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the new theater

Our beloved comedy theater, the PIT, where I perform and teach, has moved to a beautiful, huge new space across town.

The old theater was a fantastic space and so much great stuff happened within those walls for me personally and for Harvard Sailing Team. But the new space just raises the stakes. To quote my friend and the artistic director of the PIT, Jeff, the new theater is a “game changer.” For sure.

HST has done two shows there since the space opened (we perform every Friday at 9:30) and they have been two of the most exhilarating, challenging and rewarding shows we’ve done in a while. There’s nothing in the world like the feeling of doing a good comedy show that makes a room full of people laugh hard. It’s a drug.

My improv team The Baldwins also does a show once a week on Saturday nights and those are a blast too. We perform with another critically acclaimed group called Big Black Car. Kev and I are about to head out the door to that show right now! (And then we’ll get some sushi for dinner…and I’m not saying I’m going to drag him shoe shopping too, but I’m not not saying it either.)

The point is, I’m so lucky – we all are – to get to perform in this awesome new theater, which lends some serious respect to the crafts we’re practicing up there. I’m a lucky duckling and this is a period in my life I will probably always remember fondly.

Also, if I may continue to brag about my comedy group, HST won a big-deal award earlier this week which really caught us off guard. It’s called the Nightlife award. The ceremony is in a couple weeks at a renowned venue called Town Hall and we get to perform in the ceremony in front of hundreds of people, many of whom are probably going to be stars, producers and directors, and many of whom we have all idolized for years. So excited! (You can read more about the Nightlife award, past winners and how we’re big theater dorks on the HST blog.)

’tis the season

I love this time of year. I went shopping today and even though it was a madhouse, I had a great time.

I bought new pillows. And some fun holiday decorations. Whee!

Work is FINE. I have loved having time off this long weekend – it’s been just what the doctor ordered. But all in all I don’t really mind going to work every day. I feel like I’m at a good place in my career and in my life and I’m enjoying the moments.

This month will be packed and I’m looking forward to all the festivities. Last year at this time I was just beginning round 2 of the Fanny & Jane Major Holiday Bake-a-Thon 2009 All-Stars Edition and was about to experience one of the hardest months of my young life.

I weathered that storm, though, and came out of it going “Oh, hell no” about attempting it again this year. It’s just not in the cards right now. Never say never, but for now, we’re on an extended hiatus and I’m more than okay with that.

I’m excited to don a couple of party dresses in the next few weeks, clink glasses with my friends and toast to the season, good cheer and each other.

happy thursday!

We’ve launched a couple new HST videos in the last few weeks. Woot!

“The World Is The Best” is our first music video – a digital version of one of our favorite musical sketches from our live show. We had so much fun shooting this bad boy. Being crammed into an audio booth with your best friends for a few hours in a row is simultaneously miserable and wonderful.

We made this short for Movember,  a global initiative that raises awareness about prostate cancer and encourages people to grow mustaches during the month of November to show their support.

the dirty thirty

I have so many photos to share from my birthday trip to Florida! This one was taken during the delightful sunset marine life cruise we took off the coast of Sarasota.

Most of the rest of the shots are intimate close-ups of all the sinful food I ate including but not limited to Mexican, fried breakfast items and a delicious steak and potatoes meal from a fine dining establishment.

All in all, I had a nice time in Florida with Kev and got to reconnect with my mom and stepdad, both of whom I’m lucky to have in my life because they’re fun and nice and smart and they laugh at my jokes.

And now I’m 30! It happened just like that. Overnight.

I’m having a birthday party at my apartment in Brooklyn this weekend with some friends. Looking quite forward to it. (If you’re in New York and you’d like to come – please do! Email me for details. We have two cats, so consider your stance on that first.)

I’m still adjusting to being an old woman, but so far it’s not so bad. I feel mostly happy to have gotten the transition itself over with, which seems to have been the worst part. Now I just feel confident, mature, responsible, and like I can do whatever the hell I want because I’m 30, bitches!

Work is fine. It’s not exactly what I want to be doing with my time, but I’m not entirely sure what else I would be doing with my time right now. Plus, making money is a good reason to get up in the morning.

Speaking of which, I finally settled my boots search on these little darlings, which are Clarks, arrived in the mail from Zappos yesterday and are as comfortable as can be. They’re exactly what I wanted.

Thirty: kicking ass, taking names, and only buying boots that I really love.

 

my new job

I’m back in Brooklyn after a great week in Los Angeles. I had a blast on the trip, but I’m glad to be home – I am reminded how much I love New York City.

Today, Kevin made us brunch, then we did some shopping (new shoes!), and walked over the Brooklyn Bridge in the evening. It was perfect.

Los Angeles was an awesome experience for Harvard Sailing Team. We had so much fun together, got a lot done, and things are moving in a great direction right now – we’re definitely pinching ourselves.
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los angeles!

Our HST trip to Los Angeles has been a blast so far! We had a private screening of our new movie the first night we arrived, and we’ll do another screening plus a live show on Tuesday night at the UCB LA.

We’ve also had a productive writing meeting, gotten to see some sights, hiked up Runyon Canyon, and had a delicious BBQ at our friend Marina’s parents’ house.

I’m loving the weather (obviously) and having a great time driving around, which I get to do so rarely in New York. (It is a little crazy to look around on the freeways and see that most cars only have one person in them – seems like such a waste.)

I’m excited that we’re still here for another five days – I’m really enjoying myself and trying to relax before returning to the hustle of New York. This city seems like a lovely marriage of the urban and suburban experience. Plus, so many taco stands!

a great cause

Do you remember my cousin Trisha? She’s the amazing young woman who sent me an email last year when I was still at my desk job telling me that she’d landed a job at Kansas State University that was a dream come true for her. She wrote “I took the leap, I left a job where I was miserable, I made a change and took a big risk…I am happy.” Yes! Love her.

Well, over a year later she’s now flourishing at that same dream job. Last December she got to go to Kenya as part of her work with the university’s partnership with the CYEC, “a developing nonprofit that does some incredible work,” she told me recently in an email. And she’s going back to Kenya again this year!

She’s been working with this Kenyan youth organization “on social entrepreneurship, education, volunteer training, sustainable agriculture, fund raising and more!”

And now the CYEC is competing in an international competition through a program called Global Giving. They’ve already raised over $5,000 from over 70 donors, but they still have over $14K left to go!

I know spare money is hard to come by for a lot of people right now, but if you’re looking for a great organization to donate to, consider giving to the CYEC through Global Giving. Click this link to help “educate and empower street children in Kenya.”

🙂

lessons from my summer

How pretty is this little girl? I was so happy to see her and her brother this morning when we got home from the airport.

I’m back from a Labor Day weekend in Las Vegas! I was a bridesmaid in my cousin’s wedding at the Mandalay Bay – we had a lovely time. And the bride and her new hubby looked beautiful and happy. (Thanks for a fun weekend, Mal!)

Wedding activities aside, Vegas kicked my ass. We partied a lot, rode the giant coaster (on which I broke my glasses), won some money, lost some money, won some more, and everything in my suitcase smells like cigarette smoke and that weird floral scent they pump into the casinos.

I hadn’t been to Vegas since I was 15-years-old. I love it there. Love the weather, the lights, the 24-hour party, the gambling, the people-watching. I could never live there, but I’ll visit any day.

Now we’re back in NYC and a new week will begin bright and early tomorrow morning. I’m reflecting on what a weird, but unexpectedly life-affirming summer I’ve had. It’s been spent worrying sometimes about where my next paycheck’s coming from, and celebrating sometimes exciting successes along my new career path. I feel hopeful and curious about what the coming months will bring.

This summer has taught me a few key lessons.

1.) Money is fluid. It’s meant to come in and out of your life. To bring yourself to a state of panic when funds are low does nothing but cause you unproductive discomfort. Do what you love and the money will come. It’s true.

2.) Support other people. There is enough success, love, money, happiness, fulfillment and inspiration to go around. Being genuinely happy for other people doesn’t take anything away from your own path – it makes you feel good. And being selfish or competitive is transparent.

3.) You can be your own worst critic or your own best friend. It’s up to you.

I’m so excited for fall, you guys. I’m looking forward to a lot of travel, a lot of work, and my 30th birthday in exactly 2 months. I’m also looking forward to some exciting changes on the blog in the month of October.

Have a great week!

all grown up

Well, I just sent my article to The Frisky editor. Met the deadline, but went over the word limit by 300ish. It couldn’t be helped! I’m proud of the piece though, if not a little nervous that it’s out of my control now. Mostly, I’m so glad it’s done.

I’m seeing my best friend from college tonight for the first time in long while. He still lives in New York, but we’ve drfted apart over the years. It’s funny timing to be catching up with him because so much of the article I just finished obsessing over for two days deals with the past and a time during which he and I were very close. So it’s all very fresh in my mind.

I realized this morning that this month marks 12 years since I moved to New York as a teenager. Yes, I came for college, but college in New York is a whole different animal than a dorm-room style experience in a non-urban environment. Certainly not better or worse, but very different.

The friend I’m seeing tonight is someone I met on my second or third day in town. We connected because he was also from the Midwest – from a Chicago suburb no less. And we clung to each other for those first few months, becoming best friends and partners in food crime and other nonsense. He’s also the friend whose eventual weight loss inspired me to get serious about my own. In short, we were tumultuous besties for years before we ultimately drifted apart.

I’m excited to see him, to reminisce about how we used to stay up late in our dingy railroad apartment and talk about “when we’re 30.” Here we are.

When I moved to this city at age 17, I was such a naive idiot. I really was. I guess most 17-year-olds are. I could not have known at the time, of course, what a ridiculous, trying and colorful course my twenties would take. Sometimes I have to pinch myself to realize I’m standing on the otherside of that insanity.