Saturday, December 20, 2014


December has just been too much fun.  A and I went to see Cabaret at Studio 54 a couple of weeks ago and I just haven't had time to talk about.  Alan Cumming was awesome as the narrator.  I cannot imagine a more perfect Sally Bowles than Emma Stone.  I can never get enough of the rasp in her voice.  I feel the same about Anna Faris's voice as well as Mariah's speaking voice.  Last time I saw the show it definitely went over my head.  That was back in college before I knew anything about burlesque, had toured Dachau, and had any understanding of adult relationships.  I was really impressed with Maybe This Time, particularly since I'd just seen Kristin Chenowith perform it on her PBS special the previous week.  Chenowith's voice is obviously incomparable, but Emma Stone completely inhabited her role and blew the audience away on that number.  The standing ovation was easily deserved.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Good Humor

My friend C gave me Ali in Wonderland this summer but I just got around to reading it last month.  Alexandra Wentworth is hilarious.  She has the incredible ability to turn traumatic experiences and broken engagements into captivating funny stories.  My favorite parts are when she talks about her relationship with her mother, the ultimate WASP.  She seems to have rebelled against her mother's values through childhood and early adulthood only to almost fully embrace them as an adult.  I am so glad that there are so many funny ladies writing books.  I have Amy Poehler's book waiting for me at the library and I can't wait to get it.  

I've been reading more of Lauren Conrad's books.  L.A. Candy fabulous but her books get progressively less interesting.  I enjoyed Sweet Little Lies  and Sugar and Spice, but the characters in The Fame Game are not as interesting.  Jane Roberts, the character loosely based on Lauren herself is missing from the series and she was the reason the first three were so enthralling.  I will read the other two anyway.  They're not bad.  Just not as good.  

Thursday, November 27, 2014

The Last Ship

I could talk about Broadway shows all day every day.  Just yesterday an attorney I work with told me her husband is in the orchestra of The Lion King and I got super excited.  Monday evening I got a call from my lovely friend J while I was at work.  She had tickets to see The Last Ship and she invited me to go along.  I was supposed to work late that night so I paused and she started in on the description.  I quickly stopped her with a big fat yes.

All I really know was that Sting had written all the music and that they story was inspired by his childhood.  This show was so different than all the others I've seen this year.  With a mostly male cast, it told the story of Gideon, who returns to his English hometown after 15 years to find that much has changed.  So many shows I see are female driven and take place in New York.  While I love that, this story was a refreshing change.  My favorite part was the music.  The cast sounded like a choir at times and there were some real stand out voices.  The show opened in October so I will be interested to see how long it runs.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014


You know when you love something and you feel compelled to tell everyone about it.  I've been listening to podcasts for a little over a year now and I wanted to talk about a few of my favorites. 

(1) This American Life - Everyone knows about this show already.

(2) Serial - I got turned on to Serial when it debuted on This American Life several weeks ago.  I was immediately hooked and I tune in every Thursday to hear the new episode.  This first installation will total twelve episodes and follows a fifteen year old murder case.  The man whose been in jail for the murder all this time had little motive and was based on the testimony of one alleged witness who changed his story and lied about important details of the case.  And there was no physical evidence linking they guy in jail to the crime.  The witness just recently made his facebook profile semi-private.  Prior to that you could see all his information with a simple search.  The way Sarah Koenig reports on this case is mildly frustrating at times, but she is a journalist and not an attorney so I try to forgive the naive level of faith she has in the Baltimore's police investigators and legal system circa 1999.  It's gripping and definitely my favorite podcast ever.  This one appeals to me as a lawyer.  

(3) The Radical Personal Finance Podcast - This podcast is incredible.  This host, a financial advisor, interviews early retirees, minimalists and others approaching their financial lives in a way most middle class Americans would deem radical.  Many of his topics and interviewees follow principles similar to those of the Mustachians on the Mr. Money Mustache forum.  He also comes from a Christian perspective which I really appreciate.  As someone with a bachelors in finance and associates in economics, who still managed to make the poor choice of taking on a great deal of law school debt, this one appeals to me on many levels.

(4) The Read - This is one of the most popular podcasts out there.  I cannot possibly explain my love for this show.  There is far too much profanity and Beyonce worship for my taste. Nevertheless, I laugh like crazy and I absolutely live for their reader questions.  There is something inexplicable about their banter that draws me in until I star googling the random rappers and d list celebrities they talk smack about.  They also make a lot of sense about a lot of things even though I disagree with them often.  

I realize these are quite a hodge podge of shows but each one serves an interest of mine.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

On the Town

Today was a great day in the city.  I went to my husband's church for a change and then we went for a stroll around Home Depot.  I never thought I would be strolling around Home Depot looking at kitchen and bathroom fixtures on a Sunday Morning.  Then we came home and watched Scandal and Covert Affairs and I found out that I had won the lottery for a Broadway show.  I love how I'm going to a show every month these days.
On the Town is a really fun song and dance show about three sailors out on the town in New York City.  The leading lady was a ballerina so there were some really beautiful dance numbers throughout the show.  At the beginning of the show the orchestra played the Star Spangled Banner so we all stood and sang.  You could tell it was a theater full of musical fans because every last person was ecstatic to stand up and sing at the top of his or her lungs.  After we went to Virgil's for dinner.  I am an old lady and I love the city more today than I did yesterday.  Jennifer and Manhattan sitting in a tree.  k-i-s-s-i-n-g.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Songs in the Key of Life

Since the first anniversary present is traditionally paper, I went with Stevie Wonder tickets as a present for my husband.  Last night we went to Madison Square Garden and saw one of the great musicians in earth's history.  I wasn't prepared to be among the youngest there.

India Arie performed with him on a couple songs, and Whoopi Goldberg got up on stage and danced with with everyone as he played his last song.  All the songs were from his Songs in the Key of Life album, which I mention was one of my top ten favorite of all time six years ago here.  Needless to say I was elated when he played As, one of the most amazing songs that has ever been written. What a privilege it was to hear him perform live.  He played a harmonica duet!  I could gush on and on but my sister is going to the concert in Atlanta in a couple weeks and doesn't want any spoilers.  I first fell in love with Stevie Wonder when he was on The Cosby Show but I really started checking out all his old albums when Mariah said he was her favorite.  I love Stevie Wonder.  I love New York.  I never want to leave.  The end.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

What I'm Watching

I'm not a huge fan of the new shows this fall, but here are the exceptions. I hope these stick around for several seasons.

Even though I don't love being a lawyer, I absolutely love shows about lawyers no matter how outlandish.  The plot of this is so exciting and there are lots of interesting characters. 
I did not anticipate becoming a fan of this show, but I really enjoy watching it.  The closest thing I've ever seen to a telenovela before this was Ugly Betty.  This is now where near as awesome as Ugly Betty, but it's still fantastically entertaining.  And obviously I love the fact that she's waiting for marriage.  The 5% of us have to stick together. 

The Flash is really cute and the last episode featured Wentworth Miller who I believe will be a recurring character.  I am a sucker for superheroes and I am watching Gotham although I preferred the first episode to the last few.

Monday, November 3, 2014


Unfortunately, I've been reading a lot less lately.  My work schedule and the return of fall television shows doesn't allow me the time.  There is also the matter of running out of books.  My favorite authors just don't write quickly enough.  I finished these two in the last couple weeks and that's about it.  Murder in a Basket, the second in its series, was a decent mystery, but I figured out who did it pretty early on.  


L.A. Candy was the first in Lauren Conrad's series loosely based on her own time on The Hills.  I never imagined this book would be so good.  I wasn't prepared for the cliffhanger ending though.  It was so frustrating to not have not have the next book in the series on hand.  I've been a fan of L.C. since her Laguna Beach days.  Despite her perfect hair and clothing, she is just so relatable just like the protagonist she bases on herself.  It would make a great beach read and I hope to take her other books along for some of the plane rides I have ahead of me in the next couple months.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Broadway Wish List

Broadway has always been my favorite part of living in Manhattan and I'm no longer playing around.  Shows are always closing before I have a chance to see them and  determined  not to let that keep happening.  I have tickets for Cabaret and Into the Woods, two shows I've seen years ago, as well as On the Twentieth Century and The King and I.  I still have a long list of shows I absolutely have to see:

A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder
The Book of Mormon 
Matilda the Musical
Motown the Musical
On the Town

And opening soon:
The River
An American in Paris
Noises Off

Saturday, October 11, 2014

New York For Life

I have had more fun in the last eight days than one person should be allowed.  Last Saturday night A and I went to see The Real Thing on Broadway starring Cynthia Nixon, Ewan McGregor, and Maggie Gyllenhaal.  Typically, I do not like plays.  I find them to be boring if I even understand them in the first place.  This Tom Stoppard story was another story.  It was hilarious and hands down the best play I have ever seen.  I even liked it better than The Odd Couple with Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick, the only other play I've ever enjoyed.  The dialogue was fierce, the acting exceptional, and our seats were awesome.  I cannot recommend this show enough to anyone who enjoys witty dialogue and smart writing.
Last night I saw my favorite Christian band, Jars of Clay, for the second time.  I believe it was 2003 when I last saw them at Irving Plaza.  This concert was at the Highline Ballroom, a new venue for me.  I only recognized three songs The Art In Me, Flood, and Love Song for a Savior, which they did as their encore, all from their self-titled album which I included in my top ten favorite albums six years ago.  I might alter that list today, but Jars of Clay would firmly remain.  They mentioned that Flood has been the source of both their greatest success and their greatest failure, which I found to be interesting.  
Then tonight I went to see If/Then the musical, thanks to my generous friend R.  We haven't seen a show together since college and she was the most perfect person to see it with because she appreciated it as much as I did.  The show was fabulous.  Idina Menzel was perfection and Anthony Rapp was awesome.  I had seen him in the ten year anniversary of Rent and although I thought it was my first time seeing Idina Menzel live I now I realize that I probably saw her as Amneris in Aida back in college.  I saw the show three times, first with Heather Headley, Adam Pascal, and Sheri Renee Scott, then with Maya Days and Adam Pascal, and then with Simone and Adam Pascal.  I believe Taylor Dayne was in it one of those times but it's been so long.  I guess I will have to go through my old playbills to see for sure.  I never made the effort to see If/Then because it didn't get the best reviews.   Thank God I got this opportunity because it was an incredible show with great songs, an enthralling story, and an absolutely impeccable cast.  There was not one weak voiced or so so actor on that stage.  Screw the critics because this show makes a person think and feel so much.  The concept is unique and the music is great.  Have I ever mentioned that I love New York?

Friday, October 3, 2014

Speed Read

The best books are ones that you simply can't put down because they're good.  These three books share that in common if nothing else.

Arm Candy tells the story of a small town girl who ends up a model in Manhattan.  It follows her entrancing love life from her teen years through age 39.  A Plain Death is a murder mystery whose protagonist is a computer science/information systems whiz who moves to small town Ohio and unexpectedly gets an Amish roommate on her rumspringa.  Finally, Imperfect Bliss chronicles the life of a recent divorcee living at home with her parents while trying to finish up her PhD, while her younger sister participates on a reality show called "The Virgin."  I've read other books by these authors and while the three couldn't be more different, they all know how to capture a complex female character in a smart fun read.

Sunday, September 28, 2014


C and I spent five days in Aruba over last weekend and it was a dream.  We were there to attend a wedding and we used it as an opportunity to get in some vacation time too.  We didn't do much except for swim and read under a cabana.  I experienced less of the culture in Aruba than in any foreign country I've ever visited, including Canada.  Regrettably, I didn't get to taste any traditional Aruban cuisine.  However, I did get to go out on the town via party bus the first night.  That was super fun and something I'd never done.  This was also my first time attending a beach wedding and I really think it's a fantastic way to get married. They were basically on vacation with a bunch of friends and family so the couple really got to spend ample time with their guests.

bird interaction
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I've never held three parrots at one time and it was my first time parasailing.  We could see huge sea turtles swimming way out in the ocean.  I was having so much fun and the weather was so beautiful that I really didn't want to come back to the grind.  After getting settled on the plane, a flight attendant asked if we could move over one sweet so the prime minister and his wife could sit across the aisle from each other.  He was very cordial, shaking our hands and telling us we were always welcome back.  I would be happy to go back any time.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Personal Finance

Lately I've been reading a lot of personal finance blogs and I thought I'd list a few of my favorite.

Two Cents - Lifehacker  This one is just a lot of random tips on how to save money from everything from where you get the most savings at Costco to when you'll get the most for selling your old iphone.  

Afford Anything  This blog is about people to quit their office jobs and make money work for them rather than working like a dog for the money.  

Mr. Money Mustache  The most interesting of all the money blogs, it's also the most judgmental. This guy retired at 30 so he and his wife could stay at home with their baby.  The author really puts me in my place and inspires me to rethink my spending.  Sometimes this blog can be really frustrating for me.  People who realized in their early twenties that they shouldn't take out student loans put me to shame.  Nevertheless, I have an abundance of faith in better late than never and I am applying as many of the mustachian principals as I can live with.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Seen This Summer

Gone are the days when I have absolutely nothing to watch during the summer.  I am very thankful for this and I wanted to share some of my favorites of this past summer that I hope will return. They're not going to be nominated for any Emmys, but they sure serve their purpose of entertaining me for a good twenty minutes.

Candidly Nicole brings me immense joy.  I am a huge fan of Nicole Richie.  I have her book and I find every single thing she ever says to be hilarious.  I hope her show never ever goes away.  It's the first thing I've watched on VH1 since 2005, or maybe longer.  Mystery Girls doesn't even attempt to have great writing but I will watch Kelly and Donna on any show they do together til the day I die.  Young and Hungry is just super cute.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Laduree Soho

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Last Sunday, A and I had one of the most delightful brunches I have ever experienced.  We went to Laduree Soho where you can now indulge not only in french macarons, but all sorts of tasty french delights.  We stopped in a couple weeks prior and I got an Ispahan to go.  I had never had one before. It's a french dessert with rasberries and lychee and it is possibly the greatest dessert I have ever tasted. This time we sat down and I had a sandwich followed by a pastry.

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Club Champs-Elysses
St. Honore Rose Framboise
Both were served on lovely Laduree China and both were scrumptious.  I will definitely be returning soon.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Will Power

I want this trench coat so badly I can taste it.  It's pink and structured and I am truly madly deeply in love with this particular garment.  I picture all the variously clothing and accessory combinations it would complement.  At only 199.00 it's so tempting.  I'm sure if I asked any of my friends they would say get it, you deserve it.  I'm not getting it.  Even as I write this I am having second thoughts.  But I have other goals, namely getting out from under my law school debt asap.  I don't know if I even have the strength.  It's so hard.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

New Duds

Shopping for work clothes is not my forte.  They are not at all flattering to my body type.  They are uncomfortable.  To make things worse, my office is so cold that I can't even wears skirts and dresses.  During a last minute trip to Memphis a few weekends back I lucked up on a whole new outfit at 60% off the sale price.
ann taylor colorblock shoulder button top
ann taylor signature all-season stretch trousers
Shopping in anywhere USA is way less stressful than in the city.  Sometimes I forget the days when I enjoyed shopping on a biweekly basis.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Bahamas: Come On Pretty Mama

Our summer trip was a cruise to the Bahamas with C's side of the family.  When I say that I married into the best family in the world, I am not bragging.  It's just a fact.  I love having nieces and nephews.  The hugs and smiles melt my heart.  I was way more nervous to go on this cruise than I ever have been to get on a plane.  After reading about Tina Fey's honeymoon experience in Bossypants, I was skeptical.  I found the part at the beginning where we found out where the life rafts were to be fairly ominous.  An hour later all my worries were forgotten as I indulged in all you can eat cruise life.  I even ordered room service at one point.  My peanut butter & jelly sandwich was delivered to my room on a platter with chips and cookies to boot.  I imagined myself reading a lot by the pool and getting a massage in the spa, but with all the stops and eating and family togetherness I never had any downtime.   

We had stops in Freeport and Nassau.  Freeport was pretty boring just like everyone warned us, but I enjoyed getting to know a little about the tax free country.  We saw the homes of Sammy Davis Jr., John Travolta, Count Basie, and possibly Oprah.  The next day in Nassau was tons of fun when we went to the Atlantis Resort.  We got to swim, go down a slide, and best of all, swim with the dolphins.
petting alpha-male Hercules
After our kiss, Hercules was kind enough to push me along on my boogie board.

After that we swam around with Hercules and another dolphin.  They did lots of jumps for us at the end.  If I ever go back to the Bahamas I would head straight for Atlantis.  Cruises make for a great family trip IMHO.  If you're just looking to have fun with people you love and not necessarily try to explore a country in depth, it's perfect.