Thursday, September 29, 2005

Hitting Broadway Schenck-Style

After work today Elizabeth and I changed clothes and headed to Times Square to meet up with her parents. We went to a small hole-in-the-wall pizza place that is a favorite of Elizabeth’s (she discovered it while working at Broadway New York) and then we headed over to the Imperial Theater.

Mama Dell and Daddy Schenck wanted to share the stage experience with us…so they’d gotten tickets for all four of us to Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. Mama Dell had scored front row mezzanine seats and they were awesome.

I don’t know what I enjoyed more…the show or listening and seeing her parent’s reaction to the story and lyrics. Half the time I was laughing at them laughing.

It really is a very fun show. It has everything. It is funny. Serious. There’s dancing, mystery, romance.

It was a great night at the theater and so much fun to share it with others.

Elizabeth’s Mom & Dad have spoiled us. Last night they took us to a wonderful dinner and tonight the show. They’ve been exploring the city during the day and spending time with us at night. It’s been a lot of fun. When I met them last night at the restaurant, as Daddy Schenck hugged me and said, “Hey son.”

It was nice to be with “family” again.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Mr Mom & The Big Scared Baby (both me, actually)

It’s another GORGEOUS day in New York City. This morning it felt like sweater weather! It’s been a while since I lived in cold weather…so, I’m starting to psych myself up for it.

Yesterday I got to be Mr. Mom. I couldn’t help but laugh as I rode the bus across town and looked down at my shirt and pants. I had a full day working…which included sending out gifts, talking on the phone regarding the construction site, renting a van and taking stuff to one of two storage spaces in Chelsea – then taking shelving units from the same storage places to the new apartment on the Upper East Side (which is also the aforementioned construction site)…I then ran back to the home office I work out of (on the Upper West Side) and prepared a to-go dinner for my boss’s daughter, Robin.

With dinner in one hand and my bag over the opposite shoulder, I got on the bus heading uptown, walked over two long blocks (those who have been to NYC know what that means…it means I was walking west to east, the “short blocks” run north/south), and picked up Robin from after-school tutoring. The she and I headed to the subway and rode downtown to a private screening of the forthcoming film, Duma. I think that was the first time I sat down all day. After the movie, we sat down to eat some of the dinner I packed before heading back uptown.

I turned over Robin to her Dad and as she settled into the nightly ritual of her bath and reading and I headed home. Riding home I noticed that I had sheetrock dust on my jeans, marinara on my shirt and I reeked of gas fumes from the rented van. All in a day’s work.

The events of the day furthered my admiration for parents everywhere. It requires a lot to balance a family life and a work life...and I just got a small taste of it. It is remarkable what my boss is able to do and accomplish in a day’s time. She’s always on and always on her game. She’s amazing.

Yesterday afternoon Elizabeth’s Mom & Dad have arrived (Mamma Dell & Daddy Schenck), but I still haven’t gotten to see them. I’ve worked two 11 hour days back to back and by the end of the day yesterday all I wanted to do was go home and get in bed.

I did go straight home but I didn’t quite make it to the bed. I decided to watch a movie with dinner. What could be better than a scary movie? I LOVE scary movies. I mean REALLY scary movies. Freddy and Jason horror flicks do nothing for me. But give me a good psychological thriller and I’m there.

I recently found the move SAW on DVD for $9 and I had to add it to my collection. I saw it a year ago when I was on the road for work and it literally terrified me to a point that by the end I was speechless. I remember the lights coming up in the theater and it was a half past midnight. I thought about the 10 blocks I had to walk back to my hotel and found myself raising my voice in the theater and saying, “Ok…somebody in here is walking me back to my hotel.”

I was serious, whether they knew it or not. Many audience members chuckled and I could tell I had lightened the mood of the theater…which was great for them, but I still needed someone to escort me back to the Days Inn.

No one came to my rescue…guess it’s hard to conceive a 6’ 1” man with broad shoulders and football player’s build could be truly scared of a movie. I took the LONG way back to the hotel staying on the main streets and running like child under the long, dark underpass (that was not lit in any way, I’d like to add).

Even though I’d seen the movie before, there were large patches I had forgotten (probably because my face had been buried in my hands the first time around). The movie frightened me all over again. Ah, good times.

The movie is brutal, dark and gory but more than that it is brilliantly creative. The mind and psychology behind it is what truly makes it so scary.

The sequel is coming out soon and I must confess…I can’t wait!

Monday, September 26, 2005

Atlanta...Here I Come...Again

Well…I’m heading back to Atlanta this coming weekend. Twice in one month – I can hardly believe it.

A few days ago I was invited to be flown back to Atlanta to sing. My dear friend and second Dad, Dennis Lewallen, is resigning from his ministry at Avondale First Baptist Church in Avondale Estates. As Dennis moves to another church and a new ministry it will be hard to leave the church that has been his home for most of his life. I’ve been invited to sing the last song he will direct there on Sunday morning and I couldn’t be more honored.

When asked if I would do it…my reply was, “What wouldn’t I do for Dennis?” Dennis was the first director to cast me in the Off-Broadway musical, Smoke on the Mountain. He has been a tireless supporter of me both on and off stage. He’s always believed in me, especially when I didn’t believe in myself. He always encouraged me to sing higher and stronger. God gave me my voice and Dennis helped me find it.

I’m VERY excited to be coming home (again) and I’m looking forward to singing the uplifting song, He’s Never Failed Me Yet. The song’s message of hope and love is exactly the kind of positive feeling he wants to leave with the congregation of the church. I’m absolutely THRILLED to be able to be one of the voices.

It will be a quick trip…but I hope to see some folks while I’m home and collect as many hugs as I can.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

All Shook Up's Final Shake...and White Trash hits the Great White Way

Today was a bitter/sweet kind of day for me.

Today I went to the Closing of All Shook Up. I’ve written about the show on several occasions. It was just a fun, feel-good musical. I think I saw it four or five times. There were folks at the Closing who had seen it upwards of 40+ times. Though panned by critics and snubbed by the TONY’s…it remains a favorite of mine.

The cast was all in great voice and best form. Every principle actor was greeted by warm, thunderous applause. By the end of the show the cast became very emotional. They knew it was ending. Several cast members broke character as their emotions got the best of them and they lost their lines. Other cast mates helped them out and allowed the show to limp on. After the curtain call Cheyenne Jackson addressed the audience and thanked everyone for their love and support of the show.

I remember that feeling. I remember both times I was in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Both experiences were so powerful and life changing. I remember thinking, in the middle of the show, that I just wanted to stay in the show for as long as possible. But…with each song you sing you have no choice but to move toward the finale. I remember during both productions I was in, singing the last couple of songs in the show with a lump in my throat and by the time I bowed I was crying.

I know All Shook Up wasn’t a powerhouse of a show or deep, cathartic piece – but it was fun and positive. And if you ask me…we need some of that right now.

So…this has been a weekend of Closings…which isn’t unusual this time of year. Theater traffic is down and the cost of producing and running a show is incredibly expensive. With every “dark” theater you see you can’t help but wonder what will be there next…

Visit: and
Elizabeth met up with me after All Shook Up and we walked through the annual Broadway Flea Market which benefits Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. There were great auctions going on for walk-on roles in Wicked and Sweet Charity, just to name a few. Different memorabilia tables we manned by the casts of different Broadway shows. It was our first time taking part in the Flea Market and it was really a lot of fun.

As Elizabeth and I browsed around we got to see many rare Broadway items up for sale while we strolled next to Harvey Fierstein who was shopping after his matinee performance in Fiddler on the Roof.


Then we made our way uptown a few blocks to see The Great American Trailer Park Musical (my 3rd and Elizabeth’s 2nd visit to Armadillo Acres). I had just seen it a few nights before (having been given tickets as thank you for volunteering recently at a charity event) but I was still excited about seeing it again with Elizabeth. We gotten really, really, REALLY cheap tickets thanks to a theatre group we’d joined. It’s a great show no matter HOW you slice it but it’s even BETTER when you’re seeing it for a couple of bucks (literally!).

The show has just gotten better and better. The show opens next week and each time that we’ve seen it you’ve can feel and tell that it had gotten stronger and tighter…not to mention funnier. We LOVE it…it will be interesting to see what the critics have to say when it opens officially.


Saturday, September 24, 2005

Shaken & Stirred And the NYPD

Today was an absolutely GORGEOUS day. This is the kind of day that makes puts that extra pep in your step. As I walked through the theater district it felt good to just be in New York City!

The day started off a little rough with Elizabeth going head to head with a homeless, drugged out woman who had her eye on Elizabeth’s dry-cleaning. The whole experience left Elizabeth a little shaken and stirred but she still has her cashmere sweaters.

The positive aspect of the whole situation is that within minutes a handful of neighbors came to her rescue. One guy who lives on the first floor even took a picture of the woman with his camera phone and then chased her down the street an performed a Citizen’s Arrest (something he said he had learned about when he came to this country.).

As she and I waited for the police to come and fill out a report, one of the men who had helped her explained why he had run to her so quickly. He said,
“If you do something to one of us, you do it to all of us. This is our neighborhood. We take care of each other.”

That is probably one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever heard. It reminds me of the story and spirit of my friend Carmen Agra Deedy’s book, The Yellow Star: The Legend of King Christian the X of Denmark. If you haven’t read it...or don’t know the legend…go get a copy TODAY. It is a book that deserves to be in your life. To be savored and given to others.

The police were there within three minutes and were so understanding and helpful. They took us to the police station to make a report, which took a little while, but everything was handled with great care and concern.

Elizabeth went on to work and then met up with me for the Closing of the new musical Lennon. The show had an incredibly short life on Broadway. I think it’s combination of both musical and concert aspects confused some but it deserved a better run and better reviews than it received.

This is the second time I’ve seen the show and both times I kept thinking that John Lennon’s voice is a voice that is so desperately needed today.

Lennon’s widow, Yoko Ono, was in attendance at the Closing. She was greeted with a standing ovation as she took her seat and then more applause at intermission. At the end of the show the show’s creator brought her on stage for the encore of Give Me a Chance.

Elizabeth and I also spotted two time Tony awards winner Donna Murphy. She is absolutely one of the most striking women on Broadway. So classy and eloquent…she carries herself with such beauty. I’ve yet to get to see her in a show but I feel in love with her work when I saw her on Tony Awards broadcast with the musical Passion (for which she won her first Tony award.). As many people know, Passion remains one of my favorite shows and I will forever be grateful for the opportunity to be in the Southeastern premiere at the 14th Street Playhouse in Atlanta.

After the show I met up with a new friend Valerie and her group of girlfriends. My friend Carolyn Smith back in Atlanta has been telling me for months that her friend Valerie was coming to New York and that we had to meet.

So…we did.

We all became fast friends and had a beautiful dinner tucked away on 9th Avenue. We literally said down at the table not knowing each other but within minutes we were exchanges stories, talking about their vacation, our lives in New York, etc. It was a lot fun

Friday, September 16, 2005

The Color Purple

For years my favorite book has been Alice Walker's Pulitzer Prize winning novel, The Color Purple.

The book and the film based on it changed my life. It is one of the first times I remember a book physically striking a chord within my heart. I connected to the journey of Celie and Shug and all of the wonderful lives Ms. Walker introduced me to on the page.

I remember everything about seeing the movie. I watched it with my mom. We set on opposite ends of the was navy blue and I can remember the feeling of the small raised pattern beneath my fingers. As the film moved toward the end, I remember my mom walking into the bathroom and returning seconds later with a box of Kleenex that were positioned between us.

The movie ended, my mom and I were both emotionally overaught. We both, in our own ways, were processing what we had experienced. I don't remember what happened that evening but I know she and I never talked about the film or its impact on us.

Last Fall a musical based on the film and book debuted in Atlanta on its way to Broadway. I saw the show 5 times in Atlanta. Every performance was an emotional, spiritual experience. Even with the flaws here and there in the translation to stage - I was completely taken in by the music and the performances...especially the spellbinding, powerhouse performance of LaChanze who played the title role of "Celie."

The show is full-steam ahead for Broadway. It begins Previews November 1st and will officially Open on December 1st. Last week, like a gift to the craziness of my life - between a new job and flying back in forth between Atlanta and New York, the producers of The Color Purple: The Musical released two of the songs from the show.

One is a comic, jook joint song and the other is the incredible title song of the show. As I played it on my computer, tears filled my eyes. The lyrics and melody are truly gift to Alice Walker's story. The spirit that song envokes encompasses the truth of book.

The song is the show's finale (at least it was during the trial run in Atlanta, it may have a different placement now). Throughout the course of the book and the musical Celie writes letters to God. Her letters form the novel that is The Color Purple. As she moves from childhood into adulthood and then into old age, her letters evolve.

She sees and feels God's love the people she life!
Her friend and great love, Shug, is the first one to introduce her to the idea that God surrounds everyone and is trying so hard to show us love. Shug explains that God tries through things we take for granted...her honest, real, and blunt explanation is one of the most recongnized quotes in literature and the sentence from which the title of the book comes from.

"I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don't notice it."

I just had to share the lyrics of this song with you. Celie sings this as her life and journey are completed and she understands her connection to everyone and everything.

You can visit and listen to the song on your computer.

Dear God
Dear star
Dear trees
Dear sky
Dear people
Dear everything
Dear God

God is inside me
And everyone else
That was or every will be
I came into this world God
And when I finally looked inside
I found it

Just as close as my breath is to me

Rising (rising, rising)
Like a dove
Love has opened my wings
Your heart beat
Make my heart beat
When we share love

Like a blade of corn
Like a honey bee
Like a waterfall
All a part of me
Like the color purple
Where do it come from?
Now my eyes are opened
Look what God has done

God is flowers
And everything else
That was or ever will be
And when you feel the truth so real
And when you love the way you feel
You found it
Just as sure as moonlight blessed the night

Rising (rising, rising)
Like the sun
Is the hope that sets me free
My whole world
Begin to shine
When share love

It take a grain of love
To make a mighty tree
Even the smallest voice
Can make a harmony
Like a drop water
Keep that river high
There are miracles for you and I

Like a blade of corn
Like a honey bee
Like a waterfall
All a part of me
Like the color purple
Where do it come from? Now my eyes are opened
Look what God has done

I don't think us feel old at all
I think this is the youngest us ever felt


Sunday, September 11, 2005

Heading NYC.

This morning I met up with Chris and Ken for breakfast at the fine dining establishment…Waffle House. The one on Cheshire Bridge has always been there for us since the beginning of our friendship. Over hashbrowns (scattered & covered) we’ve talked through the ups and downs of relationships, jobs and friendships. We’ve slung up in one of their booths at all hours of the day and night. We all pretty much order the same thing (“The All-Star Special”)…Ken with his coffee, Chris with his sweet tea and me with my chocolate milk.

A meal shared at Waffle House will almost always be filled with loud laughter. Today was no exception. Our booth was situated next to the cash register and telephone. The place was jumping…every table was full, the counter was packed and new arrivals were waiting for just the hint of someone paying the bill.

Add into all this…an influx of people calling in To-Go orders. In all the times we’ve eaten there, the phone has never rung like it did today.

After the fifth phone call in a 10 minute time span, I took matters…and the phone…into my own hands. When the phone rang for the sixth time, I reached over and answered it. Much to the surprise of the our waitress and much to the embarrassment of Chris.

It was good having some more time with them, since most of yesterday was spent at the car dealership. After we finished eating we made a quick trip over to Tower Records – a shared weakness between Chris and me.

We said our goodbyes in the parking lot. I held it together beautifully.

Then I headed back over to Kevin & Brian’s and got to spend time with both of them. With the previous day’s tour of the house complete we all three could crash in the living room and catch up.

After a good visit, I headed back to Greg & Tom’s to spend some time with them, collect my stuff and head to the airport.

The flight from Charlotte to New York were crowded but I made it on (I flew home on a Buddy Pass from my friend Terry). On these legs of my trip I read more of the wonderful book, Inkheart and watched A Walk to Remember. My friend Malcom had told me about the movie – it is a favorite of his – and we always talked about watching it, but never did. I popped the DVD in and waited to see why it was a favorite of his and so many others.

As I watched it from my 31B seat on US Airways, I found myself trying to cry quietly between my two neighbors. That wasn’t easy.

I really liked it. A completely charming movie. It is a delightful story that’s tender and rich. It was a nice change from Mommy Dearest.

As we approached Manhattan the pilot informed us that from the plane you could see the memorial of two beams of light being sent into the sky from Ground Zero of the World Trade Centers. The lights helped mark the anniversary of the horrific attacks on the U.S. just four years ago. Even after I landed and got back to my apartment on the opposite end of the island, the memorial was still visible. Even as a “new” New Yorker I still feel connected to the sorrow and loss of the city.

I’m lying here in my apartment in Manhattan. It is charming. It is cozy. It is small. It isn’t Atlanta…but it is home.

Making the rounds with NO WIRE HANGERS

The flight down last night was pretty much uneventful. I passed the time…both on the plane and during the layover in D.C. by watching the movie Mommy Dearest on my computer. I had never seen it. It was hilariously tragic to me. Pure camp.

It was awkward coming home and having to rent a car. I hadn’t driven a car in almost 5 months. I haven’t really missed my car. In NYC you just don’t need one. Elizabeth and I live a block and half from the subway. Between the subways and buses (and cabs if you need one) – you can get everywhere you need to be.

I got in and stayed up late last night catching up with Tom & Greg. I hadn’t seen either of them since Greg helped move me up to NYC. They have the cutest (door-free) home in East Point and two of the most loving dogs. I was welcomed right in to the brood.

I was up early this morning and out the door. My first stop was getting my hands on a Chick-fil-a biscuit. Can’t find those in NYC! It’s amazing what you miss.

All day my mind and body have housed a multitude of mixed feelings.

I ran by my old office…no one was there, it is Saturday after all. I slipped a note into the door.

I ran by my old bookstore and was so happy to see my dear friend Cledra was working. I was hoping to see her and there she was. We spent a while catching up. She is one of my soul connections in this life. We are so different, yet so similiar. There's 20 years between us but or bond couldn't be stronger if we were biologically family. She's just a wonderful human being. She's strong, smart and wrapped up in truthful honesty. I love her dearly.

I left the bookstore and ran by to see my friends Kevin & Brian. They have a wonderful new home in Chamblee that I hadn’t seen yet. Brian was out, but Kevin gave me the full tour. They moved in a month or so ago and the home just suits them perfectly. The colors, the openness, the style…it’s a great match, just like Kevin & Brian are to each other.

It’s interesting that two of my favorite couples have nice, fun homes. I’m envious of their space (and their couple-hood). One day…

While at Kevin & Brian’s Laura called…she just got my note at the office. I got the message as I was pulling out of their place and heading over to my old apartment – I had missed her by an hour or so at the office. So close...

Pulling into my apartment…again, many mixed emotions. I hadn’t passed through the gates of the complex since I drove the moving van out.

It was (for me, Jason the big baby) a tearful reunion my Chris and my old roommate Ken – both two of my dearest friends. The apartment looks beautiful and I couldn’t help but mentally and conversationally compare what I had there to what I have in NYC. The apartment in Atlanta seems even bigger than it really is.

Comparisons are never good.

Chris, Ken and I hit Moe’s Mexican grill – a favorite spot of mine – and then headed to the car dealership and started the whole process of selling my car back to them.

I had two solid minutes just before I signed the papers where I honestly reconsidered. My car was really my last tie (physically) to Atlanta. Selling the car would make it even more “real” that I have a new home.

I honestly thought it through…all over again…as if I hadn’t moved. Then I thought about NYC and what I have there. What I will have…what I want and dream of having…

I sold it.

I drove back to Greg & Tom’s and showered and changed and then headed back out…this time to Avondale Estates.

The timing of my trip could not have been better. My friend Katy sent me a message earlier in the day that she had an extra ticket to a cabaret, September Song, that was showcasing a lot of the people I know and loved and had hoped to see while I was home.

Many birds, one stone.

I went to the show with Katy and it was great seeing (and hearing!) everyone. I stayed around to talk to everyone. It was wonderful sitting with Katy and catching up with her in bits and pieces (as well as meeting her boyfriend). Katy was my Sunday Night Movie Buddy. She'd come over in her PJ's and we'd order pizza and watch a movie. Both of us miss those Sunday nights.

In the show my friend Malcom Ellers sang, Close Every Door. Afterwards his first words to me were, “Did I do your song justice?” I could only laugh and say, “It isn’t my song.” He did a great job and it was cute of him to think I had some ownership over the song – guess it comes from having sung it so many freaking times. It is a beautiful song and one that I love singing.

They were all heading to the James Joyce Pub around the corner for drinks and dinner and invited me to join them but I had a couple more people to see and another stop to make before heading back to Greg & Tom’s.

It’s late…VERY late…I need to head to bed.
Tomorrow will be another FULL day

Friday, September 09, 2005

Heading Home...

I’m heading back to Atlanta to sell my car. I’m at the LaGuardia airport and we’ll be boarding shortly.

I’m excited about going home…but I can tell, in the pit of my stomach, that I’m just not ready. My life seems to still be in such flux here. I didn’t want to go back to Atlanta until I had at least 6 months under my belt. But circumstances aren’t allowing that.

I am VERY excited about selling my car. I’m taking a BIG loss but not as much as if I held on to it. It is too difficult to pay rent in NYC and make a car and insurance payment on a car in Atlanta that I’m not even there to drive.

I haven’t told many people that I’m coming back. It will be such a quick trip and I don’t know how much time I’ll have to see everybody. I will just surprise people as the days allow.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Mono and the Missing Month of August

Here I am…

I feel like I’ve been so out of touch. I love the journaling…I love writing about life here in NYC …so, it has been very difficult not to be writing and updating everyone (as well as chronicling my life here.).

There is a huge gap for the last part of July and the entire month of August. I don’t have to make up an excuse or anything. It can all be explained with one word: Mononucleosis. I’ve known several people who’ve had Mono, but I had no first hand experience of what it’s like until recently. I feel like I completely lost a month. I was just not myself. I was constantly tired and wiped out from doing nothing but getting out of bed.

There isn’t a lot that can be done for Mono. You pretty much have to rest and let it run its course. So…that’s what I did. It completely sucked the life and energy right out of me. I like to think of myself as a person who’s pretty much up-beat and always doing something. Well, Mono shut me down completely. I would wake up at 8am and sent out resumes, headshots, etc. and by 11am I had this overwhelming need to take a nap. So, I’d lie down and wouldn’t wake up until the middle of the afternoon. I would shower and dress and then head to the GAP to work from around 4pm to 10pm. I would walk out from the building each night, hurting with each step, and look at the cabs thinking, “Tonight I will just pay and get a car to take me home instead of fighting the subway.” But then the thought of spending the extra money would change my mind.

There are many ways to contract mono - something that didn’t help me was unbalanced diet. Like I said above…I love journaling, but I do find that I edit myself from time to time. There have been many glorious, exciting, wonderful weeks here in New York, but there have also been some dark, trying weeks. There was a week when I had $24.71 to my name. There have been several weeks when I was eating just one meal a day. I didn’t write about that. I never thought about writing about it. I would never want it to be misconstrued as whining or complaining. This great adventure is what I wanted and chose. Sacrifices are pretty much par for the course.

Though I wasn’t feeling well – those were also a couple of weeks of great faith. My insurance has remained since leaving Atlanta (thanks to Margaret and Peachtree!) but I was having a difficult time finding a Doctor here in Manhattan who accepted it. I was getting desperate and knew that I had to get help…with or without coverage. I wasn’t sure how I was going to pay for any kind of Doctor’s visit or prescriptions, but I had to do something.

The day I made up my mind to go to the Doctor (know matter WHAT it costs me) was the day I went to my mailbox and found a note from a dear couple in Rome, Georgia. It was brief and sweet. They were wanting me to know that they were thinking about me and praying for me. They had also enclosed a check to help me out with whatever needs I might have. I just started crying in the hallway of my building. With that money I was able to pay my co-pay and get the medications I needed.

That note was a reminder to that we are God to each other. We are God’s hands and feet…God’s heart. That is something now that I make a point to remember each day. Who am I being God for? Am I being God to someone? SHOULD I be God to someone?

In other news…

The new website is up…I LOVE it. Meg did such a wonderful job. So many people are reading through the song lyrics and getting in touch. I’m also hearing a lot about the photo galleries…the baby pictures…family pictures…and pictures of me WITH hair!

I’m excited to be settling into a (ANOTHER!) new job. I’m now working as the house manager for Congressional lobbyist, Liz Robbins. Liz is energetic woman who started the first woman-run lobbying firm in D.C. 29 years ago. She lobbies on behalf of many different causes (like publishing, education, artists’ rights, cities, etc.) and splits time between her Upper West Side apartment here in New York (and home out in East Hampton) and D.C. where she has an office. Half the week she’s here in NYC and the other half (when Congress is in session), she’s in D.C. She’s married to former New Yorker TV anchor, Doug Johnson and they have a fun ten year old daughter, Robin (I was quickly brought up to speed on the boy at school she has a crush on. He’s a vegetarian – so, of course, there has been a menu changes for Robin as she discovers her inner vegetarian.).

I really value this job on many levels because, in a position like this, I’m being entrusted with someone’s dearest possessions: their home and family. I oversee her home life and the needs here. I’ll manage her personal calendar and how it fits in with her professional calendar, schedule the maid, coordinate details for the family’s upcoming move to a new apartment on the Upper East Side, organize her gifts and donations (a much BIGGER job that it sounds when you think about the people and contacts she maintains), etc. I will also be working with her daughter after school on homework, different school projects, etc. The job is filled with challenges but and I’m enjoying tackling them thirty at a time.

Because of the demands and needs of managing Liz’s home, I’ve been able to give notice at the GAP and will soon, have just one job. That will be a first for me. I’ve always had several jobs going and juggled shows in between. That was always my life…I like of simple days ahead.

Speaking of shows…I hope to have something to share on that end as well! Not a Broadway show or anything like that…but…well…I don’t want to jinx anything. I’ll have to wait until more details are nailed down.

I’m flying back to Atlanta this coming weekend to take care of selling my car. Unfortunately, Shiloh (the name of my car – it means “House of Peace”), didn’t find an owner and I’m taking a real financial hit – but in the long run it will work out a little better. I love my little car he was one of the reasons my finances here got so tight. When planning out my move to NYC I didn’t anticipate still making a car and insurance payment 4 months after being here. With the cost of living here…Shiloh just isn’t in the budget.

One of my best friends (and former Atlanta roommate), Ken has been babysitting the car for me and showing it to prospective buyers. He got an appraisal from the dealership I purchased it at and I will be flying back to make the final arrangements. It will be a quick trip home and I hate that I won’t be able to make the rounds and see everyone. I hope to make another trip back to Atlanta some time soon when I will have more time.

This scratches the surface of the last month or so…

In the days ahead I may look back and throw in some other things here at there that have happened, but mainly it was a month of me trying to rest and get better.

Now that I am feeling better, I’ll be writing more. It is such an exciting city to be living in…and I enjoy sharing it.