Saturday, March 31, 2007

Fraulein Maria: My Hero

I feel like Maria in the Sound of Music when she's signing "I Have Confidence" on her way to the Von Trapp house - completely cool and excited about the new - until she arrives at the gates surrounding the gigantic mansion.


My print copy of Musical America arrived yesterday and I am tooling through this massive directory and I am completely overwhelmed. There are so many performing arts series, festivals, venues, and consultants. Where do I start? How can I possibly swim, let alone stand out in this huge ocean? How can I possibly attend PA Presenters?

Someone will likely plant a frog in my pocket or leave a pine cone on my chair. There will be many a Baroness Schrader who are calm, cool, established. How do you find a word that means Chrissie?! Will I triumph like Maria?!

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Going the Distance

In an attempt to get my ass in shape (beyond the pilates and occasional run) I signed up for a few 5Ks this spring. I'm on an 8 week training schedule with a few races between now and May 12. I figured the races motivate me to train, the training motivates me to stay in shape and cross train, and in the event that I gain weight (like I did when I ran the half marathon), it'd quickly come off by the end of May/beginning of summer.

So running outside this time of year always takes me back to the glorious days of spring track during high school. That first week of practice, being so pathetically out of shape and going on that first long (3 mi.) run where you run/walk/run/walk the entire length of Philly Pike, Governor Prince Blvd., Manor Ave. or Darley Road. And inevitably it rained and because you were the hard core runners, you donned your gear and windbreaker and whether it be 60 degrees and mild or 40 degrees and freezing, you trudged on. You come back to the lockers soaked, hot and sweaty/cold and sweaty, clothes reeking, sneakers soaked in mud, and muscles aching. The next morning you barely drag your whipped ass out of bed, let alone sit on the jon to do your business. Forget climbing steps to get to class. Your quads effing kill. And so it goes for another week.

Us track peeps...we went the distance. And here I am 11 years later doing the same. The icky running clothes are spotted with mud, water and sweat and the laundry has gained another load dedicated to workout clothes. I look forward to the 5Ks. While they are no 4x200 relay I anticipate my times improving over the next 6 weeks. I look forward to that intense surge near the finish. And like track, it's only 8 weeks.

Then I'll be back to pilates and yoga.

Friday, March 23, 2007

The R5

Saw this on Monster's crazy commute stories. It's fantastic. Only in West Philly.

I work in Center City Philadelphia and take the SEPTA R5 Regional Rail line in from the suburbs. On the ride in, we go past West Philly, which is a bit run-down. A few blocks on that stretch are particularly bad, complete with boarded-up buildings, burnt-out cars, etc. While taking the train this morning, I was looking out the window and saw a boat lying in the middle of the street. Yes, a boat. It was white, about 12 feet long, mostly intact. But that's not the strange part. The strange part is that someone sprayed graffiti on the side of the boat that read, "3 hour tour?"

I wish I could have been on the train and seen this boat.

Thursday, March 22, 2007


This showed up via a myspace bulletin and it was too funny not to take and post. All about Senior Year of High School :)

1. Who was your best friend?
Becca, Beth, Aileen, Chris, Matt, Brian - the fab 6

2.What sports did you play?
I ran track and played soccer for one season

3. What kind of car did you drive?
I drove my Chevy Cavalier until the engine rod went one morning on 495 and Mr. Becker was waving me into the school parking lot like "What the hell?!" and told me to get it checked out right away. It was over then and I drove a Lumina for the remainder of the year.

4. It's Friday night, where were you?
Probably at BruHaHa at Bran Mawr Plaza sipping my latte, chatting with friends, reading a book or mag. I was indie then, before it was all cool.

5. Were you a party animal?
Not by any means. I didn't really drink until college. There was a part of me that wanted to be all bad ass and party and drink and get grounded - isn't that what's supposed to happen at least a few times in high school? - and I sort of wish I had one of those experiences, but I had more fun going to the city and visiting galleries with a small group of friends.

6. Were you considered a flirt?
No...that came much later!

7. Were you in band, orchestra, or choir?
Wanted to be in chorus...

8. Were you a nerd?
I was too nice and outgoing to be a nerd! At least I hope so! But I wasn't a party gal either.

9. Did you get suspended/expelled?
On restriction for many a dress code violation, but never suspended.

10. Can you sing the fight song?
A fight song? What is that?

11. Who was your favorite teacher?
Mr. Jordan...the best blue eyes ever. The craziest personality. I had SUCH a crush on him. And in total Chrissie fashion, I'm sure he knew. If I wasn't just 18 and he wasn't 30 something at the time, married with kids...

12. Favorite class?
Mr. Jordan's English class! Followed by AP Art.

13. What was your school's full name?
Archmere Academy

14. School mascot?
The Auk (it's a type of penguin I believe).

15. Did you go to the Prom?

16. If you could go back and do it over, would you?
I don't know...I enjoyed high school, even the crazy drama that would sometimes ensue. I liked most of my classes, my friends. There's very little I'd change or do differently. I think maybe I'd try to have a few more crazy life learning experiences so I wasn't so naive going into college. But you are who you are then. Truthfully, I'd relive my college years because they were the most intellectually, emotionally, mentally and spiritually challenging.

17. What do you remember most about graduation?
Winning the Art Award with Chris and Matt, excited to leave for Dewey Beach with Brian and Nicole that night.

18. Did you have any boyfriends/girlfriend?
Not until the end. I had tons of crushes (Stenta, Newsboy, Joe), but my ballsy "I like you" moves were light years ahead of their time! I met Cameron at senior week and we had our intense relationship that summer...and even through the fall. I still have a place in my heart for that boy.

19. Where were you on senior skip day?
Did I skip? Why do I feel like that whole idea got screwed up and half the class skipped and half didn't? Skip day was so something out of Can't Buy Me Love or one of those 80s movies all about high school life that I expected my high school years to be like and they totally weren't.

20. Did you have a job your senior year?
DECK THE WALLS! Whoo Hoo!! I worked Tuesday and Thursday nights with Rob and Sundays with Greg or Matt, then sometimes with Heather. One of my favorite memories (though I think this was holiday or 96 maybe) - all these people kept coming in for last minute Christmas orders and Matt and I were at our limits - with orders and our patience. We told EVERYONE to go to Springfield. We didn't think they'd actually go?! Until someone there called us like "WHAT ARE YOU DOING!?" It was very funny then. Oh and all the bean bag fights. And radio wars. And who would get the coffee.

21. Where did you go most often for lunch?
Cafeteria or art building

22. Have you gained weight since then?
OMG, how was I 118 lbs then? I'm between 128-135 now depending on whether I'm really working out.

23. What did you do after graduation?
Hit the road for Dewey Beach, spent the summer working at Deck the Walls, spending days and nights hanging with friends before we all went our separate ways to college.

24. When did you graduate?

25. Who was your Senior prom date?
My good friend, David.

26. Are you going to your 10 year reunion?
Went this past October with Beth and we had a nice time. It was good seeing people. All the BS that existed when you're 14-18 years old was over.

27. Who was your home room teacher?
Home room? What is that? I had first period and that was it.

28. Who will repost this after you?
Someone from Archmere?!

29: Do you miss anyone you graduated with?
I mean, as Mr. Becker said to me senior year...Chris, you'll be lucky if you keep even 1 friend from Archmere for the rest of your life. I didn't want to hear that then. But he was right. And I'm SO lucky. I have 3. Plus several more that are acquaintances and I keep in touch with via an occasional email, myspace, but 10 years after graduating, I still think I had a pretty nice class and I love reconnecting with people.

Friday, March 16, 2007


This story was originally published on Rachel Furman's web site, Philly residents and PW readers may know her from her Rachel's Guide newsletters, web site and her PW cover this past summer detailing her road trip in this kick ass camper. She's a Marketing and PR gal (like me) and always serving up the greatest to dos whether it's where to eat, what's opening, an art gallery, a holiday dress guide, you name it and she knows all about it. Sadly, her beloved 70s camper was recently stolen from a South Philly parking lot. Everyone keep an eye out for the Twink!


UPDATE: Channel 3 news ran this as one of their top stories on Friday night! Watch the clip here. Many thanks to CBS3 for your help in trying to find the Twink!

Sometime in February 2007, my beloved 1975 Airstream Argosy camper disappeared. It was earned the name of “Twink” because of its keen resemblance to a Twinkie, hence this priceless photo I took while on my road trip. The Twink has taken me many places, from mountains to desserts to beaches to cities and every wacky redneck town in between.

So imagine the horror when I drove by to check on the TWINK in the parking lot where I had parked it all year and… it wasn’t there!!! “No sweat,” I thought, “it must have been towed.” But when the police had no records of any towing or abandoned vehicle reports, the terrible truth hit me. My Twink had been stolen.

I am DEVASTATED. The TWINK means so much to me, has taken me so many places and I had pictured traveling with it for years to come. I had dreamed of making the TWINK into a career somehow - pitching some book ideas, maybe trying to get a show, a sponsorship perhaps… And now it’s gone. Someone has to know something. Please help me find the TWINK!

Last year I kind of lost my marbles from working too hard. I had a successful marketing company in Philly, but I really needed to get away. While some people choose a nice vacation, I decided to blow all of my money on a vintage 1975 Airstream Argosy camper, trade in my Jetta for a Ford F150 and hit the road for a few months. Here’s the story: (Philadelphia Weekly Cover Story)
Here’s a Holiday Photo Shoot We Did in It: (Rachel’s Guide Holiday Photo Shoot)

TWINK Description:

VIN 24D5V1022
Plate # XCB9560
Title # 63036278001FU
•24’ 1975 Airstream Argosy Camper Trailer
• Beige Exterior with Orange Trim & Brown Bumper
• Large ARGOSY Logo Over Back Window
• Pimp 70’s Interior with Olive Green Countertops & “Airplane” Overhead Compartments
• Kitchen & Diner Booth that Converts into a Bed, Bedroom with Dresser, Bathroom with Shower
• Cushions are light green with pastel yellow & green stripes on some sides.
• Some Camping & Kitchen Supplies in the Cabinets
• 70’s Vintage Playboy Magazines in the Magazine Rack (essential for any road trip!)
Identifying Features:
- chipped paint over the Argosy logo on the front, top rounded part of the vehicle. The silver shows through, almost like freckles.
•Rusty step for the front door, one side of the step sometimes broken
• Broken shelf in the bathroom closet
• Couch off of the tracks when you try to convert it into a bed
• The pantry closet in the kitchen won’t stay closed
• Wax in the kitchen sink from melted candles

If seen or found, please contact your local police department and then me. You are welcome to remain anonymous.
Rachel: 215.888.8885 |

Blog TwinkPhotoCollage
PhotoPaintMarks 1

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

"You're Young"

I hate days like this. PMSed days when all I feel like doing is curling up in a ball and doing something mind numbing like scrapbooking, painting, reading. Instead I must carry, think, be. I stare blankly at my Photoshop document of my soon to be new business cards. It took me about an hour or so last night to perfect the layout and now I'm stumbling over the words. That value prop. Things are in this uncertain state of start up so web pages, messaging, verbiage - it all changes.

I'm anxious about PA Presenters, wondering if it was the right move. There's this balance between spending time working with/for your clients and developing the actual business complete with its operational needs. I know I need the opportunity to meet with artists and organizations again and immerse myself into that conference experience again - which I loved - but I'm totally nervous too. I'll be the new kid - and a kid rightfully so. As Marc said - "You're young. " I'm nervous about leading a round table discussion, about being "on" and wondering if at 29 in front of a slew of presenters, artists, agents all older than me, I really know what the hell I'm saying and doing.

I just want to hear that it'll all be OK.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

The Evolution of a Name

Since I was a kid, no pet of mine has simply had 1 name. When I was 11 we adopted Sammy, a German Shepherd Collie mix puppy. I imagine I was short then, in 6th grade, and by the time the pup was 9 months old she was up to my knees/lower thigh on all 4s. She walked me. I loved that dog even though she was big, barked a lot and the neighbors didn't like all her barking. She was Sam, Sammie, Teenies. Not that she was in any way tiny.

Then there were the cats. They grew to be fat little guys and Oatmeal and I got along once in a blue moon (usually around Christmas) and Oreo was a mini me. Oatmeal was Oatmeal when he was fickle and refusing to come get his food or when he was in trouble. Otherwise he was Oatie, Bee Bee, Bebes and finally, The Bebe. Oreo was nicknamed Baby for a while (he was the baby of the family), Honey, and then Animal. It amazes me that they learned all these crazy names and managed to come (most of the time) when they were called.

Now we have Juliet, my little Boston Terrier puppy. Let's see...we call her Jules for short. Some call her Julie but I don't because I just don't like Julie. I usually just call her Pookie or Pook. The poor animals with all these names. It's a wonder they don't lose their little minds. We treat them like humans with tons of names and terms of endearment.

I guess we'll see how Jules/Pookie responds in the coming weeks and months and what if anything morphs from those names.