Saturday, July 31, 2010

What's in a name?

It is another beautiful morning here in Lenox MA. The last couple of days have been quite lovely here actually. So what have I been up to you ask?

Well week 3 of STI continues to chug along... it's fine... we're halfway there. Nothing further that I care to discuss there.

Now for the fun part! Last night after my work day I decided to tag along with Michelle and Meaghan as they met up with their friends from Wellsley.

There they are- the lovely Alumni of Wellsley College.

I have to say though I didn't know any of them I really had a fun time and felt really comfortable just jumping into the group. And I can only account for this unusual lack of shyness on my part by assuming that I was just so happy to be out with a bunch of GIRLS. I. MISS. GIRLS. There are simply not enough of them at Shakespeare and Company. Being out with six other girls and No men just set my mind at ease and I had such a good time with them. It really made me miss my friends from home though. I can't tell you how much I am looking forward to the wonderful, amazing, and lovely Lexi and Laura to show up in a mere three weeks. Simple, uncomplicated, girl-time. It's what I desperately need.

So we went into Great Barrington and first stopped at The Well for a drink while we waited for our table to be ready.

I got a mojito. It was lovely.

Then it was off to Baba Louie's (again lol)and I can safely say we demolished that pizza.


There was not a crumb left on that table.
Then we stopped by the amazing candy store (one of the destinations I plan to take Lexi and Laura to during their visit... and here's one of the many reasons why...

Each of those gummy bears is about the size of a new born baby and costs 40 bucks! That one is for you Laura Cohen.

Then we all made our way back to Shakes and Co for the Friday Night Cabaret. I didn't perform this time. But my boss Mr. Dennis Krausnick did!

He read some of his poetry. I suppose I'm fortunate to be involved in a profession where my superior performs his modern poetry for the company at large. This is a funny place I work at, but what's not to love? Don't answer that.

Something has been rattling around in my head for a while now and I thought I would share. I find that there is nothing I hate more when talking on the phone, or sending text messages then when the person I am talking to uses my name. Now this may seem strange to some- but think about it just for a minute. If you are on the phone with someone, someone you already know, or texting back and forth obviously the other person knows your name. I find in these circumstances that the only reason a person uses your actual name is when 1)They are upset about something and use it for emphasis (almost like when your parents use your full name when you're in trouble) or 2) to be condescending or 3) (though this only applies to one person I can think of) to try to be impersonal.

You see I can always tell when someone is angry with me (or at least trying to be a tool) because they use my name where they don't need to. When someone is just having a normal chat with you they don't call you anything because they already know who they are talking to- or if they call you anything they use some sort of a pet or nickname (darling, hun, girl... something like that) but not Erin. Erin is only used when I'm in trouble for something. Erin is only used when someone is being condescending or trying to make me feel stupid. Calling me Erin in a text or phone conversation makes my spine crawl because I KNOW something is wrong. Is this making sense? I know it seems like a strange thing to be so adamant about, but I've just had so many encounters with it lately and I have yet to be wrong. Perhaps it stems from the fact that I don't particularly like my first name and feel more affection when someone uses a nickname.

My point is I feel that in casual conversation with friends or family using your name is not a necessary part of the conversation, and so it is only used for emphasis purposes, and that emphasis always seems to be for/because of something negative. So in short: Please do not address me by my first name if we are friends, I will automatically think you are mad. ESPECIALLY not in a text message- I mean really it's not like you don't know who you are sending it to and its only a waste of characters, so if you use it there you must REALLY be trying to make a point. Any thoughts on this? Am I just acting crazy? I'd be interested to hear what you think of this my sneaky readers.

In other news I took today off from running but I still plan on reaching my 12 mile goal by the end of the day tomorrow. I just needed some rest- yesterday I was so tired from doing intervals the day before I fell back asleep for 3 hours after my spinning class. I may go this evening actually since the weather has been so nice and cool and breezy here. And next weeks goal? Why 13 miles of course!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Good morning sneaky readers! It is Tuesday again which means my work week has begun anew. Yesterday was another Monday Funday, and a rather lovely one at that.

But before I get to the day-off frivolity I would like to take a short moment to congratulate myself for getting through another week of STI workshop managing. Well done Erin, well done. Two down- three to go! Not to mention Momma will be here soon for a visit!

After the small disaster that was last Tuesday, the rest of the week was really not so bad. It was an interesting week though- we had a new addition to the Amorous Quarrel cast... that whole situation was a stressful one for all involved- casting changes always are no matter the reasons behind them, but I am happy to say that all turned out fine. The show went on, as it must. And soon we'll be rehearsing a cast change that involves me! I'm taking over a very small part for someone who has to leave for a few shows. I'm not sure yet if I have any lines, but I will, at least, get to appear on a Shakespeare and Company stage at least a couple of days this summer.

My exercise routine last week was ok, but not as good as I would have hoped. We opened A Winter's Tale on Friday (I really enjoyed it, my favorite one so far) and those opening parties do have a way of messing with my old- boring-lady sleep schedule that allows me to get up at 5am for workouts. I'm happy to say that this time I survived the opening party with minimal drama. I didn't drink much and as soon as I started feeling the impulse to make bad decisions I remembered last time and went home instead. See, I'm learning... mostly.

But since this is a new week I thought it might be nice to set some goals to get me back on track. This week I would like to run a total of at least 12 miles (4 down this morning so only 8 to go!), attend both of this weeks remaining spin classes (I skipped yesterday and slept in instead for the first time in 3 weeks, I needed a TRUE day off. I also love that I now consider getting up at 10am sleeping in.), go to yoga on Sunday.

Luckily Andre and I did laundry on Sunday so I had nothing I "had" to do on my day off.

We tried a new place in Pittsfield to do our laundry since the Lenox Laundromat tends to smell for some reason. This one was fine but a little sketchy- we witnessed a small domestic disturbance in the Burger King parking lot next door. By this point in the week both Andre and I were a tad burnt out.

But then it was Monday! And after my restful night sleep I decided to spend the day at Club June. Club June is the home of a long-time supporter of Shakes and Co. She lives on a lake and invites anyone and everyone who works for Shakes and Co to come out to her house. There are kayaks, canoes, a floating dock, a paddle boat, a grill- pretty much everything you might need for an awesome day on the water.

One of the other grand things about June's is that there is no cell phone reception out there- none. So for a few hours everyone there is completely unplugged. No phone calls, not texting. and for me that is incredibly liberating- the feeling that all of that silly stuff can wait. That I can just be somewhere without knowing or caring what is going on with the rest of the world. I highly recommend it. Set yourself free.
Meaghan Daley and I had a lovely time!

I went out in the kayak, swam, and then pretty much generally laid about and read my book. I'm reading The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf, it's a book I studied in college and wrote a paper on. It's feminist literature and I really love it, but its not much of a book for a day at the lake. I love reading it, but it does tend to make a girl start hating men and society in general for all the oppression and whatnot, lol. Next time I'll bring some Harry Potter or something.

And after soaking up a sufficient amount of sun a few of us went to dinner in Great Barrington and I FINALLY got to try Baba Louie's pizza.

Mine had sweet potatoes... yummy. Although I missed the tomato sauce- its just not a pizza to me without tomato sauce.

But fun times were had by all. We also looked at this totally awesome candy store that I MUST take Lexi and Laura to when they come. Trust me guys- you'll love it. But I forgot to take pictures... guess they'll just have to be surprised.

And after dinner I pretty much called it a night since I really wanted to have the energy to get up this morning for my run. Which I did! It wasn't the best run ever- but I did it - 4 miles in about 41 minutes. For my next two runs I want to try and get under 40 minutes though. I'm at the point now where if I don't work-out in the morning I feel sluggish the whole rest of the day. It really does set the tone for the day and makes my skin look all nice and awake. People get so weirded out around here when I tell them I get up at 5 every day to exercise, but its really my favorite part of the day lately. The sun is just coming up, everything is quite, and its my only time during the day that is completely my own- its too early to be on call for STI- its the only time I get all day to listen to music most of the time. It's my time, not too hot, not too cold, watching the sun come up. Its a lovely way to experience summer in the Berkshires that's for sure!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Photogenic Food

Ahhh a new day... A fine thing to celebrate since yesterday was one of the more craptastic days I've had in a while. Despite starting off with accomplishment and positivity, yesterday still went downhill fast. I started the day at 5:30am with a 4 mile run. The street Greater Grace Manor is on has a perfect circuit around the block that is exactly 4 miles long. There's lots of shade, a few nice sized hills, and pretty houses to look at. I think I may even like it better than the run I do around Shakespeare and Company just because the roads are newer and more even. So I ran that in 39 minutes and even did a bit of a negative split (meaning I ran the second half faster than the first half) the first two miles took about 20 minutes and the second two only about 19... not much of a difference but hey its something.

So I showered and made some breakfast, went to work... and here the day went up in smoke. Today was Dropping In day for STI. A day that was far more complicated, planning wise, than I ever anticipated. I had to coordinate 14 faculty members, 28 participants, in 7 different rooms, in 4 different time slots... Just writing that is confusing so I'm sure you can imagine the state I was in trying to figure all this out. Especially since once I actually DID figure it all out- I made mistakes on the spread sheet I typed up in 5 minutes and didn't have time to check- and sent 6 participants to the completely wrong places. And by time I realized this I had to sprint all around campus (in flip flops after running four miles that morning mind you)trying to find them all and get them to the right room on time.

Stress was felt, tears were shed, an epic amount of coffee was drank... but in the end all was well. All the scenes dropped in and no one yelled at poor Miss Erin for her foul-ups. The day culminated in a 10:30pm faculty meeting complete with much deserved wine and baked goods. And the best part is... only 25 days of STI left.

But TODAY my sneaky readers is a NEW DAY! I took the morning off from spinning class since I was so exhausted from yesterdays exploits and I don't feel bad about it. A lady needs her beauty rest sometimes. But I still started the morning off right with an awesome breakfast.

After mamma's comment on the, less than appetizing, look of my oats in a jar I decided it might be nice to make breakfast look a little prettier if I'm gonna share it on here. And it was actually really fun.

This is oatmeal (which you can't really see under all the fruit but its there) with unsweetened chocolate almond milk which I am trying for the first time and really like- though the oatmeal takes a lot longer to cook with it- and strawberries, blueberries, and a banana with a dash of cinnamon. Isn't it pretty? And it tasted even better.

All mixed up- but still more appetizing looking than the oats in a jar- I'll give you that one mom. Perhaps some of you wonder why I bother sharing my food on here. Well I am/was making a foray into cooking, but also one of my favorite things to do now is read other peoples healthy living blogs. Like this one: (whose blog is awesome and inspiring and sometimes she even @replies me on twitter and I feel super cool). And they always have all these beautiful pictures of all the lovely healthy foods they make and I just thought it would be sort of fun to do the same. At least with breakfast since this month its the only thing I'm cooking for myself. And I think it also makes me think more about what I'm eating. As in I'm encouraged to make healthier eating choices because then I can share them. No one wants to see a picture of Kraft mac and cheese I don't think...

And this is just a picture of my bulletin board next to my desk at work where I keep all the lovely letters and things people have sent me since I've been here. Sometimes when I'm having a difficult day (like yesterday) I reread one of the letters to make me feel better- as a reminder that there is a world outside of Shakespeare and Company.

Feel free to add to the board at anytime:
Erin Eva Butcher
c/o Shakespeare and Company
70 Kemble St.
Lenox, MA 01240

Oh! And further highlights from Mondays day off include:

A trip to the organic food store with Michelle. Notice me ogling all the amazing nut butter choices.

Sadly the Lake was not visited because the skies decided to open up- so instead of sitting lakeside I was calling the land lord of Greater Grace to tell him about our flooding first floor apartment- joyful day off indeed. I really don't mind living there with our STI participants, but it is a bit frustrating to not be able to escape them on my day off. I think when I'm home on Mondays I'll just have to walk around with a post-it on my forehead that says "Miss Erin is not home right now- it is her day off- please leave a message and she will answer your question on Tuesday". Yes I think that may work.

Today should be a far less stressful day- this afternoon we are all going to see Comedy of Errors as a group and having a talk-back. And this evening is pretty straight forward and won't require too much planning from me. Thank. God. Then its off to dress Amorous Quarrel, meetings in the evening, and then doing it all over again tomorrow.

Silver lining to all this? Momma is coming to visit for my bday next month. Also, Lexi and Laura are coming to visit for a weekend at the end of August. And once STI is over its only a few weeks until Conservatory starts and I think I've found the perfect sonnet:

Full many a glorious morning have I seen
Flatter the mountain-tops with sovereign eye,
Kissing with golden face the meadows green,
Gilding pale streams with heavenly alchemy;
Anon permit the basest clouds to ride
With ugly rack on his celestial face,
And from the forlorn world his visage hide,
Stealing unseen to west with this disgrace:
Even so my sun one early morn did shine
With all triumphant splendor on my brow;
But out, alack! he was but one hour mine,
The region cloud hath mask'd him from me now.
Yet him for this my love no whit disdaineth;
Suns of the world may stain when heaven's sun staineth.

Thoughts? Hey at least its not as dark and morbid as the one I did for the month-long. I'm making progress. Slow but steady progress.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Monday Funday

Good morning sneaky readers! At last a day off and I was up bright and early this morning to enjoy every single solitary moment of my day- no paperwork- no running all over the property- just me doing what I want to do. And I haven't had a day off since I went to the beach with the fam so this was long overdue. For you non-theatre types Monday is our traditional day off since we all spend the weekends presenting the public with lovely performances of some kind.

I knew I wanted to get up and go to spinning this morning so I made sure to go to bed pretty early. The last week was so crazy that I managed to miss all of my spinning classes and I didn't run nearly as much as the last couple weeks. But now that I've had a week of adjustment to a new sched I'm aching to get back on track, and getting up early this morning is setting the tone for the rest of my week I hope. I got up at 5am- did spinning- which could have been a really terrible experience today but turned out fine. You see the spin bikes at Lenox Fitness are in desperate need of replacing (and they are getting all new ones in a few weeks thank god) and so some of the bikes stick or are just hard to ride. I got there 15 minutes early today to make sure I got a good bike- went through 2 before I found one. Then once we started class a late-comer waltzed in and tried the remaining bikes with clips (which are attachments on the pedals if you have spinning shoes which I don't) and none of them worked and since I was riding a bike with clip attachments I was asked to switch with her. And I did since the only other person in the same situation was a 60 year old woman and I thought it would be rude to make her move instead of me. Sadly though every other bike in the room had something wrong with it and I ended up on a bike that only worked if I was pedaling at the speed of light. So I had come in early, got the perfect bike, then had to give it up for some lady who came late and left early. I was pretty miffed and the whole class I had that look on my face (momma knows the one), that look of pent up rage bubbling under the surface. I was very upset that my workout was being ruined, and that the bike was sticking so badly unless I really pushed it. So I probably did the hardest spinning workout I have ever done. A definite positive spin on the situation. And after class my instructor apologized for making me move and promised to never do that again. So all was well and I left the class a sweaty mess, but with a really great work-out to start the day.

After my shower I went home to a lovely breakfast of oatmeal- served up in my nearly empty :( almond butter jar. Deliciousness.

I also added in some strawberries and blackberries
What a perfect way to start the morning.

Other plans for the day include: FREE BRUNCH in the Larry Hall cafe, possible hiking, possible movie (Toy Story 3 or Inception I think), possible trip to the lake (if the sun decides to show her smiling face), and there may be some Starbucks involved in there somewhere. But all in all I am determined that this will be a beautiful day.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Authority Figure?

I think I may have some sneaky readers out there. Pretty much no one but my Momma comments on this thing but then I keep hearing from people that they read this... sneaky followers! Well that's good to know, I haven't necessarily bored everyone I know to death just yet.

The last few days have been fairly crazy with the start of STI (Summer Training Institute) here at Shakes and Co. And for those of you who don't know STI is pretty much the same as the intensive I took in January except it is geared toward people in or just out of college. I actually could have participated in this one instead of the Winter Intensive if I had felt like waiting- but luckily I didn't. And instead I am the STI Workshop Manager. Which pretty much means I take care of running about, setting rooms up, doing paper work, taking attendance etc... And despite the fact that the first few days have been super busy and exhausting I am actually really enjoying it. It's so interesting to see the intensive from a different perspective and even though I am not participating in the workshop (although I do have to do Actor-Audience today... eep) I have daily reminders of the amazing time I had during my intensive and I'm remembering why I wanted to be here this summer in the first place. I think after a few months of working in the office I sort of lost sight of that, but now I am more excited than ever to do the Conservatory in the Fall and I'm eager to pick a new sonnet and monologue for it.

The other awesome thing about working on STI is that I'm considered a member of the Faculty which means that I get to eat in the cafe for FREE for the next month- three meals a day of really yummy food that I don't have to pay for. That pretty much makes the fact that I am really working 3 jobs at once worth it. But sadly it also means I won't be doing much cooking or baking or anything until after STI is over so I won't have much to share as far as that.

It is strange being in this Manager position though- I am pretty much exactly the same age as most of the STI participants and don't feel super qualified to be managing them. I was/am a little afraid that they won't listen to me very well because of that but its been fine so far.

And I'd like to share a little story of my superior STI Manager skilz- I thought it was funny- this may only have been sleep deprivation... you be the judge. The other night one of the STIs came running to my room at 11:30pm distraught because her dresser seemed to have spontaneously collapsed. I went to investigate and it did indeed seem to have collapsed. She pulled out one of the drawers and the entire 4 foot tall dresser sort of fell apart into a pile on the floor. She was on the verge of tears and I think she thought I was going to yell at her for breaking something- but I was actually rather amused and burst out laughing when I saw it. I managed to restore order and put it back together (it wasn’t actually held together with anything… like nails, or glue, its sort of just together… some of the time). I encouraged her to move her clothes to another dresser and to think of the other one as more of a table in the future. I was mostly amused because she (and the other 5 girls who gathered around) could have easily fixed it, but apparently it was believed I was the only one capable of completing this very important and complicated repair… the girls were very impressed with my handyman skills. Perhaps this story is only funny to me because it was after working a 14 hour day but... What better way to survive these 5 weeks than to find humor in the absurd. Just thought I’d share.

And tonight is the first Friday Night Cabaret! Which I am singing in. Hopefully I can get some pictures up from it for my next post.

Happy Friday sneaky readers

Sunday, July 11, 2010


When you pack several dozen young artistic type people in a relatively small space for several weeks at a time, inevitably, every once in a while the stars will aline and give you a night where- to put it mildly- the shit hits the fan. Every dramatic thing that has been simmering away in the summer heat will, all at once (with the help of copious amounts of alcohol), explode to the surface. One of these infamous night's took place on Friday. Friday was the opening night of Richard the Third. A night when somehow I couldn't turn around without seeing some dramatic story unfolding. Many a thing took place, many a tear was shed, and by the end of the night there were 3 drunken and weeping women in my dorm room (I include myself in this), each one more distraught than the last. Quite a sight to behold.

Now you dear readers (assuming I have any besides my mother- which I 'm really not sure I do)may be wondering what exactly went down last night. That I cannot share since it is possible that SOMEBODY I work with might actually read this (doubtful but not impossible) since I do put the links up on my Facebook. Suffice it to say that it was some theatre geek craziness across the board, but nothing to worry about. As far as I know, everyone survived...

And so Saturday was spent in recovery. My personal anger from the previous nights events was not completely abated, and upon waking up after heading to bed around 4am I celebrated surviving the night by hitting my end table, making my computer fall on the concrete floor. Ah the joy continues... so now my lovely laptop is some form of broken and has been sent off to Best Buy for repairs. But I'll probably loose all my info, pictures, and music. I suppose that's what I get for letting my anger bubble to the surface once every six months- apparently this is far too often as far as karma is concerned. So until I get it back there will probably be no more pictures on this thing.

Which is a shame because...what better way to recover from a frivoulsly tragic evening and a morning of breaking one of the most expensive things you own then with pancakes? I took some pictures of said delicious pancakes, but alas am unable to share them. But anyway they were whole-wheat oatmeal blueberry pancakes with crunchy almond butter and banana slices on top- and they were perfect. I made a few changes to the recipe- only used half the oil and used brown sugar instead of white sugar because I like it better. I mostly made them because blueberries were on sale this week and as a thankyou to Momma Bear Michelle for taking care of me in my state the previous evening. She enjoyed them immensely as well I am told. Not to mention that pancakes are the perfect hangover food. (I actually wasn't hung over, but I never need an excuse to eat pancakes)

And now that I am fully recovered I turn my attention to the ridiculous stressfulness that is sure to be STI. I am trying to be as prepared as possible- but this is difficult when one really has no idea what one is supposed to be doing. Most of the participants arrive tomorrow and on Tuesday the maddness truely begins.
On the plus side I am now moved into Greater Grace and have enough kitchen and fridge space to cook whatever I want- just not sure if I'm going to have any time. I guess we'll find out.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Too Darn Hot

What an excessively hot few days its been... Yesterday afternoon I decided it wasn't too hot for my thursday 5 mile run- I was supposed to do this run in the morning when it was cooler, but alas did not wake up- doing this run at 5pm instead was not the smartest choice I've ever made. It was HOT and by the end of it I was so dehydrated I drained my 32oz water bottle 3 times and still felt woozy and had stars in my eyes. Won't be doing that again. Its gonna be morning runs or bust from now on.

So I was so exhausted after this that I went to bed around 10:30pm- yes I'm lame- but I really wanted to be rested enough to do spinning class in the morning. And I did make it, although I took it really easy since yesterday was so tough.

In other news: its time to move... again. For the next 5 weeks I will be relocating to Grace Manor in order to better serve my duties as STI manager (ex: making sure they don't burn the place down). The up side? It's a single room with a bigger bed and nicer furnishings and I will get my OWN kitchen to use instead of sharing one with 25 people. The down side? I will have to leave my beloved Michelle for a time :( but am planning to have copious amounts of sleep-overs so hope fully the 5 weeks won't be terrible for us. Also I have to move all my stuff in the sweltering heat across town only to move it all back in 5 weeks. Such is my lot in life. What can you do?

Furthermore at the moment I wish I was doing this...

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Beach

Oh what an exciting couple of days it has been! No really! Can you believe it? Now... from the beginning.

Saturday was the official opening of The Comedy of Errors starring my friends from the Intern company and so I decided to commemorate the occasion by making some cookies for the opening party. And not just any cookies- Whole wheat oatmeal chocolate chip cookies- which I made from the recipe on one of the many foodie bloggers I read. And they were AMAZING!!!! I made them with milk chocolate chips instead of the dark chocolate ones the recipe called for- only because the dark chocolate chips were WAY more expensive. So here they are:

Dough- I made a double batch

and the final product

I meant to take pictures of everyone enjoying them at the party but forgot. But I can say there were 5 dozen cookies and only about 20 of us at the party- they were gone in 20 minutes so I guess they were a success!

Then Sunday was the 4th obviously and I took part in some events here at Shakes and Co in the afternoon before heading off to the airport for my impromptu VACATION!

After two flights, a car ride, and a quick trip to Wal-mart with Momma I made it back to the beach house at 2am. But that didn't stop me from getting up at 5am to go for my run. And this is the glorious morning I woke up to.

The sunrise run was lovely except running on sand is really hard and my shin was not happy about it. I only did about 3.5 miles total. And then went back to the house and took a shower outside- always fun and interesting- and went up for breakfast. And who was there to great me? Why most fave neice Allison of course!

So we had some breakfast and then as the rest of the house woke up we made our way down to the beach for some sun.

I of course hid in the sun shelter as long as I could since my skin is practically glow in the dark.

But eventually I was tempted out and I can say that my freckles are now a few shades darker... Don't know if I like that but there you have it. And after our afternoon in the sun (and me with 3 hours of sleep) Allison and I took a nice long nap.

Then yesterday we did one of my very favorite things- shopping! Sadly I was too distracted by that fun to take any pictures but suffice it to say I got lots of super cute summer clothing- THANKS MOMMA!

And after our long arduous day of shopping we came home to the boys who caught Spanish Mackerel on their fishing trip so we had that for dinner. It was pretty delicious.

And before I new it, this morning it was time to leave again. I had a great time visiting with my family though and seeing them all was just what I needed right now to get through the rest of this summer. And now its back to the grind I guess, STI starts up next week and from what I understand it may in fact kill me so wish me luck all- I may be stir crazy for the next 5 weeks...