Surviving Day 2: First Day Shift with Day Shift

The teenager got up a little before 6 a.m. to drive me to the Bizzy Hizzy. Her father had a car accident yesterday and she needed a ride to her therapist appointment after school.

For those who don’t know me, I am a former journalist and non-profit communications/development professional with mild cerebral palsy working at one of Stitch Fix’s warehouse. For the most part, I fold clothes for a living.

I like the concept, always have since I first read of it in Vogue a decade ago. The company itself has what I refer to as a California culture, which can be a little ridiculous but makes me feel like a person at my job in addition to being a cog in the wheel.

Why am I working at Stitch Fix instead of in a “nice professional job”?

  1. I make as much money at Stitch Fix as I did in my professional jobs, with better benefits and paid time off and proper holidays.
  2. I have less stress.
  3. Although the job can be monotonous at times, it allows me to think throughout the day. I plot my novels. I plan for my business. I guess in a way I meditate.
  4. Although with my health issues, the job can tax my body but it also keeps me more active than an office job.
  5. Until recently, the convenience of second shift hours allowed me to live my own life during the day and work at night. This allowed me to launch my publishing company, Parisian Phoenix Publishing Company. (Please consider purchasing my novels Manipulations and Courting Apparitions. New titles in other genres coming soon. Titles not by me.)

Which brings me full circle. Stitch Fix started second shift (3:30 p.m. to midnight) to split the number of workers in the warehouse during Covid. But now, thanks to the success of experiments with what was “Direct Buy” and is now Stitch Fix Freestyle, the company has transitioned from operating Monday through Friday 6 a.m. to midnight to seven days a week, 6 a.m. to 5 p.m.

From a transportation logistics standpoint it makes total sense. The business model was originally set up to provide customers with a custom-curated box of five items based on their selections on a computerized survey and the input of a personal stylist.

The idea was to combine items selected with your preferences in mind with the element of surprise, making it like receiving a gift in the mail.

But now people can also order whatever they want. And when people order it, we can ship it and have it to them within, in most cases, a day or two.

On the Monday to Friday model, which the employees loved, the person who ordered a shirt Friday at lunch time might not receive it until the following Wednesday.

I respect the company for adjusting its behavior to capitalize on current trends.

Stitch Fix has truly gone above and beyond to make the transition as comfortable as possible for second shift employees. For instance, we got priority for new shift assignments— we got to pick what shift we wanted to work. And we could request our preferred roles, too.

I wanted Sunday to Wednesday, 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Well, actually I wanted Wednesday to Saturday, because having Saturday night through Tuesday night off seems like a cool weekend. But my commitments made that impossible.) And I opted to stay in Women’s Outbound.

Today was our second day of this new schedule and our first day overlapping with “traditional” day shift. There were only about 35 of us, and a couple hundred of them.

Day shift is way different from Midnight Society. They have so many people that the jobs get very specific and everyone has an assigned location.

Things I normally have to do for myself, like gathering extra supplies, now get delivered to me.

And the day shift people, who, in the past were rather particular about everything and could be quite mean, now seem curious and even helpful— just like we would be on Midnight Society when someone new joined the team.

The day went just as quickly as yesterday but one BIG thing needs to be addressed.

Someone needs to tell the cleaning crew to adjust their schedules as old cleaning routine has them cleaning the ladies room at our first break and at end of day.

It made sense to clean the bathroom at 5 when we had our first evening break at 5:30, but now? It’s a little cruel.

Day 1 in the books

My day started with an unfamiliar alarm at 5 a.m. I haven’t used an alarm to wake up for quite some time, and I’ve noticed recently that the iPhone’s “birdsong” no longer gets my attention. Though it does get the attention of foster cat Khloe and my Goffin cockatoo.

I quickly and silently crept from my room as to not wake said cockatoo. She needs her sleep and the last thing the teenager needs is a grouchy Goffin yelling for me.

I got dressed in the bathroom.

I had even worn my “Monday mood” socks with the coffee on them from my adult days of the week socks, because even though it’s Sunday, it’s Monday to me. I think this new work schedule renders my days of the week socks obsolete.

I went downstairs, made a cup of coffee and while waiting for it to brew, loaded the dishwasher. I had no intention of feeding cats at 5 a.m.

But you can’t sneak with cats around.

Most of them watched me drink my coffee.

I got in the car and discovered the teenager forgot to put gas in it. 85 miles to empty.

I made it to the Bizzy Hizzy by 6:05, greeted by my favorite security guard.

And I was assigned to Stitch Fix Freestyle QC. I stayed there until 3 p.m. so I guess that means I did a whole shift in that department.

The Big Boss of the Warehouse stopped by, I believe around 7:30 a.m. I overheard him ask our supervisor if everyone showed up.

I enjoyed freestyle today. And I really like the break schedule— it makes a 10-hour day feel like an 8-hour day, at least emotionally.

At our first break (8:55 to 9:10), Stitch Fix served us catered breakfast.

Meanwhile, the teenager and her dog hung out with Nala. The Goffin.

My phone would not track my steps today, leaving me to add them manually.

I had a good meeting with my new supervisor and process lead because they wanted to get to know me. And to introduce themselves. And this is one of the corny parts of Stitch Fix corporate culture that I like— they encourage everyone to connect with one another as people not just as cogs in the wheel.

Honestly the rest of the day passed quickly. Just before last break (3:10 to 3:25) I received word that my estranged husband crashed his car.

And after break, I was walking back to my station in women’s returns when I looked at the time clock at 3:27 p.m. — the time I normally clock in.

At 3:45 p.m., we all looked very confused as the loudspeaker walked us through our first stretches of the day.

Around this time, I received a call that Em was probably going to be adopted tonight. This was after hearing that Shady went home with her new family yesterday.

And we looked confused again when the 5 p.m. safety message played as we clocked out.

The teenager drove her father home. We then stopped at Wawa for gas and dinner. I got a black bean bowl with grilled chicken, spinach, carrots, lettuce and I’m not even sure what for sauce.

The first few bites were the best thing I ever tasted, but by the end I was very sick of it.

I ended my night trying to keep Nala the Goffin from attacking Khloe the foster cat.

Marginalized Identities, Disability and Vulnerability

Thank you to Joan.

Parisian Phoenix Publishing

Greetings friends, writers and readers!

It’s the first Saturday in December and Christmas is three weeks away. It’s crisp. It’s sunny. Chanukah is coming to a close. The winter solstice approaches.

Today, photographer Joan Zachary took a walk with Parisian Phoenix authors Angel Ackerman and Eva Parry at the Karl Stirner Arts Trail in Easton, Pa.

Yesterday was World Disability Day, or in perhaps more politically correct terms, International Day of Persons with Disabilities. What does such a day provide? Awareness? Recognition of the struggle those with disabilities have? Acknowledgment that many people with disabilities lead productive, meaningful lives?

Several staff members here at Parisian Phoenix Publishing Company have disabilities. And those writers talk about their disabilities in our upcoming anthology, Not an Able-Bodied White Man with Money. The anthology also presents nonfiction, art and poetry talking about weight, body image, neurodivergence, religion, sexuality, race and ethnicity among other topics.

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Adventures with Nancy and leaving Midnight Society

Tonight was the last official night of “Midnight Society” at the Stitch Fix Bizzy Hizzy and they closed the warehouse at 7:30 p.m.

I say last “official” night because I just heard from my supervisor (at least until the new shift starts Sunday) and my favorite security guard/philosopher that there are a handful of people who can’t transition until after Christmas— and Stitch Fix will let them continue working their traditional hours until then.

That was a really nice move on the business’s part. Too nice in my opinion. I have squeezed a couple months of doctors appointments, tests and physical therapy into two weeks. So part of me is a little jealous.

We start our new work arrangement Sunday.

In other news, my blind friend Nancy and I both had physical therapy today. And Aîné and Brigid of the Celtic Pride got spayed so they are ready for adoption!

But back to physical therapy. Nan and I went together. She’s having issues with her shoulder and numbness in her finger.

I have pain in my spine and fall a lot.

I had to ride a stationary bike for eight minutes. She warmed up on a hand contraption.

I did my Cobra poses, and my physical therapist did that thing where he presses on my spine as if pushing it back into place.

I did deadlifts with a 20 lb kettlebell. I had to lay on my stomach and bend my leg at the knee and lift it off the table. That was harder than it sounds.

I stood on a soft cushion square and moved my leg out using my hip while keeping my knee soft. I also did that kicking back.

I did bridges.

I took a giant ball, held it to the wall with my back, and squared as low as I could.

Meanwhile some teenager stood on a balance ball on one leg, tossed a ball onto a trampoline and caught it ALL while standing on one leg.

I can stand on one leg for nine seconds.

On the floor.

This kid was standing on a ball meant to destabilize you.

And throwing a ball.

I am in total envy.

Meanwhile Nan was teaching the staff to read Braille and how to use a white cane.

And the staff was heartily confused at the fact that friends would come to physical therapy together.

After physical therapy, I turned to Nan. “You what to come to my house for grilled cheese?”

Her answer was a hearty yes. I made hers with Colby Jack, Cheddar and Lebanon Bologna and mine with habanero cheddar and Vevan vegan mozza-melts.

The mozza-melts taste and melt like real cheese, but sadly they have no protein. At all. So while they are a cruelty free version of cheese, they have no nutritional value.

Transitions and Supercoffee

I drank four cups of coffee yesterday and three of them were Supercoffee, so does that make it seven?

My back is feeling much better with all my cobra poses and stretches as prescribed by the physical therapist. (Nan and I have our sessions tomorrow. Nan expects she will be released. I suspect my routine will become more elaborate.)

This is the last week that Stitch Fix will run its second shift “Midnight Society” as has offered flexible scheduling to allow us to transition to day shift. For many of us, each night we say goodbye to friends because we are going to different departments and different shift variations. I will be doing the 6:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. shift Sunday through Wednesday but I am staying in women’s outbound. I received an email from my new supervisor, and it made me a little teary because my current supervisor is the person who hired me.

I have elected to work 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. this week and have successfully gone to bed as early as 10:30 p.m. and roused as early as 6:30. The average seems to be 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. but as my old sleep schedule was roughly 1:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., it is progress. I expect Sunday to be brutal for all of us, especially for those of us older than 30.

To be safe, I bought more Supercoffee. The teenager is already asking if I will feed the cats before I go to work. The answer for now is I may need a few days before I can adjust to having that much responsibility at 5 a.m.

“I don’t know if they are going to allow that,” she replied.

My daily step count is coming in between 4,000 and 6,000. I suppose some of that is due to partial shifts at the Bizzy Hizzy warehouse and working women’s returns. I stand still in QC, but apparently in Returns I stand even more still. In QC, at least I have to move the carts around every 25-30 minutes. The physical therapist also gave me some hints for my aching spine based on my job in QC, so being in Returns this week has not allowed me to try them.

And murmurs have started about voluntary overtime. For those of us moving to ten hour shifts, any overtime means we will have to work on our days off.

Book sales have been slow lately (so please consider my books as Christmas gifts. They can be purchased from me. For more information on how to do that, click here.) but I also have not dedicated any time to marketing and have fallen behind in my social media and outreach plan. But, as I have received one $20 check from Lafayette College for novels of mine on sale at the College Store, I have filed the paperwork with the state to incorporate Parisian Phoenix Publishing Company and to claim the fictitious name.

My weight might be down 5 lbs. That’s an unhealthy number for one week into weight loss. In my past experience, when I make healthy choices and track my macros, there is always an encouraging initial dip. I expect the next five to take much longer. And that’s fine. I’m looking for a trend toward healthier habits and increasing muscle and range of motion.

With the groceries currently in the house, it’s hard to keep my protein intake as high as I would like. My diet tends to be heavy on fat. Not necessarily sweets/fat but fats like nuts, avocado, and half and half in my coffee. Yesterday my macros hit 50% carbs, 20% protein and 30% fat. I’m aiming for 40/40/20. It looks like my weekly average is 40/25/35. I’m also aiming for 1300 calories, and doing well on that.

My protein intake is all over the place. Saturday came in at 120 grams (thank you leftover Thanksgiving turkey). Subsequent days have ranged from 65-85 grams, with 70 being more typical. It’s hard, as I’m not a big meat eater.

So I need to start doing some serious meal planning and keeping lean protein sources around.

I’m going to go get dressed for the gym now, and hopefully make some time for that marketing plan.

The Difficult Reality: Time to Calorie Count

This is a hard one for me.

I know, like all capital letters and in bold know, that my weight is a problem. I have excuses and plans and can logic everything six ways from Sunday. But it’s time to own up.

And I’ve done that and still failed several times to take control of the situation.

So, on Saturday, after a strong workout and a report from the physical therapist that really suggested I shouldn’t offer any more excuses, I re-downloaded My Fitness Pal and started tracking activity and food.

I challenged myself to make sure I hit 5,000 steps a day, with the intent of increasing that over time. And my current average is probably 4,000. Walked to the gym Saturday. Took the teenager and the dog for a walk. Hit 5,000 by 5 p.m. (And the dog wore down her claws on the sidewalk to the point where she bled. All over the house.)

I entered my gym workout, my water consumed, counted my physical therapy as yoga. Then I dealt with the fact that my eating is half trash, half perfect. Post gym meal? Coffee, Lebanon balogna and a Otis Spunkmeyer Chocolate Chip Cookie.

Yeah, that was the meal choice that made me re-download My Fitness Pal. It’s one thing to accept I made this choice. It’s another to stare at it for the rest of the day.

My dinner plan was more balanced. My Hungryroot box came. Since the teenager was at Petco buying first aid supplies and styptic powder for the dog, I made a lamb Mediterranean salad.

By 6 p.m., my food selections looked like this:

The program defaults to 50% carbohydrates, 25% protein (or is it 30%?) and the remainder fat for the Macro distribution. My diet is always higher in fat than it should be and I know from past experience that protein and fat keep my mood and hunger more stable than a high carb, low fat diet. So I adjusted it. Since I am regularly weight training, my diet should be high protein if I am trying to gain muscle. Which I am. Right now, I am merely aiming for a calorie deficit. If I succeed in shedding some weight, the next step would be to adjust fat and carbohydrates to encourage a leaner look.

The easiest solution to equalize the balance in these macros depicted would be for me to eat a stack of leftover turkey, plain, or perhaps with a little bit of horseradish if I get hungry again. That would shift the ratio of carbs, fat and protein.

The Kit and Kaboodle Update

So, as a former journalist, I could easily write a summary of every day like a nice newspaper column and post it. I could probably even manage to maintain my sense of humor, style, and tendency to find joy in the ridiculously ordinary.

But this week, every word I wrote felt repetitious. Or perhaps every word I wanted to write felt like it had been done before.

And maybe it has. Because so much of life goes that way. The same struggles, the same events, and often the same answers. And we repeat the cycle over and over probably for two reasons.

  1. It’s hard to break a habit.
  2. And growth, the kind of change that comes from embracing a lesson, presents its own difficulties.

In today’s blog, I’m going to do a generic update, and I’m honestly not sure if any of this is repeating myself. But do you know what? Repeating myself is okay. This is a small droplet in the vast waters of the internet and there’s always the possibility someone hasn’t heard it before and may need to hear it today.

Are you listening?

Fosters: Touch of Grey, Mars and Minerva. Information on how to adopt them at http://www.felineurbanrescueandrehab.org.

All eyes on me.

Topics to come in this entry: Update on my cerebral palsy and quest to end my chronic back pain, weight training with the teenager with Dan at Apex, emotional eating, review of Purple Carrot’s vegan Thanksgiving dinner box, and the requisite animal photos.

This week’s personal training at Apex:

I know I frequently mention how amazing the trainers at Apex are. One of their strengths (weight training pun there) is to recognize the needs of each client and to match the client with the right trainer. I’m obviously not in the whiny white women who primarily want to lose weight category, and that’s how I ended up with Dan. As Dan has the unofficial knowledge of a physical therapist (because he’s had enough accidents to know the patient side of it) and he has the curiosity to read, research and think. With my cerebral palsy this is important. Dan has the observational skill to read my knees and lower body to know if it’s a bodyweight/calisthenics kind of day or a weight training day. And this is important so you can build range of motion and flexibility and not get hurt.

Anyway, Dan has been kind enough to let the teenager join my training sessions. I love throwing weights around but lack the personal discipline to do it on my own this time around. And the teenager has a natural muscle tone and build that makes her perfect for powerlifting. But she hates dumbbells and she hates routine and discipline. So as long as we tell her to go throw around that heavy object she’s fine.

And today she deadlifted 135 lbs as if it weren’t even a challenge. I honestly think she could have done 150 lbs easily.

I think I kept up with her through 115. I only did three at 115 because I was really afraid I would blow out my knees. A deadlift when executed correctly utilizes the lower body, and the weight actually (once I get warmed up) helps me lower my butt in the squatting portion, but since my knees tend to point sharply inward, I have to adjust my stance to compensate. While the main gist of the lift is to pull the weight along the shin and lift into the hips and use the legs to support the weight as the hips straighten and thrust outward with the tightening of the glutes, in my case, I have to force my knees to stay in the proper position facing my toes and not each other.

As I start to lift heavier, the dull ache in my spine is a reminder to lift the weight with my legs and not my back. I place my feet in position, point my toes slightly out and stretch my knees in line with them. And, for lack of a better description, I lock them in place and while lifting the barbell I have to concentrate on keeping my knees from turning inward. Because if they would suddenly snap where they want to be, I could not only blow out a knee but also potentially lose balance.

So I did three.

In related news, physical therapy update:

Yesterday I finally had my physical therapy appointment with the proper physical therapist now that neurology has confirmed that my balance and brain are fine. Much to my pleasant surprise, I had the same physical therapist that treated my initial bouts with back pain three years ago. He was at a different physical therapy office, then, and came recommended by my doctor as the guy who really knew back issues. What makes this a funny but pleasant coincidence is the fact that I chose this physical therapy branch because my blind friend Nancy is going there and I thought we could combine appointments and I could help her with rides.

What did my physical therapist Jeff say? Basically, that I need to do yoga. He has me doing “press-ups” 5 times a day for 10 reps. At least to start this week. Last time I had physical therapy with him, he started me super light and then made the exercises ten times harder when I returned in a week. “Press-ups” are cobra pose in yoga. I used to do yoga daily. It always seems like physical therapists are always telling me to do more of what I already or what I used to do.

Random photo of Nala the Goffin with foster cat Touch of Grey

Confession time, emotional eating:

My weight is 160lbs. This upsets me greatly. When I had gestational diabetes at six months pregnant I was 169. I was 142 on the day I brought the teenager home from the hospital and 142 for most of her toddler years. When I finally decided I needed to get my weight under control and regain strength after breaking my right hand while working at Target, I lost 30 lbs in 6 weeks. I lost too much weight too quickly and then gained weight while strength training and got ripped. Over the years, I found a set point at 135, where I could maintain muscle but be more relaxed about eating.

But then, my marriage ended. My boss at the job that allowed me to separate from my husband and support myself turned out to be a sociopath. I mean that in the kindest way possible. She was very sweet, and driven, and perfection-oriented but she had no empathy, no flexibility and no patience for any way other than hers. No views allowed other than her beliefs. This led to high blood pressure and I honestly had no energy left to take care of myself. When she fired me, it took six months for unemployment benefits to determine she was in the wrong. The pandemic was underway by then (Summer 2019). I lived on my savings, a total of $4,500, and foodstamps that kicked in three months after I lost my job.

And this was also when I ended up in the hospital for an infected cat bite and took in a second teenager who lived with us for nine months without her parents contributing to her care.

I mention this only because it is why I lost my discipline. Why I stopped caring for myself like I used to. It was easy and fun to go to McDonalds for a $1 Diet Coke and a $1 McChicken. Cheap dinner.

I thought I would turn this around when I started “picking” at the Stitch Fix Bizzy Hizzy. I walked 17,000 steps a night in the warehouse, grabbing clothes. But then I caught Covid-19. And my stamina never bounced back. So now I fold clothes. Which killed my back.

Even though I had a delightful Thanksgiving, with vegan recipes I prepared from Purple Carrot and leftover pie and wine from my in-law’s meal, I “ruined” it by drinking a big glass of wine yesterday with about 1200 calories of Trolli gummy worms. And then I tell myself, “Well, at least they had protein, iron and calcium.”

And finally, the Purple Carrot Box:

I’ve only made about half the box. The rest is still in the fridge.

I made the Purple Carrot “sausage” stuffing, vegan thyme gravy and cranberry sauce. The thyme gravy was better than I expected as I am not a gravy person. I added local granny smith apples and herbs de provence to the stuffing. The stuffing began life as caibatta rolls, root vegetables, and Fieldstone vegetarian sausage. Let me say again, if you haven’t heard it before, that the Fieldstone vegetarian sausages are amazing. The fact that they come wrapped tight in plastic “skin” casings annoys me, but they are very tasty.

A Thanksgiving Romp through Parisian Phoenix Updates

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Parisian Phoenix Publishing

It’s a quiet, crisp and very sunny Thursday morning, a particular Thursday morning known here in the United States as Thanksgiving, a holiday with some controversial history. Does the holiday celebrate the survival of the colonial settlers? Does it glorify the annihilation of the indigenous population? Was it merely an attempt to unite battling political attitudes after the Civil War? Or does it aptly highlight our national tendencies toward gluttony? Or perhaps an opportunity to really consider the concept of “First World Problems”?

Regardless, to lighten the mood… Let’s take a moment to load up Spotify and listen to the closest thing (at least in our book) to a Thanksgiving carol: Arlo Gunthrie’s Alice’s Restaurant.

On a personal note, Parisian Phoenix has quite the gratitude list for this particular Thanksgiving. We launched this publishing company in September and while we only have two novels by Angel Ackerman available right…

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Review: Beautiful The Carole King Musical at Easton’s State Theatre for the Arts

I ordered tickets for several shows at The State Theatre this fall, because they will be hosting a touring production of Hairspray in April. I bought those tickets for the teenager for Christmas.

And yes, she found out when we went to see Postmodern Jukebox at the State. When she saw the advertisements for Hairspray she got excited and I couldn’t keep the secret.

I was introduced to Carole King via my mother’s records. I used to listen to Tapestry as much as I listened to George Carlin, the Beatles’ Abbey Road and some other classics that predate me.

I also fell in love with Crystal Gayle, but that was from my mother’s eight-track collection. Click. I realize eight-tracks were a necessary technological step to get to more portable versions of recorded music, but man were they awkward.

So as a young adult I bought the compact disc of Tapestry and if I didn’t already know every word on the album I certainly learned them. It’s an anthem for a woman’s early life. A guidebook for love, lust and heartache.

My friend Nan— if you’re familiar with my blog, yes, she is the blind friend— is a huge music fan and a musician herself having played much piano in her youth.

So obviously she wanted to see the show and I wanted to see the show. Neither of us knew anything about the show. And I didn’t do any research other than to buy tickets as I already knew I was a Carole King fan and that is all the motivation I needed.

Now, despite my career as a journalist, my first bachelors from what is now Moravian University is in English Language and Literature. Now although the paper says that, I took 3/4 of my classes in the theatre department because my favorite professor taught there. I also performed in high school and college theatre, and served as stage manager and box office manager because I enjoyed those overarching and connective aspects of performance.

And I always forget this fact until I step in a theatre.

This is why Nan and I are a good pair. I’m tone deaf to music. If I can tell music is bad, it’s really bad.

That said— everything about this show was astounding. I have learned since last night that this is a jukebox musical, one that probably can be compared to the Elton John Rocketman movie that also featured multiple musical numbers. In Rocketman, the musical numbers are fantastical journeys into Elton John’s head which really don’t make any rational sense. And because of Elton John’s multiple addictions, Rocketman was very dark.

By contrast, Beautiful is wholesome and uplifting.

The show highlights the struggle of Carole King’s early song writing life and the imperfections of her marriage, one that occurred when she was just a teenager. Even these difficulties are addressed with compassion and humanity.

And in every song, the audience sees how real life inspired the music.

The performers— an ensemble cast of about 20 with five of them as the main characters: Carole, her husband Gerry, their friends and coworkers Barry and Cynthia, and their boss, Donnie (who bought Carole’s first song when she was 16, in 1958)— sang and danced with such vibrancy, talent and skill that Nan said they were better than the real stars.

The Drifters. The Shirelles. Little Eva. Janelle Woods. The Righteous Brothers.

But in addition to spectacular music and a solid book, the staging was magnificent and the costumes incredible. The clothing and the hairstyles perfectly represented the eras and the changing fads but also showed the growth of the characters. We see Carole progress from dowdy clothes to stylish ones as her songs hit #1 and her trademark curls mutate into classic 1960s updos. But after her divorce, her curls return and her clothes become easygoing but chic. You can feel the weight lifted off her.

And the simple sets are also well executed. Each location has a key piece of furniture. The offices and homes are represented my period perfect couches and desks— so when a character comes on stage with that couch the vibe is set for that particular place. I love minimalist staging.

The whole performance was breathtaking and will leave me walking on clouds today.

Funniest part of the night: when an usher shined a flashlight on an obstruction on the floor so Nan could see it.

About the show on Wikipedia.

About the venue.

Searching for the weird and the yummy

Dunkin’s new pancake minis

The teenager loves pancakes so when Dunkin announced their new pancake minis, I had to buy her a set and get her professional opinion— as a diner waitress (at least for a few more days).

I thought they had a good flavor, though a dry texture. The teenager was not impressed. I think the awkward texture comes from the fact that the tiny pancakes are fortified with protein.

For $2.99, that works out to fifty cents a pancake. I think Dunkin has tastier and more satisfying options at that price point.

Kitu Supercoffee Dark Roast K-cups

I think I have a new favorite coffee. I only paid $1 for my recent prescription at CVS, so I treated myself to a pack of Kitu Supercoffee in dark roast. It was on sale for $6.99 for 10 cups. I love that the flavor and the extra caffeine and vitamins don’t hurt.

Finally, I had to review Hungryroot’s Thanksgiving Bowl featuring their seasoned turkey meatballs that the teenager and I already know we love.

The Sauces N Love cranberry sauce was the right blend of smooth and tangy. The Right Rice medley was quick to prepare and had all the familiar flavor of traditional stuffing. The grains were softer, fluffier and almost had a cakey mouth feel.

I liked both so much I ordered more.