Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Day 381- Pittsburgh CLO- Kinky Boots- Change Your World and Feel Fabulous.

Company, photo by Matt Polk


Pittsburgh CLO is back bringing affordable musical theater to Pittsburgh. Kinky Boots, which is based on a true story, has a unique plot-Charlie revitalizes his late father’s bankrupt shoe factory by finding a niche market making sexy boots for men who dress as women. Kinky Boots, is all about confidently reinventing something or even yourself. This show is also about acceptance and looking beyond appearances into one's heart. By doing this you can "change your world."

 The music by Cindy Lauper encourages and inspires with a punch of humor. The songs  seemed to be  screaming at me: Take What You GotSex is in HeelThe History of Wrong Guys and of course, What A Women Wants. My eyes welled with tears during, Not My Father's Son, and Hold Me in Your Heart both impactful heartful ballads by Darius Harper as Drag Queen, Lola. I had a flashback to my best  friend, Paul, who left this world much too soon. He dared to be himself when it was so difficult in the 80's. He sure sparkled just like those Kinky Boots!

Lola and Angels, Photo by Matt Polk

Jarod Bakum (Harry) and Brian Sears (Charlie)
"Take What you Got"
Photo by Matt Polk


We all have experienced a lot of change in the last two years and the words in the song, Take What You Got, inspires:

You can’t go back. You can’t make it last. 

You’ve got to take what you’ve got.

Even when your life is in knots.

You take aim, take your shot. 

Sometimes you got to rewrite the plot.

Paul and I 

What a lovely thing to rewrite your own story.  With your “do over" there are new friends who support, and those from your past that have always been there. In Kinky Boots, Lola and Charlie developed a bond of friendship and acceptance. It made me reflect on who in my life was my number one fan. Mine was Paul who pursued his dreams in NYC.   He was a designer, an artist, a chef, and my best friend, my support, my number one fan.  With Paul everything was positive, funny, and adventurous.  I could just hear him screaming the words in the show's finale, Raise You Up/Just Be:

Celebrate you, to elevate you.

When you struggle to stand, (I’ll) talk your hand.

If you hit the dust, let me raise you up. 

When your bubble bust, let me raise you up.

And up and up. 

Paul sure sparkled like those Kinky Boots and he made me sparkle when we were together!  He was a man with a pure heart who reinvented himself in NYC.  I can just hear him yelling, “Cindy, go get some heels, get your mojo going, and look fabulous!” 

Kinky Boots will remind you that you can "change your world" and it will sure raise you up from wherever you are right now. We could all use a helping hand these days. Pittsburgh CLO's Kinky Boots will have you dancing in your seat and feeling fabulous.

 The musical celebration continues with: Godspell (July 12-17), A Chorus Line (July 26-31) and Sister Act (August 9-14). For tickets go to https://www.pittsburghclo.org/

Spiritual Reflection
Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will know what God wants you to do, and you will know how good and pleasing and perfect his will really is. (Romans 12:2-3)

 Other Sources:






Monday, May 23, 2022

Day 380- Mr. Rodgers reminds us to do something nice on the 143 Day ( Spring rewind post)

 Today is the 143 day  of the year, a day of kindness and love initiated by Pittsburgh icon Mr. Rodgers.  He wanted this day ignite a spark in all to "do something nice."  During this pandemic, when stress levels are high and protesters are in the news, we all could use a reminder from Mr. Rodger's to say "Happy 143 Day."  Celebrate it with a little  extra dose of  kindness and love for others and self.  

May 23, 2022  is the 143rd day of the year. Mr. Rogers coined the number 143 as a representative of the words “I love you” and a day to spread kindness.  There is letter “I,” 4 letters in “love,” and letters in “You.”   This was a special number to Mr. Rodgers and even kept his weight at 143 pounds.

I lost my father at a very young age and and as child I found   comfort  in the man on the television that projected a wave of kindness and calm.  "You Are Special, Words of Wisdom" is one of my favoret books. It has given me rest during the many calamities that life tossed my way. 

 Mr. Rodgers said it so well:

Taking care is one way to show your love. Another way is letting people take good care of you when you need it.

I don’t think anyone can grow unless he’s loved exactly as he is now, appreciated for what he is rather than what he will be.

Feeling good about ourselves is essential in our being able to love others. 

One of my wise teachers Dr. Orr, told me "There is one thing evil cannot stand, and that is forgiveness"

Love isn't a state of perfect caring. It is an active noun like struggle. To love someone is to strive to accept that person exactly the way he or she is, right here and now.” 

Today follow the example of Mr. Rodgers and fuel your own celebration of kindness, showing some love to others and yourself  (After writing this post, I am going to text some love from Pittsburgh all the way to my son in California and give a friend a call  who needs some support.)  

Spiritual Reflection
And he said to him, you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. this is the great first commandment. and the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. (Matthew 22:37-39)

Other Sources
Link to info: Mr. Rodgers Statute Pittsburgh 

Monday, May 2, 2022

Day 379-PBT Swan Lake- Be Awestruck by the Fairytale -May 6 through 15, 2022.


My blog inspiration book, “Everything I Need to Know I Learned From a Little Golden Book” reminds us to “Take in some culture once in awhile.” There is nothing more cultural than the  ballet Swan Lake. In fact, this love story is the pinnacle of classical ballet with the demanding technique of the dance for the principle dancer  who takes on the roles of both  Odette (White Swan) and Odile (Black Swan). In 2018, I  was mesmerized by the beauty, athleticism of the dance and powerful pairing of Tchaikovsky's live score in PBT's performance. PBT is bringing Swan Lake back May 6 through May 15, 2022 giving us all a second chance to be awestruck by the fairytale.

Thursday, February 3, 2022

Day 378- 2022 Winter Olympic Opens- Your own Olympic Adventure Awaits in Lake Placid NY - remembering then bobsled


Today is the opening for the 2022 Winter Olympics.  The winter games are a showcase of  winter adventures. We get to view the  sharp serpentine turns in alpine skiing, rat- a- tat bounce of mogul skiing, air in freestyle and long jump, grace in figure skating, endurance in cross country skiing and the trajectory speed in the bobsled and skeleton races. There is just so much action except maybe for curling- the jury is still out about that one.  Lake Placid NY, which was home of the 1980 winter games, is a place where you can venture on  your own Olympic experience.

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Day 379- Ohiopyle State Park-Revisit a Paddle Down the Middle Yough-Blance of Thrill and Relaxation


Ohiopyle State Park located in the Laurel Mountains is great place to enjoy the outdoors with biking and hiking trails, waterfalls and more.  A highlight of the park is the Youghiogheny River that offers kayaking and whitewater rafting experiences for all levels of bravery. The bold adventurers can tackle the class III and IV whitewater of the Lower Yough. For those of us that are daring but not quite fearless, the Middle Yough, with class I and II whitewater, offers an experience that balances thrill with relaxation.

Thursday, May 20, 2021

Day 378 -Celebrate Fred Roger’s 143 Day of Love & Kindness with a visit to Buttermilk Falls


No one can deny that it has been a difficult year or should I say 2 years, with the pandemic, polarizing political climate, social justice issues and more. Pittsburgh’s beloved neighbor, Fred Rogers, shined a  continual beam of kindness through the darkest of times. He coined the 143rd day of the year as a day to spread love and kindness.

 On this 143 Day, I thought that  I would share my visit to  Buttermilk Falls Natural Area located on the former summer estate of Fred McFeely, Fred Rodger’s grandfather.  As you stroll along the tranquil path leading to the beautiful falls, you’re encouraged by his quotes which guild your walk like a warm hug.    

Saturday, November 21, 2020

Day 376 - No Stress Thanksgiving-From Freezer to Oven Turkey or Turkey Breast in a Bag-Archer Farms


I stress about making Thanksgiving dinner every year because I am not that good of  a cook (see Day 243).   Thanksgiving is one of my least favorite holidays because cooking the dinner is not a “ labor of love” for this girl but a stress bomb. I also think it’s highly unfair that during this holiday women slave all day cooking (I know that some men carve or help by deep frying the turkey) but mostly men get to relax, eat dinner, and watch football. 

This year during the pandemic,  I am trying to eliminate as much stress as possible and for me that is  that  is cooking!  Instead of making  numerous calls to my girlfriend, who takes on the role as my “turkey line,” I decided to make it stress free by again trying a freezer to oven turkey in a bag (Archer Farms at Target). Since we are keeping it small, I am opting for the turkey breast option this year. The tale that follows is of my experience with the full bird option two years ago. 

Monday, October 26, 2020

Day 375- Zombies of the Corn -Get Your Halloween On-Out Door Package of Fright and Fun


One of Pittsburgh’s claim to fame is the local filming of the zombie movie “Night of the Living Dead.” Zombie fright is in full swing this time of year. If you are looking for a place to celebrate during the pandemic, you can find your fill of the undead  just north of Pittsburgh at Zombies of the Corn.   At this  Zombie mecca you  can walk though the Zombie Compound, test you navigation skills in the corn husk  Z Maze, and take aim with your paintball gun on the Zombie Shoot ride. It is a complete out door Halloween package of fright and fun. 

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Day 374 Ohiopyle State Park- Dare to Explore the Youghiogheny River –“Pedal/ Paddle” - a Whitewater Experience that Balances Thrill with Relaxation

Ohiopyle State Park located in the Laurel Mountains is great place to enjoy the outdoors with biking and hiking trails, waterfalls and more.  A highlight of the park is the Youghiogheny River that offers kayaking and whitewater rafting experiences for all levels of bravery. The bold adventurers can tackle the class III and IV whitewater of the Lower Yough. For those of us that are daring but not quite fearless, the Middle Yough, with class I and II whitewater, offers an experience that balances thrill with relaxation.

Monday, October 5, 2020

Day 373-Frankenstein by Manual Cinema and City Theatre -Humorous Spooky Cinematic Drive-in Experience


During this time of social distancing, City Theatre gives the drive-in a face lift by making it a safe place to go to satisfy a craving to get out of the house and experience live entertainment (see Day 372). In October, City Theatre celebrates Halloween by bringing an inventive production of Frankenstein by Manual Cinema to Hazelwood Green. Manual Cinema  combines shadow imagery, puppetry, special effects and lighting with a live band to tell this classic story from the author, Mary Shelly's perspective. It’s a humorous and spooky cinematic experience.    

Monday, September 21, 2020

Day 372 - City Theater's Drive-in Arts Festival- Adapting Live Shows- Lifting Our Spirits

 As a lover of the arts, I have had “theatre withdrawal” during the pandemic. I had accepted the grim reality that live shows would take an intermission for some time. My desire to find an activity outside the home and to stay safe caused a reoccurring dilemma just like the song lyrics, “should I stay or should I go.”  City Theater's Drive-in Arts Festival put a kibosh to the conundrum and gave me the green light to go when they offered live performances in a safe social distancing drive-in theatre venue.  Like many, I am tired of staring at a computer for work, school and entertainment. I applaud the creativity and collaboration of the arts community in adapting live shows to lift our spirits.