers, bus drivers,
caterers, stage manages, company managers, wardrobe people, hair people, prop guys, & I'm sure I'm forgetting someone...It's unethical...but so am I. All things considered, I'm pretty lucky, I just needed a gentle reminder that although I may not be able to go back in time to Christmas' past, I can still approach the holiday season with just as much anticipation as I did when I was a kid, I get to spend it with a bunch of really amazing people! I'm going to try and be extra thankful for what I do have this holiday season, take a moment to admire all the holiday decorations & possibly throw a snowball or two on my snow day! Enjoy everyone!


What good is WiFi on the bus if I'm not using it?

"& well you should, because this garden is your soul. This mess is you! Together, you & I, we have been working with a purpose in your heart. & it is wild & beautiful & perfectly in process. To you it seems like a mess, but to me, I see a perfect pattern emerging & growing & alive-a living fractal."

(Wm. Paul Young, 'The Shack')


Being on tour is like being in limbo. It's like going from nowhere to nowhere.

How am I supposed to drink enough to stay hydrated when it makes me have to pee every 3.14 seconds?

Fifth one nighter in a row.


I apologize for the interrupted transmission

I haven't forgotten you little blog, I just find that 23.5 out of 24 hours a day are 100% fully occupied. There are so many things I need to document quickly before they start to fade in my mind, despite my best efforts I seem to be incapable of avoiding mischief. Life sans mischief is just not my nature. I will write again soon, maybe tonight, maybe tomorrow.

I want to stay as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can't see from the center.
Kurt Vonnegut

Stay beautiful everyone! Sending my love from the fifth story of a Winston-Salem hotel on a particularly dreary day.