- Practice pirouettes in the living room in my socks, especially on the left, because my left pirouettes are atrocious.
- Pour myself a glass of wine, which I drink in between pirouettes.
- Take a shower, frantically sticking my head out from behind the curtain every two minutes to listen for the buzzer.
- Eat a handful of Reese’s Pieces.
- Become wayyyyyy too involved in 5-10 minutes of a Say Yes to the Dress marathon.
- Immediately pin 5 different wedding dresses to my secret wedding board on Pinterest (which I will forever deny having if you ever ask me because how dare you suggest I am THAT Girl™).
- Obsessively look out the window for the delivery man during a commercial break.
- Swiffer living room and kitchen floors.
- Track my order on Seamless. – “Still cooking.” Damn.
- Pour another glass of wine.
- Eat a handful of kettle cooked potato chips.
- Flip to one of the fifty bajillion showings of Shawshank Redemption and ask why Morgan Freeman doesn’t also have fifty bajillion Oscars instead of just one.
- Obsessively look out the window again like a nervous heroine in a late 70s/early 80s horror movie.
- Attempt another left en dehor pirouette. Not on fleek.
- Hate myself for five seconds for using the term “on fleek.”
- Eat a spoonful of 1% cottage cheese.
- Switch over to Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire just as Movie Dumbledore slams Harry against a wall like a WWE wrestler and yells in his face, “HARRYDIDYAPUTYOURNAMEINTOTHEGOBLETOFFIRRRRE?!?!?!”
- “He asked CALMLY,” I say pointedly to the TV, rolling my eyes.
- Track my order on Seamless. – “Out for delivery.” YAAAAS QUEEN!
- Favorite and retweet @lin_manuel about 6 times
- Donate $16 to Hillary’s campaign
- Obsessively look out the window again. Is that a clown?
- Do a Duolingo French lesson on food. J’ai faim. Je voudrais un sandwich.
- “Like” two different girlfriends’ engagement announcements on Facebook. Ugh. Je voudrais un boyfriend.
- Laugh at Snapchat video sent by my friend Kevin
- Attempt a Snapchat recorded pirouette video to send back to Kevin. #fail
- Eat another handful of Reese’s Pieces.
- Make mental note to rewatch E.T. the Extraterrestrial soon.
- Make another mental note to phone home.
- Instagram my third glass of wine with the Valencia filter and a caption pretentiously quoting a Transcendentalist author. #basic
- Get nervous/excited when the buzzer rings like I’m going on a first date…except if I were, I wouldn’t have ordered Seamless
- Mentally play the Super Mario End of Level Theme Music in my head as I receive my bag of food from the delivery guy.
I realize I have been gone for a while. Turns out I have something called “friends,” which are people who share common interests and ask you to do things and spend time with them. Who knew?! I have had many, many ideas for posts and started writing many times only to abandon ship at the last minute because I let myself convince myself that they were all crap (which totally isn’t true). It isn’t that I haven’t thought of this blog but rather I’ve been thinking so much I’ve blocked myself from actually writing anything! I mean, I’m writing all the time, but none of it has ended up here. Oops. That changes NOW.
SO my dearest gal pal, Gretchen, has been on the waiting list for the New York City Diner en blanc for two years (!). For those who don’t know, this exclusive, secret white dinner party started in France back in 1988 with just a few friends meeting for dinner in a park who decided to wear all white so they could identify each other. Fast forward 27 years, and it has become an event, darlings, that is held worldwide. New York City has only been holding theirs since 2011 (where just 1,200 people attended), but it has quickly become one of those super-exclusive, trendy NYC events people like my friend Gretchen are on years-long waiting lists for. This year alone, 35,000 people were on the waiting list!
So last night, Gretchen and I met our team leader at Tribeca Park at 5:30 pm to find out where we were going (did I mention no one knows the location until literally the last possible minute?).
Finally, we grabbed our table/chairs and picnic baskets and began the trek with a record-breaking 5,000 other chic-ly dressed DeB participants over to…PIER 26! Now, I realize this sounds SUPER bougie (and you’d be right) and maybe WASP-y (coming from the very definition of White Anglo-Saxon Protestant-but-who-actually-doesn’t-have-a-country-club-membership), but there were people from literally all walks of life dressed in their finest white accouterments, and it was quite the sight to see this mass exodus of people in white walking towards the Hudson like it was the Promised Land of Milk & Honey.
We arrived at Pier 26, set up our table next to a very lovely mother/daughter pair from the Upper East Side named Linda & Meryl respectively (and no, not THAT Meryl…though she always looks lovely in white as did THIS Meryl). They really went for the beautiful table setting portion of the evening and were great company to dine alongside.
Obviously, there are lots of Fancy Rules with a capital F about dress, decor, demeanor, etc. Like how you can’t sit down until the “waving of the napkins,” which feels more like a moment from an Olympic Opening Ceremony or weird cult-y Scientology thing, because 5000 people are doing it all at once all while wearing white and maybe we’re about to sacrifice a bunch of virgins or something.
But mainly, this event is about style, flash mob-ery (which is a term I just made up; go with it), and dining outdoors (even when it’s 91 sweltering degrees) so you can be photographed for society blogs/magazines, the NY Times, etc. It is a See And Be Seen Event, darlings. It made me feel very akin to going to Truman Capote’s infamous black and white ball in 1966.
Also, Gretchen and I learned very quickly that any cute, stylish man was either there with a girlfriend/wife or boyfriend/husband, so no chance of any meet-cutes. Quel dommage.
All in all, we had a great time and were glad to add the Diner en blanc to our rotation of fun, fabulous #BlondeAmbitionTour events for the year (Up next? Probably the Grease-themed rollerdisco party in Brooklyn).
Merci, Diner en blanc! Vous étiez merveilleux!
As I mentioned in my last post, I really love traditions during the holidays; the older the better! My last name is Potter; so obviously, a good portion of my ancestry is English (though sadly, there is no known record of any ACTUAL witches or wizards in my family despite one of my relatives being accused of witchcraft during the Salem Witch Trials).
Now, as you know, England is one of the oldest countries in the world, and many of our American traditions can be traced back to our friends “over the pond.” Many of THEIR traditions stem from pagan rituals or Roman culture. And of course, lots of blood was shed and whatnot over the centuries, but that’s all rather unpleasant so let’s just skip that, yes? So moving on…one of my favorite Christmas traditions in the Potter household is wassail. I don’t expect everyone to know what wassail is (despite it being totally awesome and something everyone SHOULD know about). Perhaps you’ve heard the Christmas carol, “Here We Come A-Wassailing” and wondered, “what are they talking about in this song? Is that some weird Victorian slang for doing drugs or something?”
No, children, it is not, even though I could see the confusion with lyrics like “here we come a-wassailing among the leaves so green, here we come a-wand’ring so fair to be seen.” Sounds like a Victorian head trip, but I assure you, wassail causes no chemical/psychological changes to your brain, though it may produce some euphoria (if you make it right). So what IS wassail, you ask? A remarkably wonderful, hot beverage!
Wassail, or vas heil in Old Norse and wæs hæil in Anglo-Saxon, means “good health” or “be you healthy.” The word originally appeared as a salute in the epic 8th century poem, Beowulf (remember reading THAT in high school English class? Woof.). An old legend, which is described in 1135 by Geoffrey of Monmouth in his book, History of the Kings of Britain, tells the story of a maiden name Renwein who brought King Vortigern a goblet of wine at a royal banquet and toasted him saying, “Lavert King, was heil!” Not only was this a toast, but a reference to the drink she had prepared for him. Wassail was a spiced wine, a descendant of the Roman drink hypocras, and prepared using imported, expensive spices like cinnamon, allspice, ginger, and cloves. Sometime later, the wine was replaced by fine ales, which made the drink more accessible to the lower classes in England. As a result, the recipe for wassail varies from family to family.
Wassailing is also an ancient ceremony performed in the cider-producing counties of England. It involved singing and drinking to the health of the trees to scare away evil spirits and ensure a good harvest (sounds like something out of Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings). Eventually this practice and that of Renwein’s merged into the practice of wassailing we’re more familiar with today. Wassailing became very popular in the 1600s where people would travel door-to-door with large, decorated bowls of the drink, offering “good cheer” and sometimes expecting payment. It was temporarily banned by Parliament for a time during Puritan years (when they also banned the celebration of Christmas; HAVE YOU NO JOY, PURITANS?!), but then resurged in popularity (along with the “new” drink egg nog) in the Victorian era thanks to writers like Charles Dickens and Washington Irving. Now wassailing is a traditional part of an old English Christmas!
My mother and I use a family recipe to make wassail every year for Christmas. It’s a drink that warms you from your head to your toes. Ours is non-alcoholic, but you can find many a recipe online for alcoholic versions if you’re so “spirits”-ually inclined (most use some form of either wine, bourbon, or ale). We serve ours from a giant bowl, much like how it was served over 600 years ago (though in those days, they also put bread or “sops” on top…not to be confused with Beyonce putting your love on top.).
POTTER FAMILY WASSAIL RECIPE – Courtesy of the kitchen of Kathy Potter
- 1 qt. apple juice
- 1 qt. cranapple or cranberry juice
- 1 qt. orange juice
- 1/4 c. lemon juice
- 1 c. sugar
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- 12 whole cloves
Place allspice, cloves, and cinnamon sticks inside a small sack of cheesecloth, tying it off at the top. Place all ingredients, including the cheesecloth sack of spices inside a large pot and bring to boil on the stove. Remove cheesecloth and strain before serving.
Today, I officially became a show business cliché: the actor who waits tables to supplement their income (or lack thereof). Not only was it my first day working at the winery, but it was also my very first day ever as a waitress. I’m not sure how I’ve avoided restaurant work until this point in my life, but I figured there was no better time to start my adventures in waitressing than this summer (especially because I’ll probably have an easier time finding a waitressing job in NYC than anything else).
My shift officially began at 4 pm, and the first hour was taken up by paperwork, a tour of the restaurant, and some basic training. The other four hours were occupied by actually waiting on tables, folding silverware with napkins, pouring wine, busing tables, and re-stocking things. Kyle, the shift manager, is actually really funny and extremely patient/nice, so we clicked right away (I actually spent a good portion of this evening trying to figure out whether or not he’s gay…I need more information). He and I are around the same age, I think. I already feel like I’ve found a new friend and ally when things get crazy around the restaurant. The other two girls who were working were also patient and friendly, answering my gazillion questions about how things worked and where things were. I already think I have a decent feel for the basics of how things work in a restaurant and at THIS particular restaurant, so I think in another shift or two, I’ll feel much more comfortable, confident, and competent in my server abilities.
By the end of my five-hour shift, my feet and legs were tired, and even now as I type this, I’m having trouble staying awake. Being a waiter is a lot harder than it actually looks, and in just one day, I already have a newfound respect for people who wait tables, and especially the ones who are really good at it. I don’t think this job will necessarily be a walk in the park this summer; it’s a lot of thankless hours full of running around and smelling like a mixture of wine grapes and artichoke dip, but the money will be good, and I’ll have a nice amount of it at the end of the summer to use for moving to NYC.
Things I learned today during my first waitressing shift ever:
- I am horrible at opening corked wine bottles. (I broke at least one cork tonight. Sorry?)
- Some wineries use Franzia…at least for sangria slushies.
- Some customers don’t understand that when it’s busy, it takes longer for food orders to arrive at their tables.
- I need more practice with using the cash register.
- Ditto the corkscrew for uncorking bottles of wine.
Needless to say, I have A LOT to learn, but I have a whole summer to get things right. It was actually kind of fun…a little stressful, but mostly kind of fun. I work again on Saturday from 12-8 pm. Oof. An 8 hour day of being on my feet, but that’s nothing compared to dancing in LaDuca’s all day!
I graduated from college on Saturday, and I have entered what I’m officially calling the “post-collegiate mourning period.” This period is a time of spiritual, emotional, psychological, and physical detoxification from everything you’ve experienced in your four years as an undergrad. It means simultaneously embracing and letting go of all the people, places, and things that have come to define your existence. Life changes in a matter of a graduation ceremony. The night before, I was with my friends laughing and crying into the wee hours of the morning like there was no tomorrow. Unfortunately, we can’t stop tomorrow from coming, and so the next day, we had to say our goodbyes (at least for now…the acting world is too small to not see each other again relatively sooner than most people who graduate with “normal degrees.”). I’ve now had a few days to start processing just how different my life is going to be, and it’s a strange thing. No one can prepare you to handle not seeing your friends, the people who have become your family, everyday anymore or knowing that you no longer will be returning in August to see everyone else you left behind.
When did it become harder to say goodbye to your friends than your family? (Such a Carrie Bradshaw-ish question, huh? haha.)
So on day 1 of my 365 days of post-graduate actor blogging, what have I done or discovered? For one thing, today is my half-birthday, meaning six months from today (November 11), I will be 23 years old. That, in itself, is a weird thought. No more celebrating birthdays at school. This birthday, I’ll be (fingers crossed and fuller bank account-pending) in New York City. Exciting. I’m such a romantic about New York, dreaming about what it will be like to be there with my closest friends, just living life and being part of the hustle of it all. I’m most excited about being there around the holidays when, like most of the world, it becomes a truly magical place.
Of course, to even MOVE to New York by my birthday, I have to save A LOT of money, so my first goal of the summer is to find summer employment. After applying to 3 Starbucks, a performing arts camp job in Jefferson City, and auditioning for several summer acting jobs all to no avail, I managed to get an interview at a nearby winery, Summit Lake Winery, today. I’ve visited the winery many times with my parents and figured it would be a nice place to work because it sits high on a bluff overlooking the state capitol in Jefferson City. It’s actually quite picturesque. The interview went extremely well, and despite not having any previous server experience, I was hired! ….Well, sort of. They’ll be calling me in to come in for a 4-5 hour trial training shift sometime next week to basically “audition” me to be a permanent server there for the summer. Basically, I think they want to see if I can pick things up quickly and will be friendly. Um, that’s two things I’m really good at, but I’m also REALLY good at knowing wine, drinking it, buying it, and hopefully that will translate into selling it. Actors naturally relate well to others, a fact I brought up in my interview, so I’m hoping to make a good impression on customers and the owners when I go in next week. So instead of whining about being home for a summer instead of out in the world trying to be an actor immediately, I’m now WINE-ing at home (bad pun, I know). The thing I have to remember is that everyone is on their own path; no one’s path is better than another, just different. I’m on a different path than my friends, and while that’s hard because our paths were converged for so long, I know that we have to diverge for a while in order to converge again.
“Simplify, simplify.” — Henry David Thoreau
The other thing no one prepares you for is how much shit you accumulate in your life. I got home on Saturday night and looked around my room and thought, “My GOD I have too much shit.” So I think the biggest lesson I’m learning from graduating is to simplify, simplify, simplify. I don’t need all of this to live my life. My room, like my emotions, needs detox.
- Simplify your life.
- You are on your own path to your own destination.
- You cannot stop tomorrow from coming, so enjoy today.
- There is no such thing as a goodbye in this profession, only “see you later” because eventually, you WILL meet those people again.
“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.” — Robert Frost
As any of my friends and family will tell you, I am obsessed with anything pumpkin (seriously…from “It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown” to pumpkin pie to pumpkin spiced lattes at Starbucks). My birthday is during the fall (November…it’s coming right up!), so naturally, I love this season and especially the food associated with it.
I just spent the weekend at home for Fall Break from my university, and while I was there, my mother whipped up a scrumptious pumpkin dip for the family to enjoy. It takes no time at all to make, and it’s a great alternative to pumpkin pie if you’re not quite ready to make that favorite holiday dessert.
2 (8 oz.) pkgs. cream cheese
1 can (30 oz.) pumpkin pie filling
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ginger
Combine sugar and softened cream cheese until well blended. Beat in remaining ingredients. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Serve with gingersnap cookies or graham crackers.
I personally prefer the dip with graham crackers since they don’t overpower the taste of the pumpkin dip like the gingersnaps. Feel free to enjoy it while you’re waiting for the Great Pumpkin to appear!